You’re Too Old for This: Social Apps Targeted for a Younger Demographic
There have been multiple times my mother has asked me if she should make an Instagram or a Snapchat account. Her inquires have always been followed by a strong “NO” from me. I’ll freely admit this my answer to my mom in part because I don’t want her tracking my every move on social media, but it is also because I know she does not fit the standard demographic of these platforms.
There are thousands of social media platforms. Some are extremely well-known, such as Facebook and Instagram, and others are not. It is probably impossible to uncover the statistics for every social media website out there. However, it’s fairly well recognized that certain platforms are geared towards certain demographics.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms for those ages 18 to 24. On the other hand, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook tend to be more popular among those who are older than 24.
I’m in the 18- to 24-year-old age group. As an active user on these platforms, I find these statistics true. Most people I know over the age of 24 have Facebook accounts but do not have Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter accounts. I believe this is because Facebook is the oldest of these platforms. Facebook was founded in February 2004. Those of us who are 18 to 24 were 9 years old or younger at the time, well below the minimum age to open a Facebook account. By the time we were old enough for Facebook, it wasn’t new anymore.
Instagram, in comparison, was founded in 2010 and Snapchat was founded in 2011. They are more current to a younger demographic.
To go even more in-depth, let’s look at the 2019 demographics for five of the most popular social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
Facebook is used by:
• 51 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds
• 81 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds
• 78 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds
• 65 percent of 50- to 60-year-olds
• 41 percent of 65-year-olds and older
Instagram is used by:
• 72 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds
• 64 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds
• 40 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds
• 21 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds
• 10 percent of 65-year-olds and older
Twitter is used by:
• 32 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds
• 40 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds
• 27 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds
• 19 percent of 50- to 64-years-olds
• 8 percent of 65-year-olds and older
Snapchat is used by:
• 69 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds
• 68 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds
• 26 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds
• 10 percent of 50- to 64-years-olds
• 3 percent of 65-year-olds and older
LinkedIn is used by:
• 29 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds
• 33 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds
• 24 percent of 50- to 64-years-olds
• 9 percent of 65-year-olds and older
As you can see, each platform has a specific demographic group for which it is most popular.
While almost anyone can make an account on whatever social media platform they want, this does not mean they necessarily should. Better put, they may not find themselves enjoying the platform. For example, someone who is 50 may not enjoy Snapchat as much as someone who is 16 because they are less likely to find users who are around their age on Snapchat.
The same is true for apps like TikTok and Vero. These are newer apps that are used to create and share content. I haven’t tried either of these apps because my friends don’t use them. Are we not in their target demographic? We might not be, according to some statistics. TikTok users are in a younger age group, and Vero users are predominantly millennial males.
Or course, if someone wants to make an Instagram or LinkedIn account, they should, even if they aren’t in the target demographic. No one can stop them. The main thing to say is that certain platforms are not designed to attract those who are outside of their target audiences. Those outside of the audience are still able to make accounts, but they may not enjoy the platform as much as someone who is part of their average-age audience. For working adults, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are the most appropriate and best suited for them. At least, that’s what the research shows.
So, while my mom can make an Instagram or Snapchat account if she so desires, me being against this move is not completely irrational. I think my mom would agree. If you are going to put the time and effort into creating an account on a social media platform, it needs to be one where you’ll find people who share your interests.
The same is true for companies and organizations. You want to focus your social media efforts on the platforms that are most popular with your targeted audience. Otherwise, you won’t be getting the most return for your effort, money or time.
If you are trying to figure out the world of social media, or thinking about shifting your digital efforts, we can help. Contact Vela Agency today to get started.