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The Best Apps for Millennials

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Think back to the last time you were in a place teeming with millennials: it was probably difficult to find people who weren’t tethered to their smartphone. For better or worse, a stereotype of the millennial generation is that they’re constantly connected. That connection happens through apps — ones that have integrated so deeply into their lives that they can’t imagine living without them. If you’re thinking of building your own app, it’s important first to know which ones are reining in the popularity points. Without further ado, here are some of the apps that have the highest concentration of millennial users, according to Statista’s 2016 report on the matter.

Social Media

While currently in a tumultuous period, Vine remains an incredibly popular app, with millennials making up 78% of its 200 million monthly users. The app is a micro-entertainment platform where anyone can share six-second looping videos. As of January 2017, Vine has rebranded to become Vine Camera, where users publish their short videos directly to mother company Twitter, rather than into a Vine community. Several video gaming apps also serve as hybrid social networks. Apps such as the PlayStation Official App and Twitch have social sharing and messaging functionality integrated into the app, allowing gamers to chat and live stream the video game they’re currently playing. Apps that target a specific niche market — in this case, millennial males who love gaming — have huge potential to be successful.

Messaging

Yik Yak is a social messaging app that allows users to scan their geographic area and anonymously chat with people in their vicinity. An online community center, Yik Yak users share news, photos, and questions with people around them in the form of “yaks.” They also have a say on the popularity of those yaks, casting an up or down vote for individual posts. Unlike Twitter, where anyone can chat in a specific area if they use a geographic hashtag (i.e. #NewYork), Yik Yak users must be located within a five-mile radius of where they’re chatting, guaranteeing that the commenters are genuinely in the area. Yik Yak has the highest concentration of millennial users for 2016 — 98% of its audience is within this demographic group. The popular GroupMe is a group messaging app that works across every platform — perfect for the millennial who is equipped with five devices. Three-quarters of GroupMe’s users are millennials, and the app makes it simple to coordinate dinners with friends or this year’s trip to Coachella.

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Music

SoundCloud is an app used by millennials to publish, listen to, and discover new music. Initially seen as competition for MySpace, SoundCloud’s advantage is that it allows users to reshare music and sounds via a specific link, making the app more social in nature. This shareability and its usability on the go is a reason why 74% of SoundCloud’s users are millennials. YouTube Music is another app with a high concentration of millennial users. It’s a standalone app that allows users to listen to the same number of tracks they’d be able to hear on competitor platforms. The app also creates a daily playlist for users and integrates other interesting features such as karaoke tracks and the ability to view live concerts.

Finance

When it comes to personal finance, Mint is the leading app among millennials. This could be because of its easy-to-navigate interface and its functionality: users can view all their financial accounts in one place, and the app automatically categorizes spending into categories such as groceries and utilities. Millennials recognize that budgeting is important, but are less likely to create a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. Mint puts budgeting and financial management in the palm of their hand. Venmo is excellent at simplifying the daily finances of a millennial. The app is a digital way to keep track of what is lent and owed money-wise amongst friends and family. Whether it’s buying festival tickets for a friend or splitting the cost of dinner, Venmo can be used to track those transactions. Once that information is entered into the app, Venmo users can securely send and receive money using the app, saving friendships from a potential slog of IOU lists and reminders. Millennials clearly find the app useful — 94% of its users fall into this age category.

Reason for Popularity Amongst Millennials

Each of the apps above tap into a different part of a millennial’s daily routine. What they all have in common is a simple interface and the ability to enhance a user’s social behavior. When creating or improving an app, consider how your app will integrate into a twentysomething’s daily routine. If you can’t picture them pulling out their phones and intentionally opening up your app or talking about it with a friend at least once a day, it’s probably not going to be a hit. If your app is shareable, provides deep value, has a chic look, and is easy to understand, it will have a greater chance of success among this population.

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