U.S. teens engage with Apple’s iMessage more than any other social platform

Apple’s “iMessage is where a lot of mobile usage is trending towards, particularly for Gen-Z, and there are many good reasons why,” Giuseppe Stuto writes for Medium. “Teens here in the US have made it very clear — today, they prefer iPhones. For the purposes of this entire article, US teens will be defined as individuals 10–19 years of age.”

“We have approximated over the past year that 75% of US teens use iPhones. In terms of why this may be the case, there are several factors to consider: design, iTunes, network effects, and of course what we believe to be the most important one, iMessage,” Stuto writes. “After first hand observing how teens use iMessage over the past few years it is clear that they treat it as much more than a basic text message delivery service. It’s the center of their mobile social life, whether they themselves realize that or not.”

“With the advent of critical technical advancements such as iOS 11, coupled with the aforementioned clear trend in both the popularity and usage surrounding iMessage, its important for people to recognize that this is a real movement,” Stuto writes. “Young millennials and Gen-Z here in the US are flocking to iPhones (iMessage) by the millions — all of the fam that matters to them are now on it or will be on it. Mix the network effect of such an active demographic with the enhanced functionality iMessage will support over the next several years and you have a next generation, immersive messaging experience.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Which is why Apple has seemingly decided not to bring Messages to Android.

75 percent of teens say their next phone will be an iPhone – April 13, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. If you click on the article and then click on the link to Giuseppe Stuto’s sources and assumptions, you can make an intelligent assessment about his working method. If you have spotted an error, please let us know, but the sources he used and the assumptions he makes and his nuanced conclusions are unusually detailed and seem perfectly reasonable to me. I wish that all researchers would publish similarly detailed information to support the headline claims that they make.


    2. US Teens I don’t doubt. In a large part of the world, however, even iPhone owners avoid iMessage specifically because it’s iOS only, and too many friends don’t have/can’t afford an iPhone. Depending on the country they use either WhatsApp or Line or WeChat. I use iMessage only when chatting with friends back in the US. Line is what I use 90% of the time. I wish it were different, but that’s the way it is.

      And as an aside Line’s sticker implementation is far superior to iMessages. Stickers may seem frivolous, but when you don’t all share a common first language they are extraordinarily useful as a universal shorthand, and Line gets it right.

      1. Presumably down voted because it’s not rah rah Apple. Believe me, I’m as big an Apple fan as they come, but that’s the way it is. So actual information instead of blind cheerleading.

        For my Apple fan credentials, I have owned: Original 128k Mac, Mac SE, Mac LC, etc. etc. etc. (more Macs than I can count or remember up through most all the iMac variants), iPhones 4S, 5, 5S, 6, 6S (twice), 7, original iPad, iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad air, iPad air 2, iPad Pro, iPod, iPod touch, Apple TV 2, Apple TV 3, and who knows what else.

        So when I vote with my wallet I clearly vote Apple. But on this crazy forum praise one other thing not by Apple and get down voted. Is this a religion?

          1. Sorry for my rant, this site is frustrating at times. Line is from Japan, and is huge in a few asian countries, but mostly unknown in the US. It does some things very well. The stickers are so easy to use and not buried in the interface. Type a word that happens to correspond to a sticker type and you’re presented with a gallery of suitable substitutions. You can either tap on one to select it or ignore them and keep typing.

            Sending a quick message to someone who, for example, doesn’t read english well, becomes greatly simplified because of the “universal language” nature of the stickers. Conversely, instead of having to translate a reply written in Japanese or especially Thai, a well-designed sticker is often sufficient. It’s like the “augmented reality” of cross-lingual communication.

            1. Line is new to me, too. But your post raises another question in my mind – why don’t iMessage and other similar apps incorporate an option to automatically translate incoming messages to the “native” language of the user as identified by the phone settings? That just seems like common sense to me.

            2. good question. I believe Microsoft has done some of that, but not for languages I happen to need. I know there’s a Spanish one, but I can read and write that. I’m sure there are some other major western languages done, but not any Asian ones (that I know of).
              Even still, the quality of the translations is lacking. Now I hand translate (by copy and paste) Thai and Japanese, but the results are often very far from the author’s intent. Stickers don’t suffer from that problem.

  1. IMessage sends to android as well just does it as a text message – kids don’t care it it goes out as an iMessage or text but they do all use iMessage as the sending mechanism. Android just doesn’t get the fun stuff.

    1. It’s all done as an SMS, with the inherent limitations. And that also assumes you’re in the same country, or even have the other person’s phone number. So yes, they do care.

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