Social media – social status.

Teens are mobile

We just published some thoughts in the difference in internet and TV use with adults from different socio-economic backgrounds, but what about the teens? About ¾ of teens these days (yes, I do feel old) have a smart phone and 91% of these go online with their mobile. We already noted that mobile internet access increases in the lower income bracket, and the situation is similar for teenagers. Nearly all African American youth – those statically most likely to belong to a low income household – access the internet via mobile vs. 91% and 90% of Hispanic and white teens respectively.

91% of Teens Use the Internet on a Mobile DeviceGraphic:

Facebook for the povs, snapchat for the snops?

Everyone knows that there are social platforms geared towards professionals like Google+ and LinkedIn, but if you thought that Facebook was where all the cool kids hang out and that snapchat is all about swingers sending pics we don’t want to even think about, you are very wrong. The fact is, Facebook is still the most popular social media site, but teens tend to use more than one. Among all the options, recent research shows that older, and poorer teens favour Facebook, while Instagram and Snapchat use increases with income.

Snapchat More Likely to Be Used Most Often by Wealthier Teens; Facebook Most Popular Among Lower Income YouthGraphic:

The title “Snap more likely to be used most often by wealthier teens; Facebook most popular among lower income youth” is a little misleading. The actual numbers show that Facebook is top dog for all teens, but the gap to Instagram and Snap chat is smaller in the high income bracket, with a consistent trend throughout.

Different platform, different friends

It seems that teens from higher income households are more complex in their social use of social media. While lower income teen users tend to have more of the same friends across all networking sites, rich teens segregate their ‘friendships’ according to the media environment more strongly.

Lower Income Teens More Likely to Have the Same Friends Across Multiple Social Media PlatformsGraphic:

Teens: diverse and mobile

None of these numbers show truly extreme differences between the groups, but they do show that teenage internet use is diversifying, and social networking online becoming more and more sophisticated. I am excited to see what will happen with this “constantly” mobile, “constantly” online generation become the movers and shakers in e-commerce/m-commerce/social-commerce whatever-commerce by then?!

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