Facebook isn’t Apple: please tell your mother

by KathyDragon on June 12, 2010


Living in Boulder, being somewhat part of the tech community, I sometimes assume the rest of the world has things like facebook’s privacy policies (or lack their of) on their radar and has a strong opinion of Zuckerberg and his escapades.

The reality is I bet my mom doesn’t.  Nor do most Boomers who Love Facebook….and Apple

Somewhere in the past year two companies have caught the attention, love, and devotion of the boomer market. Facebook and Apple, and they couldn’t be further apart.

Walk into any apple store on a wednesday morning at 8am (pre-opening), or rather ANY morning and you’ll find the store packed with folks you might not expect. There are no 20 something gen Y other than a few employees. Most of the folks are over 50, or really, over 60. They have their macbook pro and are intently listening and taking notes from a genius instructor helping them create a video of their recent safari to Tanzania or understand how to share their photo album from their recent family reunion with their relatives and friends. They are setting up a blog, creating a book club newsletter or a personal website via iweb.

No one talks about this, certainly not Apple. Why? Well, boomers are the most lucrative audience out there. They are buy EVERYTHING at full price that their “coaches” tell them. They are purchasing ipads, upgrading iphones, paying for these one to one classes, buying the best cases and larger screens. They LOVE Apple. But boomers aren’t really that cool. Apple (run by a boomer) is likely not so interested in showing graying boomers and “seniors” (I dislike that term) as their target market.  Personally I think they should.

And then we have FACEBOOK. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that the age 50+ audience, and women in particular, are the fastest growing market on Facebook.. They are still figuring it out but they are engaging like never before in finding friends, “liking”, building farms, and sometimes even posting photos and commenting. Think of Facebook as the AOL of the 90’s. Once these folks are on they are not leaving. They are just beginning to feel comfortable and understand facebook.

So, that’s the problem. Boomers see Facebook and Apple as their new friends. However Apple and Facebook are no friends. They approach their consumer completely differently. Apple is all about curation and protecting the user experience and thus the user. That’s why boomers and particularly women, love Apple vs PC. It doesn’t break, it doesn’t get viruses, the user experience is just, well, nice. Facebook on the other hand is not nice. It is complicated and it is tricky. It changes important privacy policies, features and functions, constantly. If is confusing for any user, particularly those not so tech savvy.

Assuming that “privacy” is inherit across products and services boomers “like” and trust is dangerous.
Facebook is NOT Apple

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