Travel group Saga has launched a social network aimed exclusively at the over 50s.

SagaZone, as it is called, features profile pages, forums and blogs for its members.

The site has been in beta for the last four months and has attracted 13,000 members so far. The company hopes that membership will expand quickly after its launch to the public.

Saga’s Paul Green claimed:

“Thirteen thousand is just a drop in the ocean – in theory the membership is practically limitless. Social networking isn’t going to be for everyone, but the feedback so far has knocked our socks off.”

The new site features blogs and forums on a range of subjects, from gardening to relationship advice.

Saga has given it a clean look, avoiding some of the clutter you might find on Facebook or MySpace, while navigation is nice and simple.

There is clearly an audience out there for such sites – silver surfers are one of the biggest demographic groups online, accounting for 22% of all internet visits back in May this year, while many have money to spend on the web. 

A Saga survey of the over 50s found that three quarters had bought flights online and more than half had purchased train and events tickets.

However, there is clearly room for more research into the differences between pre-retired and post-retired web users.

This is also by no means the first social network to be launched for older consumers. US website Eons launched last year, though it has recently been forced to lay off a third of its staff.

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