Ask any Millennial what he or she can’t live without and you’re going to get a consistent response: “my smartphone.” Millennials rely on these devices to text their friends, peruse their social networks, manage
their emails, pay their monthly bills, listen to music, track their steps, hail a cab and more — “virtually” anything and everything they need to do throughout their day. They even
use their unsuspecting smartphones to research, purchase and ship their smarter, faster, better replacements. (Poor smartphones. Never saw it coming.)
With this kind of
usage, it’s no surprise that dozens of new mobile applications are popping up daily. If you’re finding it hard to keep up, you’re not alone. Here’s an easy guide to some of the
most popular apps for Millennials. This list reveals key insights about this generation’s mobile behaviors — insights that brands can leverage when trying to meaningfully engage with this
always-connected yet ever-elusive audience.
Social Media Apps
- Snapchat– ComScore
declared this messaging application, which allows users to set a 1- to 10-second time limit to each message’s life, the third-most popular social app among 18–34-year-olds as of June 2014. In its simplest form,
Snapchat is a visual way to text. While some parents cringed at the danger of their Millennial children sharing inappropriate photos, the app quickly overcame initial speculation to become a fun and
useful part of a consumer’s day. The app’s “Stories” option speaks to the active Millennial’s lifestyle and allows users to capture everyday moments to share in one
- Tumblr – According to a recent report from Business Insider, 30% of U.S. Web users aged
18–34 are accessing Tumblr. With volumes of content to absorb each day, a visually focused platform naturally attracts Millennials. Rather than overly branded messaging, Tumblr encourages
content that triggers innovation and exploration. By offering Millennials the opportunity to consume content with like-minded individuals, as well as create their own, this platform is creating
limitless opportunities for this self-expressive generation — not to mention itself.
- Audible – Audible is an audiobook app that allows users to listen to their favorite books. Whether sitting in
traffic, commuting on the bus or even working out at the gym, the app becomes the perfect way for Millennials to multitask and catch up on their ever-growing reading list.
- Spotify – When it comes to music,Spotify is the go-to streaming service for Millennials. The app allows users to
listen to full albums and discover new music without having to purchase songs or deal with annoying commercial interruptions. The Millennial target is known to rely on their friends’
suggestions, and the app allows for easy exploration based on their community.
Utility and Everyday Apps
- Uber – While not yet available in every U.S. city, car serviceUberis growing at a rapid rate. The concept is simple: Allow your
phone to access your location, provide your credit card number and — voilà —a personal driver arrives in minutes. With more Millennials using public transportation or alternate
(read: eco-friendly) methods of getting around, Uber comes in handy for last-minute commuting needs.
- Cash –
The days of writing checks are over.Whether it be paying rent or splitting the dinner bill with a friend,Cashis a simple way to exchange money. Upon sign-up, users submit
their banking information within the app. From there, it’s as easy as emailing both the person you want to pay and Cash@Square.com. As long as the recipient is also a member of Cash, the money
will automatically transfer into the appropriate bank account.
A few other apps to keep an eye on:Secret, Mint, Waze, Gilt, Tinder and Evernote.
Whether or not you’re a Millennial, the above apps
deserve a look. So if you’ve never used them, take a moment to download and explore them. You never know what the experience might inspire for your brand marketing efforts.