Procrastinating on Facebook appeals equally to the young and old, but sending disappearing messages on SnapChat is truly for millennials.
The latest figures on digital traffic that the audience measurement company comScore released this week suggest that while the younger set are heavier users of social media overall, Americans of every age use social media networks in similar proportions—except when it comes to Snapchat (and, to a lesser degree, Instagram).
Facebook is by far the most popular for every age group. Americans are spending more time on Facebook than every other service combined, comScore reports. More than 90 percent of adult Americans devote 15 to 18 hours per month—two workdays!—to the social network. (The measurement company collects data from two million users in its monitoring program, as well as tracking software participating companies install on their web pages, apps and other digital content.)
Snapchat, which launched in 2011, reaches just 7 percent of people over 35 years old. Millennials, on the other hand, have taken to it: 38 percent of people between 18 to 34 years old use the service for 380 minutes on average per month (compared to 111 minutes among the few in the older demographic that use it).
The reach is highest among the youngest group: 64 percent of U.S. smartphone users between 18 and 25 years old logged into Snapchat last year.
The company that spurned Facebook’s $3 billion acquisition offer in 2013 now threatens to grab its younger users. Snapchat is valued at $2 billion and continues to grow and attract advertisers and sponsors willing to pay dearly for access to the network’s core demographic.
And there are always new social media networks aiming to steal users. It’s worth noting that comScore’s data excludes burgeoning new social networks such as Yik Yak and Fade, which are gaining traction among the still-in-school set.