NEW YORK: The youthful exuberance of online social networking phenomenon is in danger of being stifled by an altogether more sedate demographic.

The site's share of teen users aged 12 to 17 slipped in August to 11.9% from 24.7% a year earlier, while the number of visitors aged between 35 and 54 rose 8.2%. 'Oldies' now account for 40.6% of the visitor base.

The site, owned by the News Corporation empire, drew 79.6 million unique visitors in August, according to researcher ComScore World Metrix, an impressive 243% increase year on year.

But Gartner Research analyst Andrew Frank poses the possibility that "MySpace has reached its peak".

And branding consultant Allen Adamson warns: "Staying relevant and hot among teens is a really tough game, but if they lose their edge there, I think they're in trouble."

He adds: "While it's nice that they're picking up steam among older users, they're going to have a tough time if they lose young trendsetters."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff