The Private Side of Social Media

 

Millennials have come to be known as the oversharing generation. But after years of broadcasting their lives on Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds under profiles tied to their real names and real lives, Millennials are looking for ways to share their thoughts with fewer consequences. They’re still sharing and looking for outlets to send out their thoughts and voices, but there is a new desire for privacy, secrecy, and anonymity in social media. The Facebookers are becoming the faceless.
 
Younger Millennials, who tend to be more pragmatic than their older counterparts, are fueling the trend. Perhaps watching their older brothers and sisters pay the price for unfiltered sharing has made them more wary, or it may be their own experiences with drama and bullying on more public and large social networks that are fueling their new desire for a more sheltered way of sharing. In our conversations with them, we often hear that a major drawback of Facebook is the judgement that is attached to every action taken there. Among some teens that we have spoken to, Facebook has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation as a platform where people go to show off and instigate FOMO (fear of missing out) since posts on the network are published to a large audience. After carefully curating their public personas almost their entire lives, these Millennials are looking for a less exhausting form of communication—one that lets them share the pieces of themselves that they don’t want the entire world to see.
 
We see them being drawn to networks that make them feel less judged and more safe. Messaging apps with smaller circles of friends and more purposeful (often image based) functions are attracting them in droves, especially over the last year. Snapchat’s messages disappear after a short period of time,…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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