New research from Time Inc. reveals that “Digital Natives” (people who grew up with mobile technology as part of their everyday lives) switch between content platforms 27 times per hour (that’s every other minute).
Furthermore, the research report explains that Digital Natives spend more time using varied content platforms at the same time. Therefore, their emotional engagement with content can be limited, and they experience fewer emotional highs and lows based on the content they consume.
Digital Natives use multiple devices to consume content even at home where 65% take their mobile devices with them from room to room. Only 41% of Digital Immigrants (people who first learned about mobile technology as adults) report taking their devices with them from one room to the next. For Digital Natives, switching between content platforms is a part of life that they don’t even think about. They just do it.
Following is a breakdown of data from the Time Inc. study that shows the number of respondents who used different types of media on the previous day to give you an idea of what activities Digital Natives are doing and how those activities differ from what Digital Immigrants are doing:
- Checked personal email: Digital Natives = 98%; Digital Immigrants = 96%
- Checked news or weather online: Digital Natives = 81%; Digital Immigrants = 82%
- Made or received calls on mobile phone: Digital Natives = 85%; Digital Immigrants = 71%
- Sent or received text messages: Digital Natives = 85%; Digital Immigrants = 52%
- Checked Facebook: Digital Natives = 80%; Digital Immigrants = 57%
- Checked Twitter: Digital Natives = 14%; Digital Immigrants = 26%
- Checked news or weather on TV: Digital Natives = 55%; Digital Immigrants = 78%
- Used home phone: Digital Natives = 31%; Digital Immigrants = 57%
While only 28% of Digital Immigrants prefer to receive text messages than to speak with a person, 54% of Digital Natives prefer text messaging. Betsy Frank, Chief Research & Insights Officer for Time Inc. suggests, “In order to keep Digital Natives engaged, content creators and marketers will need to think differently. Grabbing them from the beginning is essential, as is content they can snack on and offering multiple access points to every story.”
In other words, content publishers should make sure audiences can access their content through a variety of access points such as mobile and syndication to increase exposure and engagement with the growing audience of Digital Natives.