Once the private domain of teens, SnapChat has moved into the mainstream with several large companies using SnapChat to appeal to younger demographic.
Some of the companies currently utilizing SnapChat as a marketing platform, include: Acura, DoSomething.org, Juicy Couture, Taco Bell and even Lena Dunhum's hit show Girls has joined Snapchat.
It's not clear at this point what the conversation rate is or if teens will resent that corporate America has co-opted their parent free zone with ads (like all the "old people" that took over Facebook!), but it will be interesting to see how this develops.
Noah, a short film that debuted at the Toronto International FIlm Festival, illustrates the flitting attention span and lack of true connection in digital culture more clearly than anything else in recent memory. (Warning: NSFW)
"These words are probably unfurling inside one of many open tabs on your computer screen. Perhaps one tab is for work, one is for chatting, and another is for Twitter. You probably even have some others open for no particular reason.
This is the way we receive information and the way we communicate now: constantly, simultaneously, compulsively, endlessly, and more and more often, solitarily. This strange new mode of living--and its indelible effect on our humanity--is perfectly captured in a new short film that debuted this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The 17-minute, mildly NSFWNoah is unlike anything you've seen before in a movie--only because it is exactly like what many of us see on our computers all the time. Created by Canadian film students Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg, the film begins when our high school senior protagonist types in the password that opens up his laptop, and the narrative takes place entirely on his computer screen.
It doesn't matter how far removed in age you are from the characters, if you are digitally savvy enough to be reading this, Noah will hit uncomfortably close to home."
Ben Smith became editor in chief of BuzzFeed in 2011 when the website known for its listicles and cat photos got into the business of breaking news.
Smith, an early hire at Politico, immediately built a reporting staff. BuzzFeed's mix of news and frivolity attracts more than 130 million visitors a month.
“You can’t trick people into sharing things. They have to really like it and be proud to share it.”
During a talk at the Nieman Foundation, Smith discussed social media as a news distribution channel, the importance of editors, the evolution of beats, the new hegemony of the article as a unit of media, and the value of brevity and high-energy reporters.
The “Kids of Today and Tomorrow Truly Global Exploration” study focused on what VIMN valls “last wavers,” or the youngest Millennials, born between 2003 and 2008. The findings point to several key traits that shape these kids’ world views and make them distinct from older members of this generational cohort.
Kids of today and tomorrow are more “we” than “me.”
The youngest Millennials extend their positive spirit to also include a commitment to community and the wider world around them.
88% believe it’s important to help people in the community, with 61% having taken part in an effort to raise money for charity in the past year.
94% believe it’s people’s responsibility to protect the environment.
Advances in digital media play a large part in broadening horizons and inspiring kids to use the power they have at their fingertips in a positive manner:
85% agree “my age group has the potential to change the world for the better.”
71% agree “having access to the internet changes the way I think about the world.”
However, they don’t see this as anything out of the ordinary or think of themselves as “techy”:
2 out of 3 kids think that being connected is as much a part of everyday life as eating and sleeping – it’s simply how life is today. As a consequence of being constantly connected in a fast-moving world, it is natural for them to constantly adapt and be open-minded. They are resilient and life-ready.
To reach these confident kids, it is important to communicate with them with a tone of positivity, smart but not cynical humor; and a playful approach, in line with the fun and happiness they seek in life.
Kids respond best to authentic brand messages: they recognize when someone is trying to sell them, so be honest.
It’s important to be both globally and locally relevant.
Kids of today and tomorrow are grounded.
Authenticity is a key value for kids today and they live with their feet firmly on the ground.
94% report wanting to be true to the close circle around them and 93% to be true to themselves. When it comes to the people who inspire them or the people they trust most, it’s all about close family and friends. They might feel inspired by celebrities and sports stars, but they know not to trust them.
49% of the youngest Millennials name a family member as their #1 best friend– rising as high as 90% in Morocco and 87% in Brazil.
