In thinking about where the social media market is heading, the behaviours of the younger demographic paint an important and interesting picture of future direction. They are the “trend setters”.
As Facebook proved, where the 18 year old of today hangs out provides an important clue as to where the mainstream will be hanging out in 5 years time (by which time the 18 year olds will have found a new, cooler place to go…).
In that regard, there were some very interesting findings in the recently published Niche State of Technology Class of 2015 survey of 10,000 final year high school students in the USA.
Now I know Australia isn’t the USA, but as I have previously blogged, sourcing Australia specific info re social media isn’t that easy; the trends from the USA typically lead the way and paint a pretty reflective picture of broader global trends.
Some of the key insights were:
- News of Facebook’s death amongst teenagers appear to have been prematurely announced; 61% use Facebook daily, the equal highest score alongside Instagram
- Twitter (37% use daily), Google+ (25%) and Pinterest (19%) lag behind the big two by some distance
- Very interestingly, standard texting/SMS remains by some margin the most popular form of messaging; 85% do this daily vs 27% for Facebook Messenger and 6% for WhatsApp (one app which is widely known to be relatively more popular globally than in the USA)
- 60% use Snapchat every single day and 53% (the highest % of all platforms) use it multiple times per day; Snapchat has shown significant growth on the prior year
- YouTube is the most widely used platform; whilst “only” 54% use it daily, 95% of the surveyed audience had used it at some point
- LinkedIn – not surprisingly – barely moves the needle with this age group – 1% use it daily and 89% have never used it
- Netflix is almost as popular as cable TV, and YouTube is already significantly more popular than cable TV
- Pandora is the most popular music app (33% use daily) vs Apple iTunes (29%) and Spotify (24%)
- Tinder is the most popular dating app but its scale (2% use daily) is significantly below the mainstream social networks
The key high level take-outs are:
- People may complain about Facebook, but all age groups continue to use the platform at scale
- Instagram has both scale and the highest levels of engagement
- Snapchat is growing significantly; this matters for marketers targeting the younger demographic today but also paints an important picture as to where the broader market is heading (remember in 2009 how many 40 year olds said “I will never get a Facebook account”)
- Messaging apps are growing but good old fashioned texting remains dominant
Amongst an interesting blend of messages, Snapchat’s growth was really the standout for me. Australian marketers take note.