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Marketers might be quick to assume teens have short attention spans, but that’s not necessarily the case. Rather, teens can quickly assess whether or not an app or a social platform has staying power, and they refuse to waste time on something that won’t last. Jane Buckingham, founder of research firm Trendera, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about why teens are losing interest in Facebook and why one-to-one messaging apps are becoming more popular with them.
eMarketer: Adults often say that teens have short attention spans and forget about apps and social networks quickly. Is that an accurate assessment?
Jane Buckingham: It’s not that they have attention deficits, it’s that they’re attention discriminant. They decide quickly what they want to pay attention to, and once they do, they’ll devote their full attention to it. They binge watch shows all the time, for example. They choose what to dive into, and they can usually decide in 3 seconds whether they’re interested or not.
Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media by US Adults, 2016-2020 (hrs:mins)
Share of Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media by US Adults, 2016-2020 (% of total)
What Do Mobile Messaging App Users in Brazil Do on Mobile Messaging Apps? (% of respondents, July 2018)
How Often Do Mobile Phone Owners in Brazil Use Select Mobile Messaging Apps? (% of respondents, July 2018)
Why Do Mobile Messaging App Users in Brazil Communicate with Brands? (% of respondents, July 2018)
The Global Media Intelligence Report, 2018 : A Reference Guide to Consumers’ Media Use in 40 Countries
Digital Life of US Teens: Teens Text, Post, Snap, Game and View Video, and Their Favorite Device Is a Smartphone
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More Millennials, Gen Z Are Using Social Apps
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