Social face of silver surfing launched as Saga survey shows over 50s at heart of internet revolution

Wednesday 31 October 2007

Social face of silver surfing launched as Saga survey shows over 50s at heart of internet revolution

Saga Zone, the social networking site for the over fifties is launched today, 31 October, as the older generation proves that social networking is not just for tech–savvy teenagers.

The site has already attracted 13,000 members in a trial period, and works in a similar way to its younger counterparts; facebook and myspace.

Saga ‘Zoners’ are able to add their own detailed profile, message each other, join groups and contribute to web forums on wide ranging subjects from gardening tips to relationship advice.

Key facts about Saga Zone include:

* Over 13,000 people have signed up in a trial period with equal numbers of men and women

* The oldest ‘Zoner’ is 87 years old

* Social activism is popular on the site with petitions – on prostate cancer, disability benefits, and food allowances– being promoted by Zoners on the Prime Minister’s website

* Health discussion forums are used heavily, with junk food advertisements, cholesterol and weight loss all popular topics

Saga Zoners have already turned online communication into real life friendship, with 16 members heading to a Saga Hotel, the Cavalieri in Malta for a holiday this week, organised via the site’s message boards.

This launch comes on the back of a new Populus survey for Saga that reveals the grey pound is helping to drive the online economy. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of adults had bought flights online. Half had bought train (50 per cent) andevent (58 per cent) tickets; whilst books (73 per cent), electrical items (67 per cent) and CDs (63 per cent) were also popular.

Insurance seems to have found its home online with the over fifties, with two thirds (66 per cent) taking out a policy, although only one in ten have taken out a loan (11 per cent). Buying shares remains something to be done face to face, with only 14 per cent having dealt online, and half (50 per cent) admitting this is something they would never do on the web.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga Group commented:

“The internet is a place where the over 50s are thriving. SagaZone is a place where they can mingle and chat about issues important to them, be they amusing or serious.”


Notes to Editors-

1. The Saga Group is the UK’s leading provider of products and services specifically designed for people aged 50 and over. With 2.6 million customers Saga provides insurance, financial services and holidays, publishes the monthly Saga Magazine

2. The Saga / Populus Panel is the largest panel of over 50s in the UK. This survey took place between 3rd and 14th Augustand 15,740 people responded.

3. Saga Zone has been running as a trial for 4 months. The site officially launches today –

4. The trip to Malta was initiated through discussions between Saga Zoners on the website’s pages. There are currently 16 attendees, and the website’s moderator will be present to host their stay, organising a special gala welcome dinner along with a couple of short excursions.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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