The 13 Apps We Millennials Use The Most
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.
The author of this post is Jackie Widmann, a student in New York studying Media, Culture, and Communications. In her free time, she can be found instagramming her food, and searching for the best coffee in New York City. You can follow Jackie and her New York excursions on Twitter and Instagram.
Ask any Millennial what they can’t live without, and the answer is undoubtedly their smartphone. In today’s social and digital age, we treat our smartphones as if they’re our lifeline, and in a way, they are. We depend on technology, and without it, we often find ourselves feeling disconnected and lost.
Downloading mobile apps for my personal and professional life is incredibly useful. However, some apps quickly become fads and do not stay “trendy” for very long. They are celebrated and adored in the tech spotlight for a short period of time before quickly disappearing out of the public eye. Other apps are necessities, though, because Millennials need to be constantly connected. Here are some of our favorite mobile apps that we use, and why they’re so amazing.
1. Snapchat: For an unexplained reason, Millennials love taking selfies. It’s become a cultural phenomenon not just limited to our generation. Snapchat is the best way for us to talk with friends throughout the day, by sending fun selfies and photos of our surroundings. We can easily share our activities, feelings, and thoughts. It’s a quick and easy way to feel as though we’re involved in our friends day-to-day lives. Snapchat has become the distraction that we so desperately crave during the long days at work and in class.
2. Instagram: The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, if we’re talking about an Instagram picture, it’s worth about a million words. Instagram is a digital form of creative expression for both personal and professional outlets. We are able to brand ourselves through visual depiction. Whether we’re looking at our favorite brands, recipe ideas, outfit inspiration, or just trying to keep up with our friends, Instagram is the preferred creative outlet amongst artistic millennials.
3. Facebook: My generation invented the term FOMO, and FOMO is exactly what causes us to use Facebook as our source of fuel. We have an urge to be in constant contact with all of our friends and family, and we need to know what everyone was doing this past Saturday night. Thanks to Facebook, we never miss out.
4. Twitter: The speed of Twitter allows us to feel satisfied and in-the-know. Celebrity gossip, breaking news, our best friend’s new puppy, and everything in between. Twitter helps us stay in the loop, and offers us this luxury. It also connects us personally with the brands and public figures we love. Interestingly enough, Twitter has been used by Millennials as a way of reaching out to get a new job, especially done with Twitter Search. The opportunities are endless, even with 140 characters.
5. Uber: We are always on the go, and sometimes public transportation doesn’t satisfy our need for speed. Uber is the perfect solution, and allows us to call for a car and pay for it through our mobile devices. We truly hate inconveniences, and Uber helps solve this problem with the push of a button. Sometimes it is absolutely worth paying a bit more for convenience.
6. Venmo: Think about the countless number of times you’ve gone out to dinner with a large group, and when the check comes, there’s a haphazard pile of cash, credit cards, receipts, and pens. We value convenience, and certain products allow us this. Millennials aren’t carrying around much cash, and Venmo is the fix we’ve been waiting for. It gives us instant access to our debit and credit accounts so we can quickly pay each other back for a meal or a cab ride. It’s safe, trustworthy, easy, and popular.
7. Seamless: Our fast-paced lifestyle sometimes denies us the ability to enjoy cooking a nice meal at home. Seamless is food delivery offered throughout the U.S., and brings food from our favorites restaurants straight to work, home, and even the library. There are countless food delivery apps, but Seamless’ UX and customer care is what keeps us coming back for more.
ENTERTAINMENT AND LOVE
8. Spotify: Spotify combines two things that Millennials identify with the most: music and social media. We use this app to create playlists, share our music libraries with friends, and learn about new artists. Subscribing to a premium account (no advertisements) is very reasonably priced, and the student deal Spotify offers is a no-brainer!
9. Tinder/Hinge: We hate to admit it, but we’ve all swiped left, right, yes, and no at some point in the past year or two. Dating apps have quickly become a fad that people often pretend they don’t use, yet frequently indulge in. Meeting people can be difficult if you’re not in the right setting or state of mind, so sometimes these apps can help, depending on what you’re looking for.
10. 2048: Waiting for the train or bus to get to your stop? 2048 is the time-waster that we use instead of staring at the clouds. 2048 helps us feel like we’re playing an intellectual computer game, giving us the self-confidence boost that we so clearly deserve.
IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DOWNLOADED, YOU SHOULD NOW…
11. Acorns: Millennials are intimidated by the thought of investing their money. Using Acorns makes this very simple. Users connect their debit or credit cards, and the app will automatically round each of the purchases made on the cards up to the next dollar. The difference is then invested in low-cost ETF’s (Exchange-Traded Fund), and essentially allows users to make money on a long-term timeline through leftover change. This app feeds into every aspect of Millennial thoughts: we’re on the go, we want to make money, and we want convenience. There you go.
12. The Infatuation: When you’re struggling to choose a restaurant, The Infatuation is a go-to resource that you should be using. The mobile app is in conjunction with a restaurant review website, and the co-founders pride themselves on their ability to be reliable, relatable, and unpretentious food critics. With The Infatuation, you won’t be reading articles with extensive critiques of the wine list; you get the truth.
13. Phhhoto: Phhhoto is a hidden gem that I recently heard about from a friend. It’s a strangely perfect blend of Instagram and Vine that allows users to shoot instant moving pictures that loop repeatedly for about 10-15 seconds. Phhhoto is a different creative outlet for people who enjoy quicker-than-average videos, and more interesting content than just a photograph.
As millennials, we’re the decision makers of today. We often forget how important our voice is, as individuals, and as a generation. Many of these apps can be used as outlets for creative expression, personal connection, and convenience. We’re moving quickly each and every day, and deeper and deeper into the digital age. These apps are worth a download, and maybe even a coveted slot on your home screen.
Want to write for Social Media Week?
We're looking for individuals around the globe to contribute articles on marketing, media, technology, and more.