NEW YORK, March 23, 2022 — Leading nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP today announces the launch of Senior Planet Community, a social platform exclusively for older adults ages 60+ to interact with each other virtually and cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships. The new platform encourages older adults to connect with peers who share similar interests, by posting and commenting in groups pertaining to specific topics (i.e.: fitness, photography, etc.).
“Social media provides a platform for interaction and community building that older adults are craving, and that’s shown by the increasing number of seniors utilizing it to make deeper connections, find joy and entertainment, and learn new skills,” said Tom Kamber, executive director of OATS from AARP. “During the pandemic, a significant number of older adults reported an uptick in technology usage, yet seniors have not always felt welcomed by major social media platforms. Senior Planet Community offers an online environment where older adults can interact with people of a similar age group without ads on a simple yet well-designed, user-friendly platform.”
Senior Planet Community was designed specifically for older adults, with the help of older adults. Dozens of seniors took part in a months-long Senior Planet Community pilot project, where they tested and offered feedback on the new platform’s design, layout, and operation. OATS also consulted with user experience experts who specialize in designing online programs and products for older adults.
Senior Planet Community includes the following features:
- Straightforward, modern, and age-friendly design.
- Zero advertisements and security, with a promise to users that their data will not be sold for marketing purposes.
- Enhanced accessibility options, including larger text size, increased text spacing, highlighting links, colorblind options, etc.
- Platform moderators who are responsible for preventing cyberbullying and the spread of false information.
“As an older adult who loves using technology, I am very excited about the launch of Senior Planet Community,” said John Durham, a 67-year old from Rossville, Tennessee, who participated in the Senior Planet Community pilot program. “I have seen firsthand the development of this new platform and believe that it will provide an exceptional social experience for older adults, complete with a simple design, clean layout, and no advertisements. I’m looking forward to meeting other seniors on Senior Planet Community.”
“Senior Planet has been a major part of my life during the pandemic, and I’ve loved taking part in virtual workouts and classes with other older adults,” said Malvina Abbott, a 78-year old from San Diego, CA, who participated in the Senior Planet Community Pilot Program. “I think that Senior Planet Community will be the perfect platform for older adults like myself who are eager to make new connections and continue to learn new skills. I encourage all older adults to give Senior Planet Community a try, and have fun using a social platform that is just for us!”
OATS operated four physical Senior Planet centers in the United States prior to the pandemic. However, those locations remain closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Senior Planet has moved all of its programming online, many older adults have detailed how challenging it can be to create deeper relationships without interacting with each other in person. OATS sought to rectify this challenge with the creation of Senior Planet Community, a virtual platform that brings the social experience of Senior Planet to users online.
Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP helps older adults learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and their communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with older adults to create extraordinary experiences in-person and online. As one of AARP’s charitable affiliates, the mission of OATS from AARP is “to harness the power of technology to change the way we age.” To learn more, visit www.oats.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.