MySpace drawing 'older' visitors, study finds

Once the dominion of the teen set, site now sees majority of U.S. visitors from the 35-or-older crowd.

Popular social-networking site MySpace.com, which originated as a place for teens to find dates and learn about bands, is attracting more and more attention from the "older" crowd, according to a study released on Thursday.

More than half, 51.6 percent to be exact, of the U.S.-based visitors to MySpace in August were aged 35 or older, figures released by comScore Media Metrix revealed. A year ago, 39.5 percent were aged 35 or older.

"Social networking is going more mainstream," said Andrew Lipsman, a senior analyst at comScore Networks. "There has been a lot of media coverage of social networking and that has generated interest among people of all ages."

In addition, the increased interest in online video likely drove some of the boost in traffic from that demographic to the MySpace site, he said. MySpace is now serving up more video than the popular viral video site YouTube.com--1.5 billion streams in the United States in July compared with 649 million streams, respectively, Lipsman said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of total visitors to MySpace aged 12 to 17 dropped from nearly 25 percent last year to about 12 percent in August. The percentage aged 18 to 24 has decreased only slightly, from 19.6 percent last year to just more than 18 percent this year, comScore said.

The total number of unique visitors to MySpace has more than doubled over the past year to more than 55.8 million, according to comScore. The study did not provide any data on the number of registered users, or members, of MySpace.

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