The millennial affinity for technology is reshaping the digital landscape, and a strong brand presence on a few social channels isn’t enough.
Millennial social-media usage, commitment, and habits are changing. As 2017 approaches, some millennials are taking a step back and reevaluating their social-media usage and determining which platforms they want to participate on and what kind of content they want to consume.
Here’s a quick break down of four millennial social-media trends to look out for in 2017.
Millennials are Setting Boundaries on FacebookOver the past year, we’ve been wondering about the fate of Facebook with millennials. What started out as a social platform only for college students quickly expanded to those college students’ parents (and drove many millennials away). So, when the percentage of older people using social media gets closer to that of millennials, does that change the way millennials see or use social media?
In a recent survey, 41% of millennials still use Facebook every day, however, Facebook was found to be more popular with non-millennials. Every other measured social media platform (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn) was found to be more popular with millennials than non-millennials.
Another reason for this shift could be that Facebook actually makes us unhappy, and millennials are tired of it. Comparing ourselves to our friends’ highlight reels is no longer as exciting as it once was. Longtime Facebook users — millennials — are growing older and, in many ways, wiser. Unlike our younger cohorts, we’re unimpressed by a dogmatic newsfeed that serves to polarize audiences, and we’re moving away from traditional Facebook in search of smaller, less-constricting platforms
Disappearing Media Is Hot Among Younger Millennials.
Older millennials have grown up with and become accustomed to the thought that once something is posted on the internet, it is there to stay, forever. And we’re okay with that, even as new technologies claim to make this notion moot. But, for most younger millennials, the allure of disappearing digital content is too tempting to ignore. They love that intimate thoughts, risqué pictures, and incoherent ramblings disappear forever.
And, while most older millennials understand the attraction, many of us roll our eyes while watching our younger brothers and sisters use Snapchat and Instagram with what we can only described as naiveté and an over-exuberant youthfulness. Surveys show that, while 25% of millennials ages 25-34 are on Instagram every day, 34% of younger millennials 18-24 are using the platform daily. Even more telling, 30% of millennials 18-24 are on Snapchat every day compared to a mere 19% of older millennials ages 25-34.
We Dig Live Video, Augmented Reality (AR) Lenses, and Filters.
While this might go a bit against the concept of disappearing media, live video is where it’s at right now. With capabilities to share video content in real-time on nearly every social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), there’s no shortage of live vlogging, Q&A’s, or just sharing a specific moment in time.
With live video (and video content in general) comes lens filtering – like Snapchat’s Selfie Lens or Masquerade, a tool that lets users record video-selfie animation — that is perfect for keeping us entertained and engaged. These lenses animate what may be mundane moments and have truly been a playful introduction of augmented reality into our lives.
Last year’s complete infatuation with Pokémon Go foreshadowed the widespread attraction millennials have toward AR. It’s entirely possible that Facebook, attempting to remain relevant, will become a major leader in the AR scene. Live video, AR lenses, and filters are likely to be huge drivers in 2017. Yet, major social channels had better differentiate themselves — even in their application of buzzworthy technologies — or they’ll quickly risk losing millennial attention to smaller platforms that aren’t scrambling to catch up
We Crave Technology That Simplifies Life.
A good number of millennials are at that stage in their lives in which they’re turning to technology to make life easier. It’s all about a positive experience, whether it be with brands or bots, to ensure we have the information to set our days up for success. From the weather forecast for tomorrow’s game to quick information about how to return an online purchase — in 2017, consumers of every age will demand more seamless customer experiences, but millennials will be willing to interact with technology to obtain it. In fact, we couldn’t care less that we’re speaking to machines — unless, of course, the interaction goes wrong. Innovative technologies — such as Google Home — make our lives easier, and we trust technology to do things for us.
Nevertheless, there’s a balancing act developing — between convenience and the need for privacy — that’s likely to grow in intensity. Anonymous search engine, Duck Duck Go, has seen a huge spike in popularity lately, even beginning to compete with Google simply because it doesn’t track browsing experience. Erosion of privacy doesn’t happen overnight, but ultimately, millennial consumers will be the ones to decide how much of it they’re willing to trade for convenience.