The New Mobile Storytellers

In Millennial minds, the world is just waiting for them to record it. According to Ypulse’s research, 70% of Millennials say that they use their phone’s camera frequently, making it the third most used feature after messaging (91% use frequently) and phone calls (75% use frequently). It’s no secret that photo apps have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, with Instagram and Snapchat leading the pack. Millennials’ heavy use of their smart devices' cameras is about their increased reliance on visual communication using apps like these—but it is also about their desire to tell their stories to those around them. Their Instagram feed becomes a visual timeline and public journal that showcases not only the people, places, and things that fill their days, but, thanks to filters and comments, also their mood at the time. It’s the story of their lives. But their increased reliance on mobile video is making that storytelling even more advanced. Vine launched in early 2013, and an April Ypulse survey found that 4% of 14-18-year-olds were using the app—but by October the number had increased drastically to 19% for the same age group. A quick perusal of the most viral Vine stars shows just how creatively some Millennials are telling visual stories, even in short six-second clips. But not everyone can easily craft a story, even if they want to share one, and just as photo apps evolved to allow amateur users to look like pros thanks to a click of a filter, video apps are evolving to help Millennials be the storytellers they want to be. Whether documenting their own stories or creating new ones, thanks to some emerging apps and tools it is becoming easier than ever for them to express their creativity. Here are three of the most buzzed about apps in the visual storytelling space: 


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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my cousins' annoying kids running in front of the TV.” –Male, 30, MA

Watch your back Instagram. Flipagram’s rise, and its partnership with music labels, could make it the next big sharing platform to watch. The app reached 30 million monthly users after one year, hitting the milestone faster than Facebook and Snapchat before it. Because music can be added to the 30-second photo videos users make, it has set itself apart from competitors Vine and Instagram, and the number of flips made on the platform rose 165% in the last year. (Forbes)

The final film of The Hunger Games franchise is in theatres, ending a wildly successful run at the box office. The movies weren’t considered a sure thing, but became a “runaway smash” because they perfectly matched Millennials’ mindset, becoming “an all-purpose metaphor for life as a young person in the post-recession era.” The theory is that because books debuted just as the recession was beginning, the dark tone and cutthroat storyline aligned with their experiences. (We happen to agree.) (Vox

Millennials continue to think more positively about technology than other generations. According to a 2015 poll, Millennials are more likely than Xers and Boomers to think tech helps them to learn new skills, has a positive impact on their relationships with friends, and allows them to live life the way they want. More than half of Millennials believe that technology positively effects their happiness, compared to 42% of Xers, and 30% of Boomers. (MediaPost)

Millennials might be less traditionally religious than older generations, but they are just as spiritual. While fewer Millennials say religion is very important, attend weekly religious services, or pray every day than Xers, Boomers, and Silents, they are equally likely to think about the meaning and purpose of life, and feel a sense of gratitude or thankfulness each week. (Pew Research)

Advertisements on YouTube Kids are getting the app into some trouble. Ads for junk food regularly appear on the platform “in the form of funny contests and animated stories,” and two complaints have been filed calling for an investigation of food marketers, videos programmers, and Google. The complaints argue that food companies have not lived up to their promises to keep junk food marketing off the app. (NYTimes)

Quote of the Day: "It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my brother suggesting we don't celebrate and just order pizza.” -Male, 15, GA

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