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The Ageing MySpace Population

September 25, 2006 by

We’ve talked before about how your church can use MySpace and other social networking sites to connect with people, whether it’s connecting your congregants or giving visitors a preview, but some interesting new stats prove that social networking sites aren’t just for the youngsters. While MySpace.com (the runaway hit with 82% of traffic in the category) is perceived [and vilified] as the online hangout for teens, 87% of users today are 18 or older. If that’s not shocking enough, 52% are 35 or older, which means the majority of users on the youthful MySpace are, well, old. And it’s still seeing 230,000 people sign up every day.

For churches it should be clear that MySpace is no longer a tool for youth groups or young adult ministries. It’s something the whole church should consider. (link via churchrelevance)

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Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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17 Responses to “The Ageing MySpace Population”

  • Nate K
    September 25, 2006

    Unfortunately – myspace is HORRENDOUS in so many ways. We could not get our adults in our church to use myspace – because they fear myspace. This is a valid fear. Myspace is nowhere near secure, and knowing that they may not be computer savvy – adults will ignore it instead.
    So, while I understand the social aspect of it all – it just doesn’t have a good reputation (with designers, developers, parents, and even some kids). Personally, as a professional web developer, I would never recommend a parent getting a myspace account. Most will get it, not update it, and simply use it to watch their son/daughter. They may dabble – but they don’t really do anything.
    Also, with the negative publicity myspace has had in the past, this also brings more concern to parents as well (though much of it is not the fault of a website).
    So, again, while I understand the social aspect – I wouldn’t recommend myspace to anyone. Now, if Yahoo buys facebook and it opens up more – I might suggest something like that.


  • nathan.
    September 25, 2006

    I think its healthy to be a little skeptical about the new MySpace stats about aging, depending on how the numbers were collected.
    People can create their profile to say whatever they want, including their age. For example, I have friends that put “87 years old” or “99 years old” on their profile when they are closer to 25.
    Now, MySpace could have polled an appropriate random sample of users off-line to get their real information, but for some reason I doubt thats what we’re talking about in this case.


  • Ryan
    September 25, 2006

    There is no way that half of all myspace users are mid-30’s or over. It simply can’t be true. As the last comment identified, many people state their age as something that is completely inaccurate. I think the best use of myspace would be a church page which would draw in younger (hopefully potential) church attendees – plenty of churches here in New Zealand are already doing so.


  • Pastor Sandy
    September 25, 2006

    I agree with Nat. I guess the stats aren’t accurate enough, cos I know a whole bunch of people wo created their account with a wrong age – just for fun…
    But even if they aren’t that accurate… it shows that Myspace users are to be reached by the church, no matter what age…


  • Patricia
    September 25, 2006

    I know there are some Christian groups on myspace, but some of the content, which one can’t seem to get away from; is extremely offending to Christians. There is a Christian “myspace type” of website called http://www.dittytalk.com, which you might want to check out. It may be a start, but the traffic is very low compared to myspace. The most important aspect of our Christian walk is that we follow the Lord each day in our “walk and our talk”, perhaps if more Christians registered on these websites and got more involved, we would have more of a voice and a greater social impact for Christ.
    Patricia
    http://www.lordsart.com


  • designer t-shirts
    September 25, 2006

    Church on myspace, maybe not a bad idea. So many temptations though – top buy an Adder Robot thing and add everyone to your friends list, lol.


  • Mike Basten
    September 26, 2006

    Hey guys,
    I find those numbers adults on MySpace pethetic if true. Seriously there is no reason for a 35 year old to be on a site who’s target demographic, if we are looking at the thing it replaced (mtv), is 14-24.
    I built a site MyKin… based on an organized plan (closed profiles, all approvals, etc.) for people to connect to their families and then open up it for adults, church groups, whatever.
    Try it and let me know what you think. http://mykin.us and the history behind the site is at blog.mykin.us. It was actually built out of 1971 bus by two Iowa kids this summer.
    Best Regards,
    Mike Basten


  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    September 26, 2006

    Wow, some strong opinions here. First off, you’ll have to talk to Fortune about the stats. They cite comScore, so I’m pretty sure this isn’t based on the birthdays people enter.
    Secondly, I still don’t get why so many people want to have the Christian version of everything. Patricia, if more Christians ditch the mainstream sites for Christian ones we’ll have less social impact and places like MySpace will get even worse. Reminds me of something about salt.
    Sometimes you have to work with where people are at. I don’t think MySpace is the greatest site, but most of my youth group is on there. If I want to connect with those kids, I can make a step towards it on MySpace. It certainly says something interesting about technology that MySpace gets such bad raves, but still has so many people.


  • brad
    September 26, 2006

    Kevin, I’m so glad there’s at least two of us with the same perspective. It’s deeply frustrating to me that Christians see something successful in the world and then try to replicate it in the church, so it can be sheltered and enclosed. Let’s be a witness wherever possible: humble, honest, visible and inviting.


