Special Report: Inside Millennials’ Mobile Social World

We tracked the mobile activity of 18-25-year-olds to find out exactly what they’re doing on their phones, what platforms they’re spending their time on, for how long, and more…

It should come as no surprise that 63% of Millennials tell us they can’t live without their phones—and 43% agree that they’re addicted to social media. (Those are just the ones willing to admit it.) According to mobile device company B2X, Millennials around the world look at their phones three times more than Boomers on average. But actually understanding what they’re actually doing on their devices is another story. We track their social media use and mobile media consumption, survey them on their mobile and social behavior—but we wanted to get even closer. Last month, we asked a group of 18-25-year-olds to give us access to their smartphones, allowing us to track the apps they’re using and get a real look at their mobile social behavior. With that rich data, we’ve created a Special Report* that gives an in-depth look at Millennials’ social media behaviors—what they’re really using, when, for how long, and more.

*This full Special Report is available to Gold subscribers to download here! They can also access an interactive digital version of these findings to instantly look at the groups and platforms they’re most interested in, all with a few clicks. 

Not a Gold subscriber? Contact us to find out how to access this content. 

Here’s a glimpse at what we discovered: 

We know that young consumers are on their phones all the time, but how much of that time is spent on social media platforms versus other apps and content? It’s a question we’re asked all the time—and now we know. Almost half of 18-25-year-olds’ time on their phones was spent on social apps and sites. We should note that using social apps was…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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