More than half of MySpace users are over 35 years old, dispelling the myth that the social networking site is used mostly by teenagers, according to Comscore.

The research firm said there were significant age differences in the user bases of the most popular social-networking brands, indicating that each targets a different niche and that therefore they are not in direct competition.

Users of MySpace and Friendster tend to be older than those that use Xanga and Facebook. Just over 50 percent of those that visited MySpace and 41 percent of Friendster visitors fell into the 35+ category during August 2006.

Meanwhile, 48 percent of Facebook users were under 24. Overall, less than 10 percent of visitors to these four sites fell into the 12- to 17-year-old category.

"There is a misconception that social networking is the exclusive domain of teenagers, but this analysis confirms that the appeal of social networking sites is far broader," Jack Flanagan, executive vice-president of comScore Media Metrix.