Why Millennials Are Flocking To Utility Apps



New comScore study: Five of the top ten “must-have” apps among millennials are utility apps.

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Believe it or not, the No. 1 app among millennials is not a social media app.

According to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, the “must have” app among smartphone users aged 18 to 34 is Amazon, followed by Gmail and Facebook. In fact, among the top ten, half of them are “utility” apps and two are messenger platforms.

Despite the fact that Snapchat’s 170 million users are comprised of mostly teens and millennials—per one study, more than 78 percent of them use the app daily—young people seem to be able to live without it. Snapchat didn’t even crack the top ten “must have” apps in comScore’s study.

A Condé Nast and Goldman Sachs study from earlier in 2017 found that Amazon was the second most popular app among a combined survey sample of teens and millennials, behind Snapchat.

As the lines blur between social media apps and messaging apps, millennials are using their smartphones for more than just connecting with their friends and exploring content. Here are a few reasons why utility apps are earning attention among millennials.

Smartphones are ubiquitous in the professional world

Less than a decade ago, most everyday employees did not have smartphones unless there was a specific reason for it. Smartphones were oftentimes administered by one’s employer and used exclusively for work-related communications.

Flash forward a few short years, and many employees have their work email and Slack apps downloaded to their personal devices. Office communications occur in real-time, which has made it getting things done a lot easier—albeit, not without lifting some of the boundaries between one’s work and his or her personal life.

Modern-day banking is mobile and on-the-go

Remember when you had to go to the bank to deposit a check? Mobile banking has made saving, depositing and investing easier than ever. Beyond having one’s own mobile app that’s associated with their bank or credit card company, a slew of financial management apps have emerged to help young investors allocate their savings.

Mint was among the first of the major fin-tech apps, but as of late, tools like Betterment, Acorns and Albert have gained momentum among financially-savvy millennials who are seeking an easier way to save and invest. Some of these platforms are even utilizing AI to demystifying investing, allowing young investors to make smarter decisions that are backed by data.

Millennials value their time (and apps that help them save time)

We’ve all read the studies that demonstrate millennials’ desire to invest in experiences over “stuff,” and a natural corollary to this insight is that millennials are looking for ways to squeeze more free time out of their days for things like travel and other experiences.

Apps like Amazon and Seamless, which help expedite and take the pain out of everyday tasks like shopping and ordering food, are popular among millennials because they cater to their on-demand expectations and help them be more efficient. Products like Soylent take this mentality to new extremes, promising to optimize people’s meal prep and intake to five minutes or less.

Want more insights? You can read the full comScore report here.


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