Social media is ingrained in the lives of each generation and social users are becoming more selective.

According to Pew Research, most US adults use social media every day.

People gravitate to platforms that allow them to consume their preferred content seamlessly and within reach of their community.

Facebook’s popularity is declining, both among younger users and those seeking a specialized content experience.

This shift corresponds to the meteoric rise of video content, which is easier to create and share than ever. Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are gaining users due to their streamlined video experience.

This article explores how peoples’ habits around social media are shifting toward visual content, and how these patterns are impacting social networks.

Every Generation Uses Social Media for Different Reasons

Younger users were the first to adopt social media, but now all generations use social media on a daily basis.

According to a recent survey, more than 80% of every generation uses social media at least once per day.

How Different Generations Use Social Media

Easy access to the internet and mobile devices has increased the use of social media.

Content preferences drive social media habits. Users frequent platforms that align with their interests, community, and goals.

For example, Baby Boomers rely on Facebook to chat, read news and share media among varied age groups. Generation Zers opt for Snapchat because they prefer visual communication to textual and want a private community experience.

Different generations allocate their time differently on social media.

Millennials tend to divide their time across multiple platforms, while Generation Zers use fewer platforms more often. This is because younger users seek to master the platforms used by their tight-knit community, while older users’ needs are more diverse.

Social media use is fueled by what users hope to achieve online.

Facebook’s Popularity is Waning Among Younger Users

Facebook’s user base is growing yet aging as Gen Zers abandon the platform.

According to Pew, Facebook lost almost 20% of users ages 18-24 in the last four years.

Generation Zers prefer to use Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube because these platforms offer a streamlined and customizable content experience.

By contrast, the Facebook Feed inundates users with varied content that’s often unrelated to their interests.

Experts say that Gen Z is more selective about the types of content they encounter and choose their social networks accordingly.

Meanwhile, older users appreciate Facebook as a single and comprehensive interface. They’re also less concerned with fake content, which has diminished Facebook’s popularity among younger users in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook is threatened by platforms that offer a refined content experience, but older users continue to value it as a means to connect and consume content.

Video content becoming a mainstay of social media, and thus, so is YouTube.

Gen Z carries this trend by streaming 23 hours, or almost a full day, of video content per week, according to Criteo.

Video is an engaging, informative, and versatile medium.

Users can toggle between only watching, only listening, or a combination of the two as suits their needs.

This flexibility helps people to enjoy newer forms of media such as podcasts and how-to videos in various settings.

As the world’s second-largest search engine, YouTube’s varied functionality appeals to every generation, including:

  • Learning hub
  • Entertainment
  • Music player
  • Influencer network

Video caters to the growing demand for an uninterrupted content experience, whether for education or entertainment.

Expect video-centric platforms to grow as visual content supersedes textual content on all social networks.

Changes to Social Media in 2019

Social media users are increasingly sophisticated and attracted to video content.

Younger users cluster in video-sharing platforms like Snapchat and Instagram while older users continue to leverage a wider range of networks.

Habits on social media are driven by content preferences, and platforms that enable seamless content consumption are increasingly valued.

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