A Mobile Decision: How US Students Return to Higher Education

The decision to pursue higher education isn’t just for students about to graduate from high school. It can happen at any time, in any place. And increasingly, it’s happening in later life.

Indeed, college enrollment for students between the ages of 25 and 34 increased 52% between 1998 and 2012 in the US, and is projected to increase by another 23% by 2023.1

As college enrollment rises for returning students, mobile usage is rising consistently across generations. So much so that we got to thinking: What’s the role of mobile devices in a modern student’s higher education decisions? Read more

Modern Loyalty: Love in a Time of Infinite Choice

They say brand loyalty is dead. They say Millennials are to blame. Or maybe constant connection is exposing people to more choices than ever before. What we do know for sure is that brand loyalty still matters.

And it’s anything but dead. Indeed, it’s actually thriving with rich opportunity for brands.

Facebook IQ surveyed 14,700 adults in the US, taking a look at the state of loyalty today in five verticals: Auto Insurance, Airlines, Hotels, Grocery and Restaurants. Read more

45up: Looking Forward to “Rewirement”

It’s 6pm in Milan and Maria is blogging about her life and passion for food before getting ready for a dance class. 397 miles away in Paris, Julien prepares to pitch a new business idea as he uploads photos of the street art he walked by on the way to a meeting. Meanwhile, on a cold and blustery day in London, Anita plots her next big adventure while messaging a friend she met at a detoxing retreat in Thailand. Read more

Hot Topics: United States August 2016

Americans said goodbye to Summer 2016 by posting about what they love, what they lost and the issues they felt were most worthy of debate. It’s been a fitting close to a summer full of highs and lows.

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Celebrations

Women on Instagram celebrated Women’s Equality Day, which marks the US Constitution’s 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Many reflected on how far women have come and how far they still have to go. Younger women on Instagram also celebrated World Breastfeeding Week, taking place across 120 countries to promote cultural acceptance of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life.

Big wins
Passion for the UFC was on full display on Instagram, as younger men posted about Conor McGregor’s epic victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202. And as the Rio Games drew to a close, men and women of all ages took to their feeds to revel in the successes of their favorite gold medal magnets: Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

Screen stealers
The box office and music chart hit “Suicide Squad”was high on younger men’s radar on Facebook. Meanwhile, lovers of spectacle took to Instagram to talk about the MTV Video Music Awards, which featured a highly praised re-creation of Beyonce’s visual album, “Lemonade.”

In commemoration
People of all ages on Facebook and older people on Instagram celebrated the life and death of American actor and comedian Gene Wilder. He was remembered for his roles in ground-breaking comedies, like “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles.” Women on Facebook also mourned the loss of Juan Gabriel, the charismatic Mexican singer who smashed barriers in Latin American music.

Noise makers
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick captivated men on Instagram when he triggered an NFL movement by kneeling during the “Star Spangled Banner” in protest. Young men on Instagram were also in awe over Frank Ocean’s sudden release of his lauded album, “Blond.” And Wizard Entertainment, host of the comic convention Wizard World, was at the center of a “will they” or “won’t they” debate when news got out they would include a guns manufacturer (final answer: no, they wouldn’t).

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What it means for marketers

Facebook and Instagram posts are a reflection of the things that matter most to people and offer opportunities for brands to create meaningful connections through people’s passions and shared causes. Marketers have the chance to form real relationships with audiences when they genuinely contribute to what people care and talk about.

45up: The Age of Empowerment

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes” renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright once remarked. Growing older yet feeling younger, age is becoming just a number. With each passing year, people are showing no signs of winding down. In fact, they’re winding up — starting new businesses, (re)discovering their passions, and indulging their thirst for wanderlust. Read more

Facebook and Instagram: A Tale of Two Feeds

It’s early evening in the US. A 55-year-old checks Facebook to laugh at her grandchildren’s latest antics, then she scrolls through Instagram to spark ideas about her upcoming kitchen remodel. Across the world, a 23-year-old in Japan opens Instagram on his way to work, eager to see what his favorite pop stars are up to. Then he browses Facebook to see if his friends have agreed on a karaoke location for that night.

