More older people turn to the internet

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2012, 12:00am


Hong Kong's silver-haired generation is closing the digital divide with switched-on youngsters as they create and consume online content as well as use smartphones, according to an Ipsos MediaCT survey.

'The numbers have crept up and crept up, and become too big to ignore,' said Steve Garton, managing director of the market research company. 'This is from a lower base than younger people, but it's a sure sign that digital communication is spreading fast throughout society.'

Some 34 per cent of 50- to 65-year-olds surveyed said they went online regularly compared with 15 per cent just six years ago, with most growth in the past year.

More than 6,000 people were surveyed for the Ipsos Media Atlas with the number of respondents in the various age groups weighted to reflect the population of Hong Kong. The company surveys people every quarter to track changing trends.

Over the past year, there was a surge in the number of people aged over 50 using the internet more, with 40 per cent of older internet users now using blogs, personal webpages, uploading videos and audio compared with just 25 per cent last year. Some 64 per cent use social networking sites, up from 39 per cent last year.

'They've got more family online, apps are easier to use, and more of them are switching from the feature phone to the smartphone,' Garton said. But the survey shows that older people still lean towards getting information and entertainment from more established media like newspapers and television.