Generational Device Preferences for Online Activities

The migration of online activities from PCs and laptops to mobiles is a much-discussed trend but GlobalWebIndex data offers quantifiable insight into how the importance of mobile in online activities varies greatly between generations.

It’s becoming the norm that Millennials are almost completely mobile-first when online, with now only 3 of the 34 online activities tracked by GlobalWebIndex occurring primarily on desktop among this generation, and even then the differences between devices are very small.

This visible strength of mobile is less pronounced among the other generations though. Smartphones may have overtaken PCs/laptops as the top internet access point among Gen X in 2017, but these devices are tied for online activities, with desktop sitting most ahead for Gen Xers accessing emails and for using services like Wikipedia.

For Baby Boomers the picture is drastically different, with PC/laptops sitting in prime position. Only 7 activities are mobile-first for these consumers; the device has the greatest lead for Boomers on-the-go behaviors like messaging, maps and sharing photos.

For more cross-generational insights, our Millennials infographic can be downloaded here.