While people turn to both Facebook and Instagram throughout the day to connect with family, friends and the world, it’s clear that each platform plays a different role in their lives. But what, exactly, are those roles? And do they vary based on people’s age, gender and geography? Read more

Hot Topics: United States July 2016

Patriotism was top of mind in July, as Americans on Facebook and Instagram celebrated Independence Day and participated in discourse with an eye toward November. But politics wasn’t the only flavor of rivalry on display—good ol’ fashioned sports and gaming competitions, from Serena’s triumph at Wimbledon to the masses trying their thumbs at “Pokémon Go,” also got people poking, typing and swiping.

 

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Noise-makers

Older men and women turned to Facebook and Instagram to discuss the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, keying into convention highlights like Ted Cruz’s speech, the Wikileaks scandal and speeches from Melania Trump and First Lady Michelle Obama. Meanwhile, younger men focused on alternative party candidates like Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party.

 

In commemoration

Men and women, young and old, came together to honor those fallen in an attack that happened during celebrations of Bastille Day in Nice, France.

 

Celebrations

Facebook and Instagram were platforms to showcase patriotism this month, as women of all ages celebrated Independence Day and the song “God Bless America.” But women had another reason to celebrate: the emerging shopping holiday, Christmas in July, which has been embraced by retailers to draw in customers during a period that is often slow.

 

Gamers realm

Facebook and Instagram saw discussions from people trying to catch ’em all in July as younger men and women alike discussed the augmented reality game “Pokémon Go.” The location-based mobile game seemed to have triggered enthusiasm for all things Pokémon, with the original anime series and Pokémon Red and Blue (referring to the first two international Pokémon game releases on Game Boy) also popping on Instagram.

 

Let the games begin

Older women celebrated Serena Williams’s historic Wimbledon win on Instagram: her women’s single victory secured her a 22nd Grand Slam title, tying her with Steffi Graf on the all-time list. Meanwhile, younger men took to both Facebook and Instagram to track basketball players after the MLB draft: both Dwayne Wade, who moved to the Chicago Bulls from the Miami Heat, and Kevin Durant, who moved from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, spiked.

 

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What it means for marketers

Whether on the soap box or on the courts, this month showed that healthy competition gets people connecting. As the Rio Games begin and the election cycle heats up, consider how your brand can remain culturally relevant by tapping into fandom and rivalries. But always be sure to remain authentic and showcase your insider knowledge.

Hot Topics: Canada July 2016

In July, Canadians took to Facebook and Instagram to celebrate the country’s biggest annual festivity: Canada Day. They also cheered on major sporting events and fixated on the latest mobile gaming craze.

 

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Brand buzz

The Canadian release of “Pokémon Go” came with a widespread fascination with the gaming app, leading people to share their quest to catch ’em all on Facebook and Instagram.

July also hosted rumours around the upcoming release of the new Apple iPhone, as people on Facebook speculated on everything from its official name and camera to its home button, release date and more.

 

Entertainment

Canadian comedian Mike Ward dominated a big part of the Entertainment conversation on Facebook. The comedian, who was charged with a human rights violation over a joke he made about a handicapped performer, is crowdsourcing legal fees for his appeal.

People on Facebook also shared their reviews for one of the biggest summer blockbusters: the female-led “Ghostbusters” film.

 

Big wins

People on Instagram shared their photos from the Canadian Open in Oakville, Ontario, where Jhonattan Vegas took the top spot. People also showed support for Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic, who made it to the quarter finals in the Rogers Cup, hosted in Toronto.

Finally, Canadians joined the international conversation, sharing their excitement on Instagram for the Portugal National Football Team, the winners of this year’s Euro Cup soccer tournament.

 

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What it means for marketers

Discover more insights about what mattered to people during the month of July in the charts above. And check out Hot Topics from Facebook IQ every month to gain a deeper understanding of your target audiences, develop more relevant creative and plan media more effectively.