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Launch of Popular US Site in UK Exposes Generation Gap

By Stephanie Shkolnik

Generation Jones women key with advertisers, yet ignored by social networks

September 15, 2009 San Diego, CA -  A popular U.S. online social network -  - launches in the U.K. this week an event that some web insiders are describing as "historic." This site's emergence is seen as a defining moment in the evolution of social networks largely because it is the first to focus on a key demographic which has been largely ignored until now: Generation Jones women.

Younger women - GenXers and GenYers - were among the primary initial markets for the first social networks, and continue to be a major focus. Older women - early Baby Boomers and older- have enjoyed numerous social networks specifically geared toward them. But midlife women—especially GenJonesers (born 1954-1965)—-have been largely ignored in the social network arena.  

This online generation gap has been by viewed by some influential marketing analysts as a significant problem with the social network genre, particularly given the large size and spending power of these disregarded women. Major Fortune 500 companies and top global ad agencies have invested significant resources into targeting GenJonesers offline, yet online social networks have been slow to catch up.  GenJonesers constitute 26% of all U.S. adults and 24% of U.K adults, with over 27 million GenJones women in the U.S., and over 6 million GenJones women in the U.K. In both countries, these women control more annual spending than women from any other generation.

"Yes, it is ironic that GenJones women have not been the target of social networks until now", said Jonathan Pontell, the renowned trends expert who has advised some of the world's largest multinational corporations about targeting GenJonesers. "Joneser women index the highest among women of all generations in many financial and online categories, including yearly disposable income and yearly money spent online", he said, "yet they are oddly the cohort of women who has been least targeted by social networks."

Fabulously40's approach has been to create an online community of like-minded users by carefully developing a site which specifically addresses the interests of this heretofore ignored demographic. Fabulously40 CEO Yana Berlin points out: "Our site welcomes all generations of women, and we do have many Boomers and GenXers who are a valued part of our community. But the bulk of our community are GenJonesers, and we are the first social network to specifically address their needs. We are grateful for the success which this has brought us in the U.S., and anticipate a similar reaction in the U.K." Fabulously40 has seen an extraordinary forty-percent increase in their registrations just since September 2008.

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