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Brief Published: 7 Feb 2017

Engagement Opportunity: Gen X & Social Media

In the US, Gen X spend more time on social media than millennials

Despite marketers' heavy focus on millennials (aged 18 to 34), Gen X consumers (aged 35 to 49) spend more time on social media than their younger counterparts, according to a recent Nielsen report. The findings were based on data from 9,000 smartphone and 1,300 tablet users from across the US between July and September 2016. Highlights include:  

  • Move Over, Millennials: Gen X consumers spend nearly seven hours per week on social media, versus millennials, who spend just over six. While Gen X doesn't have a particularly wide lead on social media use, brands would be wise to rethink strategies that target millennials at the expense of older social media users – particularly on networks like Facebook and Pinterest, which are popular among Gen X.
  • TV Engagement: The study also found that Gen Xers interact about something TV-related on Facebook more than millennials. On an average day, 42% of those interacting with TV on Facebook are aged 35 to 49, while 40% are millennials. Across both age groups, women are particularly engaged with TV on social media – 61% of unique Facebook users interacting about TV are female.  
  • Facebook Reigns: Across all age groups, Facebook is the most popular social network for mobile, with about 178.2 million unique users in September 2016. This is followed by Instagram, with 91.5 million users, then Twitter (82.2 million) and Pinterest (69.6 million). Snapchat is sixth on the list, behind professional networking site LinkedIn.

For more insight into the overlooked Gen X opportunity, see Gen X: Midults Move Up.