AllFacebook is predicting the +50 crowd will fuel Facebook’s US growth through 2013.
I’m not so sure. I am sure the +50 set will experiment with Facebook. But I’m not convinced they will become regular users who stick with the platform. Here’s why.
My Mom was on Facebook for a bit. Now she’s fed up, so she’s never logging in again. She saw too much unattractive stuff about people she was connected with (people she loves.)
Mom is 68, and pretty computer savvy. What she isn’t, is socially liberal. She believes if you don’t have something nice to say you keep your mouth shut. She believes you keep your private stuff (and parts) to yourself. Dirty laundry is for family, not Facebook. In short, she believes in discretion.
When it comes to Facebook, she’s seen too much, and she doesn’t want to see anymore. It’s not that my Mom is naive, it’s that she doesn’t want to know.
On the upside, she did enjoy catching up with friends who live far away and those she hasn’t talked to in years. Like the bridesmaids in her wedding 50 years ago. And exchanging pics of the quilts she makes with her other quilting buddies. That was wonderful. And they still do that, but not on Facebook. Now the do it via email, the way they have for years. There’s less pollution that way. There’s no worries that my 23 year-old cousin’s boobs will show up in her email like they did on Facebook. Or that she’ll find out about just how much her grandkids are drinking in high school. Or that they lied to their parents or played hooky from work.
If Facebook really wants to keep U.S. growth fueled, here are 5 recommendations for them to consider:
- Explanation – Better “Intro” for particular age demographics. Explain not just how to connect to anybody, but how to consider who you really want updates from.
- Over communicate – Explain the “Block” feature better and more often.
- One size does not fit all – Auto-adjust the “Moderation” and “Profanity” filters based on year of birth of the user.
- Get image savvy – Upgrade blocklist filtering capabilities to include image filtering, not just words used in text based posts.
- Build a bridge – Partner with organizations like AARP to better talk with the +50 crowd.
Any other ideas you can think of?