By Loh Kai Zhi, SEA Regional Senior Marketing Manager, TikTok
Technology is being adopted at a much faster pace by today’s younger generation as it becomes more accessible to users of all ages. In Malaysia, a recent report showed that Internet penetration in households are at 90.8 percent in 2019.
A separate 2020 report highlights that the number of Malaysians on social network platforms are an estimated 26 million out of the estimated 32.5 million total population. This means that 80 percent of Malaysians use social platforms and the Internet in their daily lives.
Social platforms have thus evolved from being a place to connect and build relationships with friends and family, to a place where individuals can express their creativity, create and share content, reach out to brands, and also purchase products.
There is no time more opportune than today to fully embrace digitalisation. The generations of digital natives, more commonly known as Millennials and Gen Zs, have proven to be more proficient when learning new technologies as they have essentially grown up with access to technology such as computers, smartphones, and the Internet, as compared to the older generations.
Digital immigrants consist of Gen X and Baby Boomers, who were not exposed to a digital environment from a young age but instead, adopted it when they were adults. Although a large number of Malaysians use social media, the ways these individuals use the platforms differ from one generation to the next.
When social media first started, it was a way for users to get in touch with people, keep up with current happenings, and to stay entertained. Now, all generations use social media as part of their daily routines. The various types of social media platforms draw in different age groups as their user base, as they find different values in the type of content that each platform produces.
However, there is a clear disparity between how the older and younger generations use social media. The younger generations prefer to use social media platforms to see content that they are interested in, such as pictures or videos from users that they follow or posts from a select group of friends.
The older generations tend to use social media to share their lives, family updates and photos with their peers and interact with like-minded individuals in their online community. It goes without saying that despite the differences, all age groups also have things in common when using social media, such as staying connected with their family and friends, researching brands and products, and learning new things.