4 essential differences between centennials and millennials when using social networks

The Annual Study of social networks, has incorporated, in its latest edition, a section that allows comparing the differences between generation Z (centennials) and millennials regarding the use of the most popular social platforms . As might be expected, several interesting conclusions have been found that we will review below.

Generation Z and millennials: the generations that use social networks the most

First, the research consolidates the idea that both Generation Z (16-24 years old) and Millennials (25-40 years old) are the age groups that spend the most time on social media . This is something that should not surprise anyone, since we are talking about the two generations that have grown up in the digital age.

Although it must be pointed out that centennials are more intense in the use of digital platforms than millennials. It is the only (and first) generation that has not lived in the analog environment and, therefore, does not know a world without social networks or the Internet.

4 essential differences between generation Z and millennials when they use social networks

 Centennials are not only those who use social networks the most, but also those who use the most networks: the IAB Spain and Elogia study also shows that generation Z is the age group that uses the greatest number of social platforms . Whether it’s Spotify, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, Tumblr, 21Buttons or HouseParty, to name a few.

In particular, centennials use WhatsApp (77%) , YouTube (77%) and Instagram (67%) above all . For their part, millennials use WhatsApp (86%) more -to communicate-, Facebook (81%) and YouTube (77%) , although they also opt for LinkedIn, Twitter and Telegram. Likewise, the most notable differences between generation Z and millennials that the study has revealed are:

  • Facebook: despite being one of the most important social networks, it is by no means the first option among boys between the ages of 16 and 24. Only 62% of those surveyed said they use Facebook , compared to 81% of the millennials who participated in the study.
  • LinkedIn: 29% of millennials say they use LinkedIn, and in the Z generation group this percentage drops to 15%. It could be understood that this is an expected conclusion , since millennials have been in the labor market longer . The vast majority of centennials are still in a stage of academic training (high school and university).
  • TikTok : This social network is popular among the youngest (34%) because it incorporates an original way of posting videos that connects well with the youngest age groups. On TikTok, fast content prevails and short videos with a maximum duration of 1 minute are shared, where music is very important. Millennials, on the other hand, state that only 19% use it .
  • Tumblr: the case of this microblogging platform is a curious case. It was founded in 2007 -so it is a relatively old social network- and it has never been particularly popular in Spain. However, nowadays it has better penetration among the youngest . Specifically, 13% of centennials say they use it, as opposed to 4% of millennials surveyed.

Generation Z vs. millennials: transversal social networks

In any case, Gen Z and millennials also sometimes agree on something. The most transversal social networks are: Whatsapp, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest . Of course, the preference between these social platforms varies depending on the generation.

For example, the group of centennials prefer, in this order -although there is not much difference between them-: Instagram (27%) Whatsapp (25%) and YouTube (22%). If we talk about millennials, they clearly opt for WhatsApp -quite above-, Instagram (18%) and Facebook (15%). It should be noted that among young people between the ages of 16 and 24, only 4% have used Facebook in the last month .

How much time do centennials and millennials spend on social media?

Regarding the time both generations spend on social networks, the truth is that there are not many differences. According to the study, generation Z spends an average of 1h and 27 minutes on social networks and millennials around 1h and 13 minutes . In addition, generation Z has acknowledged having used an average of 5.4 networks at some time , while millennials have a similar average of 5.1 social platforms .

Although there are still many who still consider them the same, today there are more differences that separate generation Z from millennials than similarities. Despite the fact that both generations have grown up in the midst of the digital age, there will always be a significant gap between them because they conceive digital media differently.

While for millennials social networks are one (more) means of consumption along with the alternative of the analogue world, for centennials they are essential tools that facilitate access to communication, education or entertainment.