Mobile usage study suggests mobile is much more than just Millennials

Understanding your workforce is an important factor in delivering the right learning solution. While the rise of mobile is well document there is a common misconception however that smartphone use is concentrated around Millennials and young adult learners.

A recent study out of the Pew Research Centre demonstrates that smartphone and app usage is much more widespread than commonly thought. In this post we will take a look at smartphone usage across generations, sharing key statistics and demonstrating why a mobile-first learning strategy is not just for Millennials but your entire learning audience.

General Usage

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To gain an overview of smartphone use across those aged 18 - 29 years (Millennials) and 30 - 49 years, let’s take a look at the most widely used smartphone features for comparison – text messaging, voice and video calling, Internet use and email. While 100 percent of Millennial smartphone owners used text messaging at least once over the course of the study, so did 98% of those aged 30-49. This minor difference between the older group and Millennials illustrates just how similarly these two demographics utilise their smartphone.

Online Banking & Services

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However, people of all ages are using their smartphone for much more than calling, texting or basic Internet browsing, with users frequently turning to their mobile devices to complete a wide range of daily tasks from online banking to researching a health condition.
For example, about three-quarters of Millennial smartphone owners have used their smartphone to seek information on a health condition but so did 68% of those aged 30-49 years. These age-related differences are even more modest for online banking; 72% of Millennials and 65% of those 30-49 years used their smartphone for online banking in the last year.

Interestingly, the older demographic actually exceed their Millennial counterpart when it comes to accessing Government services or information on their smartphone, further demonstrating frequent smartphone use is not exclusively a Millennial task. Amongst information seeking and transactional behaviours, Ed’s mobile-first learning strategy will therefore sit comfortably for all your users.

GPS Navigation

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As a further demonstration of the mobile offering now extending past traditional telecommunication services, nearly one-in-three smartphone owners are frequently turning to their smartphone for navigation. Seventy-two percent of those aged between 30 and 49 years utilise their mobile GPS often, again not a large gap to Millennials (80%).

Breaking News

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We can now see that this older demographic is not only willing to access their device just as frequently as Millennials, but in some cases even more so. As seen in the above graph, the older generation access their device for breaking news 3% more than Millennials.

This has direct relevance to Ed where new learning is delivered by push notification. With the above statistic demonstrating those right up to 49 years are likely to access their smartphone in search of new information, everyday learning with Ed will feel natural and commonplace to both of these age groups alike.

Not only does this study illustrate how smartphones are so deeply engrained in our lives, but more importantly how similarly Millennials and the older demographic utilise them. As the two most prevalent demographics comprising your workforce, their similarities when it comes to completing daily tasks on a smartphone paints a telling picture. What this means for your learning is that a mobile-first approach to learning will not only resonate just with your Millennials, but be enjoyed throughout your entire workforce.

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