Eons: Now You Just Have To FEEL Old To Join

When Jeff Taylor launched old-people social network Eons in August 2006, he couldn’t use the site. That’s because the minimum age was 50, and he was just 45.

That was the first warning sign that this thing was headed to the deadpool.

Our initial review of the site was a thumbs down. Not only is it ridiculous that the founder and visionary for the service couldn’t actually use it, we found it to be poorly organized. It included depressing features like an obituary section (that must be fun to read every day when you log in). In short, we said it embraced all of the hype of social networking, but none of the spirit.

It took about a year for the company to start laying off staff. No surprise there – Comscore has measured the slow decline of the company from mediocrity to downright desolation. They went from a high of 1.2 million worldwide visitors in May 2007 to just 400,000 last month. Incredibly, they’ve raised $32 million in capital from first tier VCs to get those 400k visitors.

Minimum Age To Join Eons Is Now 50 13

From today on, however, Taylor can start to use his site. They’ve lowered the minimum age requirement from 50 to…13. They’re still focusing on the older generation in their content, you just don’t have to actually be old to join. The key is your state of mind. Taylor says “It’s the attitude and energy of our generation that defines us — our collective BOOM!”

The change is reminiscent of Facebook’s move to allow non-students to join the network in late 2006. Except that it isn’t going to work. Facebook dominated the student market, and people were clamoring to get in and hang out with those young trendsetters. Eons doesn’t dominate its core market, and that core market certainly doesn’t include any trendsetters.

Eons as a business plan probably looked great on paper. Lots and lots of baby boomers are nearing retirement age. They’re online and they have a lot of free time, but they don’t want to hang out at MySpace and Facebook. So Eons builds them a social network they can call their own. Investors threw money at it.

The problem is that these people have better things to do than make countless numbers of anonymous online friends, and then poke them and flirt with them. And if they are going to do all of that, they’ll probably have more fun hitting on the youngsters at the real social networks. My guess is that Facebook has more members over 50 than Eons does.

By the way, the comments to Taylor’s announcement are classic. Users are not happy that teenagers might be invading Eons. One says “But have you read some of the stuff that comes out of those kids mouths? Where are their parents? They must not give a hoot. I for 1 do not wish to deal with it.” Another complains that his comment was deleted and says “You’ve perpetrated a classic “bait and switch” scheme on all of us baby boomers … your dishonesty is disgusting.”

Something tells me no teenager would be caught dead hanging out at Eons. Or, really, anyone else.