According to our most recent monthly survey, 89% of 13-33 year olds own a smartphone. When we ask them to tell us which device they own is the one they can’t live without, 55% say smartphone, a number that is even higher for 21-29 year olds. It is well known that young consumers are hooked on their devices. They told us they look at their phones an average 13 times per hour, and 65% consider their phone their lifeline to the world.
So now we've established the majority are spending a lot of time on their smartphones, and will continue to do so, what are they spending that time looking at? We asked 13-33 year olds to tell us what their favorite app is, and why, and we’ve narrowed their responses down to a top 10 list. Here are the ones they love the most:
5. Google app
8. Weather app
Facebook can pat itself on the back, because their purchase of Instagram has earned them a lot of young consumer's eyes. Instagram was at the top of their top 10 list, and according to our respondents, they love the app most for its ability to connect them with others, and give them a window into others' lives. One 28-year-old female said, “I'm obsessed. I love seeing other people's lives," while a 21-year-old female told us, “I'm able to connect with so many different people with common interests. I can get recipes, look at animal pictures, see what other vegans do with their time, etc.” They, of course, also love that the app is photo-based (they are an visual communication generation after all). A 26-year-old male said, "I like taking pictures and this app has gotten me into the habit of taking pictures more often."
Despite hand-wringing about young consumers leaving the platform, Facebook is their second favorite. Not surprisingly, connecting with friends and family was the most-mentioned reason they like the app. We should note that some did compare the two platforms when telling us why they love Instagram, often saying the streamlined content was a big draw. The theme of connection, community, and access runs throughout their top 10, which is filled with social and chat platforms. Their group mentality and desire to stay digitally close to their loved ones is clear here, and the list sheds some light on why 43% say that their social life depends on their phone.
Google apps were the only non-social media apps in their top five. Respondents mentioned everything from Gmail to Google Maps to Google Drive as favorites, and their love for Google apps is a likely reason the tech giant also made their list of favorite brands.