The evolution of children’s media habits | WARC | The Feed
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The evolution of children’s media habits
How children use social media is changing, with less posting taking place and more platforms being used as search engines to answer questions, according to a new report from regulator Ofcom.
Why it matters
Now in its ninth year, Children’s Media Lives is a qualitative, longitudinal study following the same group of children aged 8 to 18. As well as giving an insight into the role of media in their daily lives, the project also provides rich details of how children’s media habits and attitudes change over time, particularly in the context of their emotional and cognitive development.
It’s a signpost for marketers as to where and how the next generation are consuming media and how marketing techniques may need to adapt.
- Preferred viewing is videos that are fast-paced, short-form, with deliberately choppy editing. There has also been a rise in ‘split screen’ viewing – watching two videos at once within the same social media post, often in the form of influencers reacting and offering an opinion on another video.
- ‘Feeds’ are for content, ‘chat’ is for social interaction. Fewer children are posting content themselves, and social media feeds are now dominated by professionalised content. Interaction with friends on social media increasingly takes place in an app’s chat function (although large group chats can still include a mixture of people who children know and those they don't know).
- Social media is starting to be used like a search engine to answer questions, as well as to provide guidance, from study motivation to advice on ‘side-hustles’ such as e-commerce trading.
- Children generally believe that what they see, read or hear on social media is true; they rarely reflect on its veracity, reliability or relevance.
- Boys tend to devote time and effort to mastering a small number of games (eg Fortnite, FIFA, etc) and to spend money on or within these games. Girls are more likely to play a wider range of free or low-cost, less competitive games that don’t require as much investment of time and money to play.
Sourced from Ofcom
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