  • Brandon Meek
    September 26, 2006

    Our youth group just dumped their regular site plan and got a myspace music account so they can put up more stuff. Most of the kids are there, so its only natural, in my opinion.
    I was a little surprised by the myspace numbers. As Kevin mentioned though, with comscore involved, I would have to believe that they are fairly accurate.
    I’m on there and I’m nearly 30 and most of the people I’m linked up with are 25+.
    I personally think its a good idea. There is a content problem on there because of their advertising, but where isn’t that a problem?


  • A.B. Dada
    September 26, 2006

    I’m in agreement here with those who don’t want to see “Christian” knock-offs. What Patricia said is very hypocritical to me — how is myspace.com offensive to Christians? It isn’t to me. How is dirtytalk.com offensive to Christians? It isn’t to me.
    Do we Christians forget that nothing is offensive anymore? Before Christ, society had the power to judge and stone sinners. Christ took the stoning so that isn’t needed anymore. Christ Himself did not take offense when he saw oppportunity to play an example. Why should we be any different?
    MySpace.com is great — it is completely my idea of church (not a lame building with 4 walls that operates 6 hours a week). MySpace is my church because it is my community, the world community. We are all sinners, and MySpace opens up natural ways for people to watch out for one another. Do we realize that MySpace helps reduce adultery and cheating? Do we realize that MySpace provides proof that parents are terrible in the West and care little for their own flesh and blood and worry more about others’ children? Does MySpace open a conduit to meeting new people in not just your physical community but also in communities of shared hobby and shared loves?
    I’m continuously shocked at how we Christians want to be Pharisees rather than disciples making disciples. If you are offended, it is only because you are tempted to sin by those things. Let us remember that the logs in our own eyes are more important than the specks in the eyes of others.
    When I see something on MySpace that gives me a glimpse of my own sins, I realize it is a blessing to have these things there to remind me that I have to work harder on my own path, and as I do that, I can be a shining example to others who may not realize that grace is better than sin.
    Let us not be hypocrites like the Pharisees, let us be promoters of the Gospel through love and peace and example instead of rebuking someone who isn’t even a brother in our community.


  • Joe Suh
    September 26, 2006

    I work for a “Christian knock-off of myspace” – although I highly beg to differ that MyChurch falls into this unsavory category filled with opportunists trying to make a quick buck.
    Given that disclaimer, I’ve taken my own survey of Myspace demographics and my numbers are younger that what’s being reported here, yet much older that what most folks would expect. Perhaps I can share them in a future guest blog.
    But let me be clear. Myspace is where Christians are needed the most. Lots of good reasons given in this thread. I would discourage Christians from leaving Myspace.
    When someone’s got a tagline of “Its not myspace, its His space” you know you’re in trouble…


  • Robyn Tippins
    September 27, 2006

    Glad to see this discussion. MySpace is reflective of the entire internet, in my opinion. If you are on the internet you might as well be on MySpace.
    There are dangerous places online; there are dangerous places at MySpace; there are dangerous places in your town, in your kids’ school, etc. I like to think of the web as a real place with unsavory (tax collector-ish) neighborhoods all around. While I choose not to go to brothels (porn sites), I enjoy meeting the people that I meet in the less classy areas of town too.


  • Holy Cow!
    September 27, 2006

    I think we fall into the trap of focusing on not being of the world so much that we miss the other thing we are told to do: be in the world.
    It is -not- okay to be of the world, to turn a blind eye. But it is just as wrong to isolate ourselves in our safe bubble.
    Don’t get me wrong, myspace does nothing for me. I just am not impressed. BUT…it points out that people want to belong, that people want friends. So I say go into the world and be their neighbor.


  • Dan
    September 28, 2006

    Lets put it this way, With those personal ad banners on myspace its hard to say your at a church website. The “true” ads on myspace are not something the church needs associating itself with.


  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    September 28, 2006

    Dan, whoever said MySpace was a church web site? At best you’ve got a profile or a group on a third party site. People are smart enough to know it’s not a church web site.
    Are the “true” ads an eyefull? Yeah. I wish MySpace would grow up and get some real advertisers. But it’s no different than the muck the church has to associate itself with simply by being in this world.


  • Ruthie
    October 5, 2006

    MySpace has been one of the best tools yet for the youth at my church. I’m leading the group right now and October’s series is called “YOURspace.” Check out http://www.myspace.com/themixmiami
    It’s a 4-week series using MYspace to talk about Christ and relationships.
    Wk#1 = Tom is MySpace Editor (Christ is out Creator, but many delete Him out of their lives)
    Wk#2 = What Group are you in? (Who you hang out with affects who you are / Are you ashamed of being a Christian?)
    Wk#3 = Who’s on your “Top 8″
    (How to choose godly friendships)
    Wk#4 = Edit Profile
    (Are you being fake or real in your life? What lies are telling the world… or to yourself?)
    My student leaders came up with idea. We’ll see what happens this week! We’ve also got tons of pictures, videos and skits to poke fun of the ads and funny profiles found on MySpace. We’ll also have to teach the kids about the dangers of on-line communities, but I think we’ll have fun.



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