teens work on group project

teens work on group project

Rob Callender writes: The media landscape continues to evolve rapidly, but even as Millennials soak up most of the attention Centennial teens are quietly driving many of the changes.

We’ve been telling clients for years now that Facebook’s role in youth culture is shifting. To some extent, recent arguments over whether the site is doomed or just fine, thank you very much miss the point. Declining Centennial enthusiasm for Facebook isn’t an existential threat so much as a shift in priorities: teens regard Facebook as more operational than aspirational. Facebook is where the younger generation goes to communicate with teachers, family and those friends who don’t rate constant, uninterrupted contact.

Facebook’s day-to-day entrenchment remains valuable, to be sure. But it’s a marked shift from the heady days when a more exclusive Facebook was the alpha and omega of the youth universe.

A New Face

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell acknowledged this shift as he announced the creation of Truffle Pig, a new content-marketing venture from WPP, Snapchat and the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.

“If you look at the data that [Kantar Futures] has produced on the media habits of Centennials, their attitude to Snapchat is markedly different from Facebook,” Sir Martin told Business Insider. “So that seems to indicate generational changes.”

“Facebook is the largest country on the planet [in terms of users], but maybe Centennials don’t want that… They want to keep stuff away from the prying eyes of others,” Sir Martin continued. “It indicates there’s volatility, and it pays to be involved.”

Centennials Front and Center

Sir Martin isn’t the only one with Centennials on his mind. In the few short months since The Futures Company coined the Centennials name, we’ve seen tremendous pickup from industry and cultural heavyweights around the world.

Here’s some extracts from that coverage of Centennials.

Business Insider India‘s version:

What’s a centennial? A younger, better version of a millennial. Sucks, doesn’t it?

Forbes noted: “to assume the boomers, millennials or centennials (those up to age 18, according to The Futures Company) each represents one segment or “cohort” is a mistake.”

AdAge reported that “smart marketers are looking ahead and making small, fast bets to avoid losing touch with the next crop of teens.”

Losing touch? “Having grown up in the thick of the digital age, the youngest generation of consumers may not be doing their shopping in the mall at all,”, said ThinkVine.

On Medium, Alana Hope Levinson used the story as a peg for an engaging visual essay.

And there’s more: everywhere, in fact from BuilderOnline, to Business Insider, to Inphantry, to Marketplace, OnSparks, Popsop, Publicis, The Verge (in passing in a story about David Letterman),  Wells Fargo and Yahoo.

If you want a Centennials snapshot, head over to Agencia Clepsidra in Argentina, which republished our handy infographic.

Rob Callender is Director of Youth Insights at The Futures Company. Image by iStock.

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