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Published:October 6th, 2008 21:07 EST
Facebook is for over 18 -- and now over 35

Facebook is for over 18 -- and now over 35

By Garrett Godwin

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004, it was originally just for college students only. Now, four years later, the social networking site`s audience has expanded not only to college students, but also to teenagers, and even adults of all ages. "Facebook", said Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst of the Internet researching marketing firm ComScore, "is particularly good at being hip and cool for the young while being pretty simple and having functionality that works for the 30-plus crowd."

Zuckerberg has been named this year by Forbes Magazine as the youngest billionaire in the world with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion. The next big thing in social network advertising, Lipsman continued, is using information that`s already integrated into the site --"capitalize on the word-of-mouth experience, the ability to influence people within your network" as part of advertising.

Facebook gives Internet users the opportunity to develop a profile; join groups with common interests and goals such as supporting either John McCain or Barack Obama, or fan clubs of their favorite actors, films, and television shows. Most of all, it allows people to keep in touch with family and friends, but also the chance to reconnect with old childhood friends.

For instance, Katrina Mitchell of Oak Park, Michigan got in touch with her "very first boyfriend from kindergarten", who is now living in California, via Facebook. "I messaged him", said the 38-year-old, "and he was like, `Oh, hey! How you doin`?` We had lost touch, and I was able to reconnect with him. We were talking about a friend that we had grown up with. I hadn`t seen her, I hadn`t spoken with her, and three months later, she showed up on Facebook!"

Recently, Facebook has went through an complete overhaul in designs -- leading to the development of groups such as "FACEBOOK REDESIGN SUCKS - PASS IT ON" and "1,000,000 AGAINST THE FACEBOOK LAYOUT" in protest of the new changes. However, there are some willing to accept these changes because due to reasons of knowing and understanding Facebook better.

Still, Facebook has kicked off MySpace as the #1 site for worldwide social networking this year with more than 150 million users, with the latter coming in at 120 million, according to ComScore. Over 40% of those that uses Facebook are over the age of 35.

"People are inviting older brothers, parents are getting involved, grandparents are getting involved" states B.J. Fogg, who is in charge of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, and is editing his upcoming book entitled The Psychology of Facebook. "There`s one great party going on in the Internet, and it`s Facebook."