Kids of today and tomorrow are confident.
Today’s youngest Millennials are overwhelmingly happy and optimistic.
88% consider themselves very happy, with happiness levels in this age group increasing over last six years.
Spending time with family and friends is the top factor generating happiness in most countries. Young Millennials enjoy doing activities together as a family.
Humor is important to young Millennials, who use it strategically to navigate life: 64% agree “I use humor to help me get my way.”
Happiness outweighs stress by a factor of 3 to 1: while almost 9 in 10 young Millennials describe themselves as very happy, only 24% report high levels of stress, with stress levels falling since 2006.
Kids today are re-calibrating their sense of what it is to be stressed as well as happy: they have grown up in a world of constant change and global economic crisis – for them, this is the norm.
Even in Greece, where the economic crisis is particularly acute, stress levels are only 36%. The highest stress levels among 9-14s are actually in Singapore and China (41% and 39%) – caused almost certainly by the highly pressured education systems in those countries.
In general, the youngest Millennials are characterized by an optimism with which they approach challenges: 90% agree “I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough” and 89% agree “I always try to be positive.”
At the global level, these high levels of happiness, low stress and growing positivity are combining to form a “virtuous circle” of mutual support that helps kids create an overall sense of confidence.
Belief in themselves: 65% believe not only that they are smart but also that they are smarter than other people.
Belief in their future: Despite everything, a large majority (84%) believe they will earn more than their parents
Belief in their generation: This is the winning generation … the expression “#winning” suits them perfectly and is acknowledged by many more 9-14s than by older Millennials (77% vs. 66% of 15-30s)
Belief in their creativity: 89% believe their creativity will help them to keep on winning in a fast-paced world.
Kids of today and tomorrow are simultaneously more and less sheltered.
The difference is very clearly defined: in the real world, they are much more sheltered than in the past, with parents restricting and controlling their interactions with everything. However, given advances in technology and access to a wide range of devices, there is often relatively little protection – kids have unprecedented exposure to global ideas and images.
43% own their own computer/laptop and 28% own a smartphone.
61% have a social media account (and 11 years is the average age for having a first account – despite being below the age threshold set by many social platforms’ Terms & Conditions).
9-14s have 39 online “friends” they have never met (up from five since 2006).
Kids of today and tomorrow are proud to be.
The youngest Millennials are increasingly expressing a sense of affinity with their country. Their sense of national pride is growing stronger and they are more likely than six years ago to believe it’s important to maintain their country’s traditions.
87% agree that they are “proud to be [their ethnicity]” up from 81% in 2006.
79% agree “it’s important to maintain my country’s traditions,” up from 60% in 2006.
At the same time, they are tolerant of other cultures: 74% think it’s great to have people from other countries living in the kid’s country.
This VIMN study is based on 6,200 interviews with the 9-14 age group (at the time of research, born 1998-2003, which we have defined as “last wavers” within the Millennial generation) across 32 countries (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, US, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Hungary, Poland, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa).
Video is also available in the following languages:
Snapchats tend to be selfies or photos of "random" things paired to random captions. Artistic and planned photos are left to Instagram, which is perceived as more "official."
There's etiquette for Snapchats, including how many Snaps are appropriate to send to a crush (no more than five/day) and the acceptable waiting times before opening a Snap.
What people like most about the app is that it's "face-to-face" interaction and snapchat selfies made the surveyed group "feel like you're just talking to someone." However, users say they like the distance to it as well.
It's a really informative piece and well worth a read for anyone who's building products geared towards a youth audience or even parents and youth pastors who want to just decode the hype behind this popular mobile app.
Mobile is having the biggest impact on how college students apportion their screen time. Daily time spent on the computer and watching TV decreased in 2013, while daily time spent with the mobile phone and tablet were up by about 18 minutes each, compared with 2012.
