Here’s Why Millennials Use Social Media

March 3, 2021

GWI Main Reasons Millennials Use Social Media Feb2021When it comes to keeping themselves entertained, Millennials are spending plenty of time with social media. A study [download page] from GWI focusing on the digital behaviors of Millennials unsurprisingly finds that this age group spent more time each day with social media than the average internet user.

The global survey of more than 66,000 internet users ages 24-37 conducted in Q3 2020 reveals that Millennials spent an average of 2:34 (hh:mm) each day entertaining themselves on social media. This is compared to the 2:25 that the average internet user spent with social platforms. Not only that, but Millennials spent more time on social media each day than other forms of media including linear TV (1:55), streaming audio (1:40), online TV (1:37) and games (1:23).

Why Are Millennials Using Social?

Although Millennials have an array of reasons for using social media, the largest percentage of respondents said the main reasons are to stay up-to-date with news and current events (36%) and/or to find funny and entertaining content (36%). Others mainly use social to fill up their spare time (34%) or to stay in touch with what their friends are doing (32%).

As for the types of accounts Millennials follow on social media, the report indicates that they over-index in several categories, depending on their gender. GWI found that males in this age bracket are more likely than the average internet user to follow gaming bloggers (44% more likely), sports stars (+41%), entrepreneurs (+23%), politicians (+21%) and comedians (+18%).

Female Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely than the average to follow beauty bloggers (+80%), chefs/food bloggers (+38%), trainers/fitness bloggers (+29%), TV presenters (+24%) and other bloggers (+22%).

Purchase Inspiration and Discovery

About 3 in 10 (28%) Millennials also said they used social media to research or find products to buy. Although social is not the top channel for brand discovery or product research for these consumers — that honor goes to search engines, where one-third (33%) head to find new brands and half (51%) go to research products or services — it does rank within the top 5 channels for these stages of the purchase journey. Some 29% of Millennials say they typically find out about new brands or products via ads seen on social media, while close to half (48%) report researching products by using social networks.

Heading to social media for purchase inspiration isn’t exclusive to Millennials. A previous global survey from PwC reported that 37% of consumers found inspiration for their purchase through social networks. And, a more recent study from GfK shows that the share of US consumers who have actually made a purchase on social media is on the rise.

Video has also been an effective way to inspire Millennials to make a purchase, with video on social media being a popular source of inspiration. Indeed, respondents from the US and the UK were more likely than the average internet user to say they were inspired to purchase a product or service in recent months after viewing a story posted by an influencer (30%), a video posted by a celebrity or vlogger (30%), a social livestream (29%) or a story posted by a brand (28%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 179,201 respondents (66,466 Millennials, ages 24-37) across 46 countries, fielded in Q3 2020.


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