Your Mom is on Facebook

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Moms are taking over Facebook. According to the analytics firm comScore, 36 million U.S. mothers visited Facebook in February, about one-third of the total audience. This is bad for the reputation of sons and daughters facing potential ridicule nationwide, but it's good news for Zuckerberg's juggernaut. Facebook recently surpassed Google to become the most visited site in the U.S. last week, as John Hudson explains here. There's a lot of college kids clicking around to see their classmates' pictures, but college students aren't particularly trigger-happy with their credit cards. Moms are more likely to have disposable income, and a husband and kid(s) to spend on. Caitlin McDevitt of The Big Money explains what this means for advertisers:

Pampers has experimented with selling diapers on Facebook, while laundry detergent brand Tide has grown its fan base to more than 400,000 through home page ads. The National Retail Federation has found that "moms frequently share experiences and information, and say other people's opinions influence their purchases." Thus, they're a particularly profitable group to target on Facebook, where they can easily recommend products that they like to their friends.

One thing I don't understand about Facebook -- or rather, opinion journalism about Facebook -- is that every few months I read some screeching takedown by some middle-aged person about how it's ruining friendships, or becoming boring, or suffering from mass exodus. Then the next statistic story I read shows that Facebook is not only booming, but also it's booming among the exact demographic that I so often read criticizing it.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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