Mobile-centric Millennials Still Favor Facebook, Apple

February 5, 2014

By Mark Walsh, MediaPost

Millennials live online, are mobile-centric and have an affinity for the iPhone.

They spent an average of 96 hours — the equivalent of four full days — online in November, across both the desktop and mobile Internet. While mobile Web users make up a smaller base, they spend substantially more time (66 hours a month) online than desktop users (49 hours). Those are among the key findings of a new comScore report looking at the digital habits of the 18-34 demographic much sought after by marketers.

Furthermore, nearly one in five Millennials is a mobile-only user, and two-thirds go online using both computers and mobile devices — meaning that 85% overall are accessing the Web via mobile (smartphone or tablet). Smartphone penetration among 18- to-34-year-olds is 81% versus 68% for those 35-54 and 40% for people 55 and over.

While half of Millennials are on the Android platform, the iPhone is the smartphone of choice, with 44% owning the Apple handset. That compares to 39% of people 35-54, and 44% of those 55 and over. December data released Tuesday by comScore showed that Android accounted for just over half (51.5%) of the U.S. smartphone market, with iOS claiming 41.8% share.

When it comes to social-networking properties, Facebook is still the primary platform for Millennials, but their attention is more fragmented across multiple social sites than older age groups. So 91% are on Facebook, and 76% of their time spent on social media sites is on Facebook. Where else do they go?

Nearly half (46%) are also on Facebook-owned Instagram, while 39% use Twitter, 30% are on Tumbler, and 27% apiece are on Pinterest and LinkedIn. Snapchat claims 17%. In terms of time spent, 10% of non-Facebook social time is on Instagram, and 6% on Twitter, with the rest all below that level.

“Social media usage is not a zero-sum game, and Facebook remains incredibly important for engaging this group,” stated the comScore report. “That said, there are also substantial and growing opportunities to reach Millennials on several other social networks, with Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr all significantly gaining importance.”

The study also offered more research suggesting this generation is harder to reach with traditional TV ads because their viewing habits tend to be on-demand and across platforms. Some 90% skip ads when watching recorded TV, more than other age segments. Millennials also watch far more online video, averaging 356 videos per month — 100 more than 35- to-54-year-olds. This generation views more digital ads than older groups, although not many more than boomers. A Millennial is typically delivered 2,311 impressions per month compared to 2,212 to 25- to-54-year-olds, and 1,803 to those 55 and older.

In addition to seeing a heavier volume of impressions, comScore data also indicated that ads directed at millennials are more likely to hit the mark. Specifically, campaigns aimed at 18- to-34-year-old women were 35% “in-target,” while their male counterparts were 42% in-target. That’s despite accounting for only 16% and 18%, respectively, of the total online pages viewed.

Adam Lella, a marketing insights analyst at comScore, said Millennials are easier to target partly because they visit more sites that cater to specific audiences or interests. Beyond that, they’re also more likely to live in one-person households, so their online activity reflects only their behavior as opposed to use on a shared computer in a larger household.


"Mobile-centric Millennials Still Favor Facebook, Apple." Mark Walsh. MediaPost, 02/05/14.

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