This is What Millennials & Gen Z Are Doing on Their Phones the MOST

What does a day in the life of a Millennial/Gen Z smartphone look like—and what are they doing on their phones the most every day? We checked in with 1000 13-34-year-olds to find out…

Whether you think that smartphones are destroying the next generation, or believe that the devices we’re all hooked on have as many positive effects as negative, good luck prying their phones out of their hands now. When we asked Millennials and Gen Z what tech item they would buy next if they could buy anything, a new smartphone beat out everything else. They have moved from luxury to indispensable in the eyes of these generations. In fact, 64% of 13-34-year-olds told us that their smartphone is the one device they own that they can’t live without—laptop came in second with a vastly lower 13%.  

Half of 13-34-year-olds tell us that they spend 1-4 hours a day on their phones—and almost three in ten admit to spending 5-8 hours on it. It’s no wonder that brands are hungry to find new ways to break into mobile, and we’re always digging to find out what exactly young consumers are doing on the devices they love. Earlier this year, we used behavioral tracking to get a glimpse inside Millennials and Gen Z’s mobile social world, but we also asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to tell us how often they use their phones for a range of activities. Today, we’re showing exactly what they’re doing the most.

We’ll start with an overview of 13-34-year-olds’ daily use: 

As we saw in 2016, messaging is the top activity that Millennials and Gen Z are using their phones for daily, followed by social networking, and listening to music. Between messaging and social media, these generations are never separated from their friends and family, and in our recent mobile/app behavior survey, 78% told us that they are always connected…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Being famous is overrated. I would be more happy [sic] being locally known for the good I do in the world in a popular way but not for the wrong reasons.”—Female, 16, UT

Minecraft is being used to get kids interested in reading actual, real books. Litcraft recreates the world of a book as an interactive Minecraft map, adding “educational tasks” throughout. Treasure Island was the first completed world, followed by Kensuke's Kingdom, while The Lord of the Flies and Dante’s Inferno are in the works. Trials at U.K. schools are being met with “an enthusiastic response,” so Litcraft is eyeing a larger rollout. (The Guardian)

Nordstrom is stocking up on Instafamous brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and Reformation. The company announced that “strategic” brands account for about 40% of their current revenue and that’s expected to rise. While they benefit from indie brands’ popularity with young consumers, the direct-to-consumer brands are getting an expanded physical footprint, too. In the case of Reformation, Nordstrom explains that they “can bring sustainable fashion to a new (and much bigger) group of customers and closets.” (Business Insider)

A baseball team struck out with their “Millennial Night” promotion, putting Twitter in an uproar. We’ve warned brands that making fun of Millennials is not the way to get earn their spending power, and minor league baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits learned the lesson first-hand. Their “Millennial Night” offered participation ribbons, selfie stations, napping areas, and “lots of avocados,” while playing into stereotypes about Millennials being lazy. A Biscuits exec explains that “Something got lost in the sarcasm,” but instead of offering an apology, they doubled down with another cutting tweet. (AdweekInc.)

Nearly half of Millennials think that “their credit scores are holding them back.” OppLoans found that 27% of 18-34-year-olds haven’t been approved for a new car because of their credit while 25% have been declined for an apartment or house. Debt, a top financial concern for Millennials, is partly to blame: 15% said that their debt “is unmanageable.” Education could help dig them out of the hole, as 24% feel they’ve never learned how to build good credit. (Moneyish)

Baby Einstein is growing up for Millennial parents with a new mission and campaign. Their “Ignite a Curious Mind” effort goes after parents, not kids, with short spots that encourage curiosity. They’re also working on new toys, moving beyond their “sweet spot” of zero to 12 months for toddlers. Baby Einstein’s parent company, Kids II is also planning on reworking other brands, like Bright Starts and Ingenuity. (Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[American Eagle Outfitters’] clothes are generally what I wear and are my style. They're comfortable and affordable. They do not do a great deal of vanity sizing and offer something for guys and girls of every size.”—Female, 23, GA

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