July 25, 2021

When the Covid converts seniors to social networks

The pandemic we are going through has the effect of a great accelerating blow on our use of social networks. New reflexes appear and our habits change. As such, a recent study by the company Sortlist shows that in recent months boomers have been very numerous to take an interest in social media.

Entitled “Social Networks: How does the pandemic influence our uses?” »And carried out in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, the survey clearly shows the generational differences and compares the uses of boomers and millennials. One thing in common remains among the majority of respondents: social networks have made it possible to maintain a social life during the pandemic.

To realize the importance of social media lately, a few numbers are better than long sentences. Analysts estimate that the use of social platforms has increased by 78% among young users and 25% among those over 60. Indeed, to overcome isolation during periods of confinement and overcome social distancing, many were the new registrants. There are an estimated 300 million new users between April 2019 and April 2020. And the following year, that number reached 520 million.

What to do on the networks?

Depending on age, usage varies greatly. While young Internet users are primarily looking to have fun on social networks, the study shows us that seniors especially want to chat. Among boomers, regardless of the country studied, the use of social networks allows first of all to keep in contact with relatives and maintain a virtual social life. The trend is most obvious in Spain at 41%, then in Belgium at 38% and in France at 33%.

With the Covid-19, the time spent on social networks has increased and so has the engagement. On the pro side, advertising budgets have also increased in order to reach the audience where it was: online!

Compared to 2019, we can thus observe a growth in engagement of 67%. More comments, more likes, more shares… young Internet users have been very active, and they still are. It is also in Spain that the figures are highest with 79% of respondents saying they have increased their engagement rate. At the other end of the rankings, we find young Germans with only 58%. Finally, in France, 71% of those under 35 say they have had more interactions on social networks since March 2020.

Each generation has its own platform

Facebook is now almost an old thing. Among those under 35, YouTube (89%), WhatsApp (83%) and Instagram (82%) are the most used networks. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network only comes in fifth place among this population. In contrast, 77% of those over 60 report being active on Facebook. It is also their favorite digital platform. Then we find WhatsApp (71%) and YouTube ranks third (67%).

Young, not so young, one thing is certain: we are all spending more and more time on social media. 28% of Millennials and Gen Z spend 2-3 hours a day on social media. Among boomers, 36% of respondents estimate that they spend 1 to 2 hours a day there. Which is already not bad!