Social Media Applications Preference by Generation and Gender: An Exploratory Study.

Author:Belhadjali, Moncef


Millennials or generation Y are a growing segment of the US population that grew up in an online socially-networked world. Generation X grew up during the early stages of the Internet, and have been enjoying a period of a socially-connected world. Baby Boomers grew up before the Internet age during the mainframe age, and the early introduction of the Mac and the IBM PC Jr. According to (Strauss & Howe, 1991), Millennials are those individuals born between 1982 and 2004. Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the US in 2015 (Fry, 2016). In 2016, Millennials are those of age between 18 & 29, Generation X are between 36 & 51, and Baby Boomers are between 52 & 70 (Fry, 2016). According to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center, and cited in a report by Consumer Behavior in 2013, the following percentages of consumers use social networks: Millennials (18-29): 86%; Generation X: (30-49): 72%; Younger Boomers (50-64): 50% and; Seniors (65+): 34%.

In the context of social media usage by different groups of generations, the majority of studies found during the last 10 years focused on Millennials. This is consistent with the goals of social media applications providers and marketers, since the Y generation represents the segment of current and future users and consumers. For millennials, there is a gender difference in the intentions to support charitable events online through Facebook. Females have higher intentions to support events than males (Paulin et al., 2014). In a study of the influence of positive and negative product-related messages through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, results showed that Millennials were significantly influenced by product comments regardless of the sender, family member or more distant person (Sago, 2010). However, according to a Forbes magazine article in 2015, based on interviews of 1,300 Millennials, only 1% said that a compelling advertising would make them trust a brand more (Schawbel, 2015). Men and women have different expectations from social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter. Also, they use them differently (Clipson et al., 2012). In a study of the intention to use mobile applications during a convention, there was no significant difference in information seeking motivation among the three generation groups; also, LinkedIn and Facebook were the most popular for all groups (Lee & Lee, 2014). However, there was significant difference between generation X and Baby Boomers for...

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