It's Not Just Millennials That Tap into Mobile for Social - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

It's Not Just Millennials That Tap into Mobile for Social

Older users like checking in on smartphones

January 23, 2017

It's no surprise that millennials' social media time is mainly spent on smartphones. But what about older folks—are Baby Boomers and older users mostly mobile when it comes to social? Turns out, the answer is yes, if not quite to the same extent.

Share of Time Spent with Social Media Among US Social Media Users, by Device and Age, Q3 2016 (% of total)

According to Q3 2016 data from Nielsen, even those age 50 and up spend the vast majority of their social media time on mobile devices.

Three-quarters of the older users spent most of their social media time on mobile—that includes smartphone and tablet.

Not surprisingly, the level was even higher among Millennials. Fully 90% of their social media time occurred on smartphones and tablets.

By extension, younger social media users were less likely than older generations to spend social media time on a PC. For example, just 12% of 18- to- 34-year-olds' social media time takes place on a PC.

The study also pointed up a huge gap in social media use between men and women. According to Nielsen, among women, 25% of their overall weekly media time was spent using social media—around 6.5 hours. Among men, 19% of overall weekly time was spent on social, an average 4.2 hours.

—Rimma Kats

New in eMarketer PRO This Week

  • Report: Digital Video Advertising Best Practices 2017
  • Report: Worldwide Digital Video Viewers: eMarketer's Estimates for 2016–2020
  • Report: B2B Mobile Marketing and Advertising 2017

Not a PRO subscriber? Find out how to become one.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.