As much as popular culture likes to uphold the young population as the bastion of technology, it cannot be denied that the digital world has been shaped by all types of people. For every teenage Tik-Toker, there are plenty of septuagenarians scrolling through Facebook, parents battling on Twitter and Millennials posting stories on Instagram. Not surprisingly, different generations prefer and dominate specific social media networks, a phenomenon noted by political campaigners and corporate marketers alike. So where exactly do these lines in the social media market fall?

The answer may come from a new study from Teneo, a global consulting firm that examined total connection counts for American users across six major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and TikTok. The study calculated the percentage by which certain generations exceeded others in average number of connections on social media, and their insights give an idea about generational preferences on social media. 

Generation X, characterized by their skepticism, high educational levels and lived experiences pre- and post-internet, according to a Pew Research Report out-connected other generations on Facebook and LinkedIn by 8% and 41%, respectively. Their career-focused mentality makes the dominance of Generation X on LinkedIn, but the generation’s leading number of connections on Facebook is slightly more surprising, given that younger generations were the first to join Facebook in the early 2000s. 

Millennials had the most connections on Twitter by about 9%, which isn’t surprising given Pew Research’s report that their generation’s propensity to expressing their thoughts and identities, even if that expression is limited to 140 characters. Another interesting factor of Millennials’ twitter usage is their motivation for logging into the app. According to a report from the American Press Institute, an overwhelmingly large portion, over 40%, of millennial Twitter users go to the app for news and headlines. It’s interesting to consider that the massive networks of millennials on Twitter are connected to interact over tweeted news versus personal information. 

Finally, the youngest group, Generation Z, had the most connections on Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok. By far, they were the most dominant on Snapchat with over 170% more connections than older generations. Given that all of these apps are especially new and that Gen Z-er’s are digital natives, the huge number of connections for young people is hardly surprising. What’s notable about this specific data insight is that all three of these apps enable users to connect with each other over self-created content like photos, videos and graphics, allowing Gen Z to build massive networks around their own creativity

All together, it’s interesting to see how different-aged groups have found their respective communities online, and we can only wait to see which apps will be invented and adopted next.