More than a quarter (27%) of Americans age 50 and over use social media websites, with Facebook being the most popular, followed by MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter, according to new research from the AARP.
"The latest data tells us that more and more, social networking is becoming a part of everyday life for Americans 50+, and boomers in particular," said AARP Chief Communications Officer Kevin Donnellan.
"AARP must deliver the same reliable information and first-rate resources we always have, but in a more interactive way, when and where AARP.org users and online community members want it."
Among those over 50 who use social media websites, nearly three-quarters (73%) are connected to relatives other than children and grandchildren, three-fifths are connected to their children (62 percent), and one-third (36 percent) are connected to grandchildren.
Eighty-three percent of those over 50 have heard of the iPad, and among those familiar with the device, 11 percent plan to purchase or want one and 2 percent already have. The number are higher for baby boomers aged 50 to 64, with 86 percent reporting they have heard of the iPad and 14 percent planning or wanting to purchase one.
Additional findings include:
*Forty-nine percent of those 50 to 64, and 40 percent of all adults 50+, consider themselves extremely or very comfortable using the Internet.
*Facebook is the most popular social networking site for Americans 50+, with 23 percent of survey participants reporting they prefer it-followed by MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter, all at about 4 percent.
*Forty-seven percent of adults 50+ originally heard about social networking from a family member other than their spouse, and of those, 70 percent heard about it from a child or grandchild.