Who participates online, by age

Arno Ghelfi for Businessweek reports on who’s doing what online, separated by age. The grid aesthetic totally works for the Internet theme, which can feel robotic and bit-wise at times.

From top to bottom are the more active users to the more passive. Age groups run left to right. So as we sweep top left to bottom right, we see the younger generation who is more likely to write blogs and upload videos to YouTube, to an older crowd who are more likely to be content consumers.

Update: Doh, this is from 2007. This cross-country move is throwing me out of wack. Oh well, it’s still an interesting piece of Internet history.


  • You might wanna mention that this is from 2007…

  • Where is the hi-def image?

  • (I found it)

  • Surprised that this is from 2007 (I didn’t catch that earlier), however, the age groupings seem a bit wierd to me – the younger groups are separated by 3-4 years, but for Gen X, it covers 13 years, and for all the others, its 10 year gaps.

    Interesting chart nevertheless, and will require some time to mull over . . .

    • Most likely the age grouping come from the data collection side. Just guessing though. I’d have to check Forrester Research to be sure.

  • Human Powered July 1, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I it works but a bar chart would do a better job of illustrating the distributions. But anybody can do that right?

  • Just what the bell curve in marketing describes:

    Earlier Adopters
    Mass Market

    2007, yep, but it still holds well into today. Thanks for point this out.

  • I would love to see this updated with data through 2009. Although just anecdotal, most of my thirtysomething friends now have many of their extended family (parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins) on Facebook. I would wager that the “joiners” segment would be quite different today if my experience is a broad trend.

  • What are the percentages? They don’t sum to 100% in either row or column, which are partitioned by age.

  • If from 2007, its really missing the whole explosion of twitter, which is nearly devoid of teens/youth.

  • emilyevelina July 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    has anyone found or created an updated version of this?

    it’s really pretty but would love to see it with new data.