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In France, Twitter Finds an Older Niche

Young millennials took second place among Twitter online users

January 25, 2013

It’s no secret that Twitter is catching on in France, but an analysis from November suggests a surprising group is leading the way: users 55 and older. According to comScore Media Metrix, the number of visitors to the Twitter website from members of that age group increased 100% last year, to 1.3 million.

Despite social media as traditionally the province of younger individuals, the 55-and-over crowd is better represented on Twitter than any other age group. The next largest demographic of Twitter users in the country is the 15-to-24-year-old set, of whom there were 1.2 million, representing an increase of 62% over 2011.

Twitter Visitors in France, by Age, Nov 2012 (millions)

Overall, comScore reported that there were 5.5 million Twitter web users in France in November. The analysis focused on visitors to the Twitter website on desktop, not those using Twitter exclusively through a mobile or third-party desktop app—a possible reason why older users figure so prominently. There are a significant number of mobile social network users in France, and although the desktop and mobile populations frequently overlap, younger consumers are more likely to use mobile social sites.

In June, comScore MobiLens reported that there were over 1.5 million mobile Twitter users in the country, making it the second most popular mobile social network after Facebook.

Social Networks Used via Mobile by Mobile Phone Users in France, June 2011 & June 2012 (thousands and % change)

Also worth noting is the large role that social networks, including Twitter, played in the French presidential election last spring, which may have added to its cachet among older users.

Social Network Users and Penetration in France, 2010-2014

eMarketer estimates that there were 21.9 million social network users in France in 2012—a number equivalent to 54% of internet users, and 33.5% of the country’s population. Combining this estimate with the comScore analysis would mean that roughly one in four social network users in France was a Twitter user last year.

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Check out today’s other articles, “This Year, All Publishers Go Mobile” and “Active Social Listening Turns Critics into Mentors at SAP.”


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