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Teens and adults in the UK aged 16-24 spend the majority of their time communicating via social media on their mobile devices, according to a recent Ofcom report.
This is a major departure from the communication habits of older age groups in the UK, and highlights how social networks and messaging platforms are changing consumer behaviors.
- The study found that, on average, UK teens and adults aged 16-24 spend an average of 4 hours and 14 minutes communicating daily. That’s almost double the average of social media time spent among all adults, which clocks in at 2 hours and 10 minutes.
- Most of this time is spent in social networks and messaging apps for the youngest demographic. The youngest cohort, 16-24 year olds, spend the majority of their time communicating through social networks (27%) and messaging services (35%).
- Older age groups showed a propensity to spend more texting, using email, and calling. For those 25+, the majority of time is spent communicating through email (35% UK average) and phone or video calls (20% UK average).
- The decline of emailing and phone calls in the younger age bracket appears to be due to the rise in instant/photo/video messaging and social networking.
The varying behavior among different age groups is likely attributable in part to the tendency for younger generations to look to “umbrella services,” or larger services that bundle tools that enable them to complete a number of daily tasks. A user on Facebook or Facebook Messenger, for example, could place a video or phone call, send personal messages or business-related messages, and interact with social content like pictures, video, and posts from friends, without ever departing the Facebook ecosystem.