Monday, 25 june 2018 | Brenda Rodríguez López
MySpace, Fotolog, Tuenti, Xing or Hi5 are social networking sites that saw their heyday. Although some of them are still active, few people have them in mind these days. Their history is recent, but changes in the digital world take place at breakneck. This unexpected dynamic responds to the building of social networks in a world as unstable and disruptive as the Internet. Platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram or Twitter are the kings of digital socialization nowadays. Their future depends on the technological evolution, but it also resides largely in the hands of the younger people. Their most active users.
"Facebook is for old people, everybody is now on Instagram". In a business dinner party, a millennial friend asked his twenty-year-old workmate what the name of his account in Zuckerberg's social network was. He got this sentence as an answer. A low blow for his millennial pride. It is millennials, who grew up being the lords and masters of the digital world, the one who are now looking at their successor in awe. They have begun to notice that the future of the Net no longer depends only on them. Some have even begun to lose track of what is trendy on social networks.
Centennials were not the first generation to send text messages. They did not have to endure long delays to get their ADSL connected. Many of them never stepped foot in a cybercafe. They did not chat with strangers on Terra. They did not send a buzz to their friends on MSN Messenger to call their attention. They did not make collages with their pictures on Fotolog either. However, Gen Z's arrival on the digital scene has been strong. No one can take away from them the honor of being the first generation of true digital natives. While many millennials wrote their school assignments by hand, they already handled cellphones in their early years. This condition, together with that of having more years of future ahead and being part of the most active users in the social networking sites, makes them the new champions of trends in social media.
The Annual Social Networks Study published by IAB Spain has become a reference source for the analysis of the behavior among Spaniards on social media platforms. This year, this report has shown a clear focus on the habits of the younger people on social networking sites. Among its pages it includes a new section: a comparative analysis between centennials and millennials. This interest demonstrates the growing importance that this new generation has in the future development of online behavior.
The study of IAB Spain of 2018 seems to confirm the centennial affirmation that opened this article: millennials use more Facebook and centennials Instagram. This is not the only behavior that distinguishes them. Generation Z has a greater presence on social networking sites such as Snapchat, Tumblr, 21Buttons, Twitch and Musically. And although both generations are the ones that use social networks most, the younger ones show a frequency of use greater than the one among millennials -1 hour and 24 minutes versus 1 hour and 12 minutes-.
When they are asked, millennials recognize that WhatsApp and Facebook are their favorite social networks. Centennials answer the same question with Instagram, Whatsapp and Youtube. These small and different inclinations reinforce precisely two of the most obvious trends in networks: the influencer phenomenon and the consolidation of video as the star format.
One of the most obvious trends in social networks is the growth of online video consumption. The average of video viewing is 126.7 times per month. Most of the viewed content is news, music, film, animation, humor and series. One of the Gen Z's favorites channels, Youtube, is also the undisputed king of online video platforms. Although this way of consuming has also grown considerably on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram and there is also a greater engagement with payment platforms, with Netflix leading the way.
This growing trend of online video is closely related to the change in behavior that marks the arrival of the new young generation. They consume online series, music, movies and video games with great intensity. They also participate more in the platforms which offer this type of content. The interaction with content has increased 25% in general terms, but it is the younger people, those between 16 and 24 years, who express their opinions more openly and interact with other users through these channels. This percentage is reduced to almost nothing as the analyzed age range goes up.
Another striking fact about centennials is their great interest in the influencer phenomenon. Virtually all members of this generation, 92%, follow an influencer. They mainly do it through Youtube or Instagram. The figure drops to 80% when it comes to the previous generation. However, despite not being the preferred means of Generation Z, it is also worth noting that these characters are followed on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Millennials resist.
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