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The Most Popular Social Networks With Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers

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Although Facebook is the most popular social network across generations, it is not as dominant with younger people as it is with older ones, according to recent research from Sprout Social.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in January 2017 of 1,000 Millennials (age 18-34), Gen Xers (age 34-54), and Baby Boomers (age 55+) in the United States.

Some of 65% of Gen Xers as well as Baby Boomers say Facebook is their favorite social network.

Facebook also ranks as the most popular social network with Millennials (33% of them cite it as their favorite). However, Instagram (22% of Millennials rank it as their favorite) and Snapchat (16%) have much more Millennial fans than they do older ones.

The youngest set of Millennials surveyed (age 18-24) rank Instagram as their top network (25% cite it as their favorite), just ahead of Facebook (24%) and Snapchat (23%).


Respondents across all three generations are more likely to pick YouTube as their favorite social network over Twitter or Pinterest.

Millennials and Gen Xers are nearly twice as likely to follow brands on social media as Baby Boomers are.

Some 49% of Millennials and Gen Xers say they follow brands on social media, whereas only 25% of Baby Boomers say they do so.

Gen Xers are more likely than the other generations to unfollow brands on social media that post offensive content.

Millennials are most likely to unfollow brands on social if the posts are annoying, and Baby Boomers are most likely to unfollow if they find brands' posts to be spammy.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey conducted in January 2017 of 1,000 Millennials (age 18-34), Gen Xers (age 34-54) and Baby Boomers (age 55+).


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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