Study: Older mobile users cling to email, younger generation prefers messaging apps

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Surprise! Older mobile users like email and their younger counterparts prefer messaging applications,

according to study results released Thursday by app analytics firm App Annie.


Okay, maybe it’s not such a surprise. It’s also probably no shock that older mobile-users often use mobile

browsers over apps.


But what gives, and who cares about email versus messaging apps, and old versus young? What do

consumer app consumption statistics have to do with the workforce?


While the study isn’t focused on enterprise users, the insights on mobile use preferences based on age

could be useful as the workforce gets younger and new technologies are introduced.


App Annie broke down their study results into three age groups: 13- to 24-year-olds, 25- to 44-year-olds

and those aged 45 and over. By and large, 13- to 24-year-olds consumed the most data via mobile and

preferred messaging apps over email for communication.



The 25- to 44-year-olds aren’t far behind the youngest age group though, when it comes to how much

time is spent in apps compared to mobile browsers.  Due to how fast app usage is growing in this group,

“strategies appropriate for the 13 to 24 age group may soon work for 25 to 44” according to App Annie.


That leaves the 45 and up group outnumbered when it comes to mobile preferences. Over time, this

could mean a shift in overall mobile communication and email could be shown the door – and that could

have some implications for mobile business users. All data collected on app usage came from Android



When that might happen, though, is uncertain. Messaging company Slack notoriously called email the

“cockroach of the Internet” – so we’ll have to see if email is indeed indestructible in mobile settings.


One thing is for sure: as the stampedes of millennials flood the workforce, they’ll be bringing their

mobile habits – and apparent distaste for email – with them.