It’s no secret that today Millennials use their phones for almost everything. Indeed, it’s almost unheard of for a Millennial to not own some kind of mobile device, let alone for them to not be looking at their phone almost constantly. In fact, according to YPulse’s report on Millennials’ mobile social world, 63% of Millennials reveal that they could not live without their phones. In essence, it is an overarching trend amongst Millennials that they are, even for some admittedly, addicted to their mobile phones. However, exactly what Millennials do on their phones has been of interest to marketers for quite some time. In order to determine what social media platforms Millennials are spending all their time on, a group of 18-25 year olds partook in a study that analyzed Millennial mobile social activity. The results of this study are crucial for marketers to understand in strategizing how to reach this Millennial generation.

Mobile Apps vs. Sites

When the mobile activity of this group of 18-25 year olds was analyzed, it became evident that while social media usage may vary from person to person, there are several general trends that can be seen in Millennials’ mobile usage. According to the study conducted, about 50% of the Millennials in the study spent their time on social media apps and sites. It is interesting to note that while Millennials do indeed spend time on both social apps and sites, they use social media apps far more frequently than they use social sites. As a result of this, brands may increasingly wish to develop apps rather than just sites to maximize user engagement.

Mobile Apps Usage


From the study conducted, researchers determined that the social media app used the most by the surveyed group of Millennials was Facebook. Despite the fact that other social media platforms are rising in popularity and usage, Facebook remains the most widely used app among Millennials. Millennials seem to use Facebook primarily to stay current with the lives of their friends and family as well as to stay up-to-date on current events. For Millennials, Facebook is essentially the newspaper of the 21st century.

Instagram and Snapchat

Instagram and Snapchat followed Facebook as the second and third most popular apps respectively that Millennials spend their time on. While Millennials use Facebook predominantly for staying current on the major life events of their friends and family, they use Instagram and Snapchat to follow their friends’ daily lives in real time. Such features as Instagram Live and Snapchat Stories allow users to watch what their friends are doing while it’s actually happening.  While Millennials may use Facebook to report major life updates, they use Instagram and Snapchat to update their followers on their day-to-day lives.


The fourth most widely used social media app by Millennials was YouTube. In the past, YouTube was used primarily for watching the next new viral video. However, today YouTube has become not only a medium for watching funny videos but also a legitimate platform for micro-influencers to share about their lives as well as sponsor products. Popular YouTubers now make thousands and even millions of dollars through sponsorship relationships with brands as well as through advertisements. This transformation of YouTube from simply a medium through which to watch funny cat videos to a social media platform on which micro-influencers make their living perhaps signals that YouTube with its micro-influencers may be the future of brand marketing.

Varsity Spirit Partnering Opportunities

Varsity Spirit is partnering with our corporate brands to help effectively position them on the technology platforms most effectively used by youth markets including embracing a mobile-only focus.  Varsity Spirit is here to support your brand.  To learn more contact our sponsorship representatives by clicking here.