But even if daily time spent watching TV is diminishing, a considerable 60% of college students reported owning a flat-screen TV; and TV viewing was still a major portion of students’ media time, clocking in at 2.8 hours per day. While time spent on the computer or mobile may be higher, activity on these devices can run the gamut—from using a word processing program for schoolwork to making a phone call.
By comparison, when students turn on the TV, it is to watch a program, even if using other devices is a corollary part of the experience.
The study found that eight out of 10 college students reported using a second screen at least a few times a week while watching TV. Only 13% did so less than once a week, or not at all.
The most popular activity students engaged in while watching TV was using Facebook or Twitter, at 63% of respondents. Social TV can be boon to TV marketers and advertisers, but there is always the possibility that social networks are merely distractions from TV content.
Surfing the web was the next most common activity while watching TV, at 58% of respondents, while half also reported playing games. Schoolwork wasn’t completely forgotten while students vegged out in front of the television, though—37% said they did homework or research while watching TV.
And in a sign that the second screen may be an opportunity for TV marketers and advertisers to gain student viewers’ extra attention, about one-quarter of students looked up the TV schedule on a second screen, and about the same percentage shopped. (Source)
In a recent survey, MTV Insights set out to understand the younger end of the Millennial demo, 13-17 year olds, who will soon move into the “sweet spot” of MTV’s core target demographic of 18-24 year olds.
This is a landmark generational study that builds on MTV’s long legacy of deeply understanding their audience, as part of an effort to constantly reinvent ourselves and stay at the bleeding edge of youth culture.
One of the most interesting findings?
Of those who repsonded, 57% reported that they like to take a break from technology to make things with their hands…and 82% agree “when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I like to stop and just do one thing at a time." As Julia, 17 puts it “When I craft I’m in the zone, it really soothes me."
With social media, crafts & baked goods are granted a “second life" and serve an important function in helping hone one’s personal self-brand. We see teens today even more adept at developing their unique persona from a young age, realizing both the need to stand out to get social media likes and, moreover, showcase a unique side to get noticed in a highly competitive college admission process.
Why are younger Millennials so stressed?
They came of age in an economic downturn, seeing college grads struggling with huge student loan debt and living through a cascade of social media-amplified tragedies like Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook. For them, life has always been a 24/7 social media show.
These pragmatic youth are natural preppers in the face of an unpredictable world – whether planning for physically safety in light of violence or prepping for their futures in a more uncertain economic climate.
Accustomed to high school intruder drills, they are always in “exit strategy” mode, withover a third agreeing they “plot out escape plans when in public places, because of events like Sandy Hook.”Although half are scared of violence at school, they seem to have adopted a practical “Keep Calm and Carry On” mentality.
YMs are consciously taking time to self-soothe (a classic coping mechanism from hyper-stimulation) disconnect, de-stress, de-stimulate and control inputs. They “mono-task” and focus on immersive hands-on activities like baking, sewing or crafting. They claim their dependence on social media is overrated: one girl says “My parents Facebook more than I do.”
8 in 10 young Millennials agree that “Sometimes I just need to unplug and enjoy the simple things”
82% agree “when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I like to stop and just do one thing at a time”
57% like to take a break from technology to make things with their hands
54% of 14-17 year old girls say baking makes them feel less anxious
This is the first generation of “digital latchkey kids.” Though increasingly physically protected by parents, teens’ web behavior is not as closely monitored. But like the Gen X Latchkey Kids who created their own rules and regimes while parents worked, youth today are surprisingly filtering out what’s overwhelming to them online: avoiding certain Youtube videos or sites that they think are gross, inappropriate or disturbing.
They’re slimming down their social networks and finding niche/private places to share in a controlled environment, whether it’s Snapchat or a locked Instagram feed.
Unlike older Millennials who were pioneers in the “Wild West of social media,” today’s teens are “tech homesteaders” – they’re more savvy about how to use the internet, build "gated" groups, "hide in plain view", curate and filter.
