A recent New York Times article got me thinking about key demographics for technological success.
For years analysts have assumed the successes of a new technology depends heavily on early adoption from the under-18 crowd. After all, it was the youth that drove the initial (and speedy) growth of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Friendster.
The recent, and undeniable, popularity of Twitter has some, including ZDNet’s Andrew Nusca and RWW’s Sarah Perez, second-guessing target markets for new technology. Twitter’s popularity can hardly be attributed to teenage adoption since according to The Examiner only 8% of Twitter’s population is comprised by teenagers. Rather, it is the 18-35 year old crowd dominating this new social media space.
This new phenomenon of an older generation driving technological success is not unique to social networking sites. In fact, many consumer electronics gadgets such as Amazon’s Kindle, Nintendo’s Wii, and Apple’s iPhone have caught on first with adults and remain largely adult-only gadgets.
It may be time for technology companies to focus their attention on older population instead of constantly chasing after teenagers. Just a thought….