Digital Citizens: Young People More Likely to Use Multiple Social Media Platforms

By Nicole Mitchell, Knowledge Specialist

Facebook is clearly the most popular social networking site in the US, Australia, France, Germany, UK and Japan, according to our research at SSI. Yet younger people are much more likely to be using other multiple social media sites including Facebook. Millennials* are twice as likely to be using Twitter as well as Facebook than their Baby Boomer parents or grandparents. Millennials are also more likely to be using Google +.   

There are generational differences in the use of instant messaging services, too. Millennials were more likely to use or visit Facebook Messenger in the past week than GenXers and Baby Boomers. WhatsApp was the second most popular instant messaging service and almost three times as many Millennials reported using it in the past week as Baby Boomers.  

Not surprisingly, the video sharing social media platform, YouTube is significantly more popular among Millennials (72%) than Gen-Xers (59%) and Baby Boomers (43%).  It’s clear that the Millennial generation prefers to consume media on their mobile devices.

Millennials are also significantly more likely to engage in social media photo and video sharing sites such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Among the implications for researchers: if you want to engage Millennials to give their opinions, consider offering them the option of speaking their answer to open end questions. And be sure to give them the opportunity to take the survey on their device of choice – which is more than likely to be a mobile device.

* Millennials were born between 1982-1998; GenXers were born between 1966-1981; Baby Boomers were born between 1947-1965.