U.S. consumers spend an average of 37 minutes a day on social media sites, according to eMarketer, and much of that activity involves brands and products. Consumers do everything from follow brand pages looking for deals to sharing their positive and negative experiences with the world.
It’s critical for marketers to understand as much as they can about these social media consumers. This week’s infographic breaks them down into seven major types, gives insights into their thinking and behavior, and shares tips on how to market effectively to each group.
Here are some of the stats on social media users:
70% trust brand/product recommendations from friends
49% follow brand pages for deals, specials and promotions
45% are likely to share negative experiences with brands/products on social media
42% who contact brands on social media expect a response within an hour
A new study from cable industry association CTAM – and conducted by Nielsen – looks at how we talk about television, what we talk about, when and with whom this chatter takes place, and how this dialogue influences TV engagement and tune-in behavior.
Graham D. Brown, an internationally recognized expert on mobile technology, wants you to know that just about everything you think you know about about kids, mobile phones and technology is wrong.
In his new book, Mobile Youth: Voices of Mobile Generation, Graham brings years of expertise working in the communications and youth marketing space, coupled with interviews with youth from around the world, into a compelling exploration of how the mobile youth culture revolution is driving our increasingly social and mobile future.
It's Not About Technology, It's About Relationships
While news outlets run stories warning parents of the dangers of teen ‘internet addiction’, social media and texting, (most often during ‘sweeps week’ to garner eyeballs and advertising dollars) Graham takes a more nuanced, balanced and global look at the behaviors and sociological drivers behind these mobile trends.
The book contains several case studies of how youth---from Beijing, Tokyo, L.A. and even Amish Country in rural Pennsylvania---use mobile phones as a way to connect with their families, teachers and, most importantly, their peers.
As Brown points out, the most important thing any brand, marketing campaign or youth-focused organization can do is help consumers connect with their peers. The most successful brands, whether it’s a mobile tech firm like Samsung, a food truck in Los Angeles or social media company like Twitter, provide consumers with a way to connect with each other, which in turn creates value, relevance and stickiness for your product.
And this is the real secret sauce behind of why mobile devices have become our most valuable possessions. In the end for today’s youth, it’s about using technology (mobile, social) to connect people to their friends, passions and community.
Simply stated, the emotional connection they have with their mobile phone isn’t so much about technology, it’s about relationships.
Kids and Technology: Same Behavior, Different Tools
The other important lesson, this time for parents and educators, is to take a step back and release that teen behavior hasn’t changed from when they were kids, just the tools and technology.
Think of it this way: twenty years ago, teens hung out at the mall to share ‘status updates’, stalk and make friends and, occasionally, get into trouble. And don’t forget the hours upon hours that were spent talking on the phone (the one with the curly cord) and watching TV.
These youth behaviors still happen, but now the mall is out and Facebook is in. Hours on the phone tied to the wall has been placed with SMS, KIK and Twitter. Wasting time watching TV is out and wasting time watching Hulu and YouTube is in.
Mobile Youth: Voices of Mobile Generation is a must read for anyone--youth marketers, parents, educators, youth pastors--wanting to garner a better and deeper understanding of the emotional relationship between young people and their mobile phones.
About Graham D. Brown
Since witnessing the growth of youth media and technology having lived in Japan in the early 90s, Graham, along with business partner Josh Dhaliwal has helped grow mobileYouth to serve over 250 clients in 60 countries worldwide - names such as Vodafone, Nokia, Coke, McDonald's, Telenor, Red Bull, Nike, Monster Energy, Orange, O2, Verizon, Boost Mobile, the UK government and the European Commission.
Graham is a regular public speaker and has presented at the 3GSM World Congress, Barcelona and been interviewed on CNN, CNBC, BBC TV and Radio. His work has also featured in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and the Guardian.
