GetSetUp, the largest social learning platform designed specifically for older adults announced the findings of a Tech Spotlight research study conducted on its global audience based on how they are coming online to learn, be physically active and connect with others as they are actively aging. As older adults increasingly embrace technology, it's transforming the way they consume content online. The accessibility of smartphones, tablets and other devices has enabled this generation to access learning content and information in new ways, creating a new generation of digitally savvy seniors. The Tech Spotlight is based on a subset of the GetSetUp audience in the United States, Australia, and India.
“Over the last 2 years GetSetUp has delivered millions of learning experiences to older adults globally. This has helped us understand what devices they use and which they struggle with, why some video platforms fail to get adoption, and how Zoom is not as ubiquitous as we think when it comes to online learning,” says Lawrence Kosick. “This report is a glimpse into the insights our product/technology team has used to build a frictionless experience for older adults after several attempts and millions of dollars of investment into research and development”
Older adults have long been a demographic that technology companies have struggled to reach. However, it’s clear that how older adults are using technology has changed and since Covid, we’re seeing more and more older adults using a wide range of devices.
Our findings can be helpful for any healthcare, media or learning organization trying to develop virtual solutions for this age group.
- Users ages 50+ represent a broad range of technology usage, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this audience.
- The variations in the device types makes it very challenging to build LIVE streaming technology that can scale across platforms.
- While Zoom became the de facto standard for video based classes, users were 11x more likely to attend class in our browser Lounge than enter the Zoom classes.
- Applications and websites that aim to make the user experience as seamless as possible across multiple devices have a greater chance of gaining adoption.
- In the United States, desktop devices are still the most common form of media consumption for virtual learning and fitness.
- But, mobile devices are still the dominant device for passive content consumption.
- Developing browser first solutions for engagement is key to reaching a wider audience.
- Consumption by different US states vary based on quality of internet infrastructure and availability of newer devices.
- Chrome is a dominant browser with the 55+ group allowing sophisticated video streaming applications to be built that were not possible over Internet Explorer.
- In India and Australia, mobile devices outperform desktops for virtual learning, making it important to develop active content experiences for mobile devices.
The Administration's recently announced Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program will help Americans access the internet, enabling them to participate in the online ecosystem and reap the benefits of online tools for learning, health care, and socializing. Under the BEAD program, grants will be awarded to fund efforts to build new broadband infrastructure, train Americans in digital skills, and close the digital divide between urban areas with high-speed internet access and rural communities that lack such connections.
Looking at the data from a subset of our users, we are encouraged that the infrastructure needed to help the 55+ group age consume experiences like online education, fitness, and socialization will soon be in place. If you are a state, local AAA or health plan interested in learning more about technology adoption and virtual communities, you can find more data and a state by state breakdown at: https://share.hsforms.com/1HWT8trPEQei4fvwx1SPcJA49suz