How Are Millennials Using Their Phones?

November 5, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Email | Mobile Phone | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media | Video | Youth & Gen X

Invoca-Millennials-Most-Frequent-Mobile-Phone-Activities-Nov2015Some 58% of American adults consider themselves addicted to their phone, and that figure rises to 76% among Millennials (18-34), finds Invoca in a recently-released study [download page]. The report shows that amid the numerous activities being performed on phones, calls remain popular – and frequent.

Text messaging remains the most frequent activity performed on a mobile phone by Millennials, with two-thirds using their phone to send messages more than 5 times a day. The second-most frequent activity is making calls, which 37% of Millennials do more than 5 times a day. After that, one-third update social media with that frequency, while slightly more than one-quarter watch videos (27%), take pictures (27%) and send emails (26%) more than 5 times a day using their phone.

Interestingly, Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts (45+) to make calls with that regularity, as fewer than one-third (29%) of respondents aged 45 and older said they make calls using their mobile phone more than 5 times a day.

The importance of calls for youth is supported by separate research from Nielsen, which revealed that mobile users aged 18-24 are spending more time making calls this year than last. Indeed, this demographic spent 33 more anytime minutes on calls in Q3 2015 than they did in the year-earlier period.

Overall, respondents to the Invoca survey identified calling as the single most valuable function of their phone, ahead of messaging, social media, email and video.

This has some implications for businesses; in comparing mobile purchases to calls to businesses, the study notes that “sometimes a call is just easier than a click.” In fact, 59% of respondents report calling businesses at least a few times a month, and 42% call a business at least once a week. Additionally, respondents are more than twice as likely to have called a business in the past month (65%) than to have used their phone to fill out a form (24%), and Millennials are three times more likely to call a business (66%) than to use social media to contact one (22%).

Previously, research has shown that smartphone owners value click-to-call functionality in search results, with BIA/Kelsey forecasting that calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion in 2019, more than double the ~77 billion generated last year from mobile devices. Calls to businesses are most commonly generated by search and display channels, per a recent Invoca analysis, with these results supported by BIA/Kelsey’s forecast. In Invoca’s most recent survey, 51% of respondents said they would use a search engine such as Google to find a business number, while 25% would look on the business’ website. Roughly two-thirds (68%) will only search for a phone number for 2 minutes or less before moving on to another company.

About the Data: The Invoca survey was fielded among 2,046 US adults.


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