Facebook is gradually attaining parity with TV as a mass medium. During working hours, the social network has already beaten Television in consumer media time spent.
A recent study by Frank N. Magid Associates surveyed consumers of various ages about how they spend their media time throughout the day. Between 9am and 5pm, more consumers surveyed reported using Facebook than watching TV. This was true for each age group broken out from ages 15 to 46.
Baby boomers were the only exception. Those surveyed preferred TV over Facebook at all hours. But these older folks still aren’t ignoring Facebook—26% of those surveyed used the social network between 9am and 5pm.
Teen millennials were the most stalwart Facebook users during the work day. Thirty percent of teens ages 15 to 17 spent time on the social network, vs. 24% who spent time with TV. Among adult millennials, 44% said they went on Facebook (presumably while at work or school) during the 9am to 5pm period, while 28% watched TV.
Evening hours, including primetime, remain the best time for TV ads as audiences of all ages begin to lose interest in Facebook and pay more attention to television. Each age group, though, has its own quirks about TV vs. social media usage during those hours.
Around 40% of millennials surveyed say they continue to use Facebook into the evening hours, but a much higher percentage (between 43% and 51%) say they watch TV.
Gen Xers use Facebook at night too, but twice as many say they prefer TV at that time.
Fifty-four percent of boomers are watching TV between 5pm and 8pm, and that percentage balloons to 70% between 8pm and 11pm. Only 21% and 23% of boomer TV watchers during those periods, respectively, say they use Facebook during those time blocks.