He is author, Director and Founder, mobileYouth and Chairman & Founder of The Youth Marketing Academy. Business author & speaker on the psychology of communication and media.
Graham also hosts the youth marketing stream on Upstart Radio and mobileYouth's own TV channel. Graham is also a judge on the Mobile Marketing Association's Award Panel, advisory board member to UNICEF on their mobile media strategies and an advisor to the Global Youth Marketing Forum in India.
Girls might be into pink, pop stars, and ponies, but some of the fastest growing brands among girls are those that might be considered boyish, according to Young Love™, the nation's largest study of brands among kids aged 6-12.
The annual study, conducted by leading youth and family research firm, Smarty Pants, ranks kids' and moms' affinity for 250 brands each year. The study shows that girls are rapidly becoming fans of "boy brands" — from construction toys to superheroes to sports gear.
One of the key findings from the 2012 Young Love study is that girls have a strong affinity for brands that are generally perceived as "boy brands."
They still like pink, ponies, and princesses, but, from Beyblade to Madden NFL to superheroes, girls are having fun with products designed with boys in mind. They're taking a cue from older female role models, believing they can do anything that boys can do and be into any brand, regardless of the intended target audience.
In the case of LEGO, the brand's current girl surge is partially due to the new LEGO Friends line. The brand stirred up a slight controversy when it was first released because it referenced female stereotypes (play sets include a beauty salon and horse riding academy alongside an inventor's workshop and tree house).
But the success of the line and the corresponding rise in Kidfinity™ for LEGO show that girls are clearly happy to have a construction-based toy line created specifically for them.
The rise of China as a world power has been well documented and is nothing short of amazing.
While most people focus their attention and analysis on the political and economic changes taking place in China, very few have taken a look at the generation driving this economic transformation.
Enter Mary Bergstrom, principal of The Bergstrom Group, an insights consultancy that helps companies to leverage trends, develop new products and localize international brands for the Chinese consumer market.
China's youth population is composed of 500 million under the age of 30 and is poised to play an even bigger role in shaping the global economy and impacting youth culture.
The 'new China' is being shaped by a generation that loves exploring new identities online, playing video games and staying connected via social networks. A generation who, at times, also struggles to reconcile the generational values of 'new China' with those held by their parents and grandparents.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of All Eyes East, looked at the way Chinese youth use technology, online communities and social networking.
In many ways Chinese youth use of technology mirrors the experience of youth around the world. But as Mary points out, there are some very interesting and uniquely Chinese uses of technology.
Some of the key insights on Chinese youth, technology & virtual communities:
BlogCN, launched in 2002, became the first free blog service that allowed Chinese youth with a risk-free platform to explore new identities
Blogging and social networking has allowed Chinese youth to challenge notions about sex, gender and socially acceptable behaviors
In China, anonymity has led to safe and highly creative collaboration among youth. One key example of this is a meme sparked by Xiao Pang who had his identity borrowed and then reincarnated online where it sparked millions of clicks
In the 90s, Chinese youth developed a new cyber Martian language that allowed them to self-select who is 'in' and who is 'out'
Young Chinese mothers aren't waiting for a product to define or help them manage motherhood. Instead these digitally savvy moms are networking online, protesting brands that abuse their trust and forming parenting groups on social networking site QQ
It is very popular and common for Chinese youth to create profiles on different social networking sites based on pursing specific interests and testing new identities
Renren, a popular social networking site, allows couples to create and manage profiles, allowing them to present themselves with others as a team
Popular poses for profile photos include: two fingers n a "V" gesture, puckering for a kiss and making a heart with their hands. Doing so helps Chinese girls distinguish themselves from the singularity of the masses
Mary has compiled an impressive and unprecedented body of research on doing business in China, its burgeoning youth culture and has provided companies and organizations who want to reach this influential market with a clear roadmap to success.
All Eyes East is a must read for anyone--CEOs, corporate marketing teams and MBA students alike--who wants to do business in China.