By: Bradley Maseko
Social networking and smartphones will play an all-important role in the youth marketing and media trends for 2011, as they have become part of the youth lifestyle and culture. The following trends will make it easy to see why they are and will continue to be a dominant force in the youth market for the year 2011 and beyond.
1. Social media
Seen by most as the biggest shift since the industrial revolution, social media has become an important aspect of the youth culture. 2011 will see more youth becoming addicted to social networking and more companies targeting the youth through this means, due to its great viral effect.
It makes it also easy to understand why Time magazine named Facebook founder Mark Zackerberg man of the year for 2010.
Standard phones cannot fully cater to the online and social networking craving of the youth and, as more companies and universities introduce policies that limit the use of social networking sites during the day/working hours, this has led to more youth jumping onto the smartphone bandwagon as a means of countering these restrictions.
The increase in the number of smartphone users has also been greatly fuelled by the decrease in prices, which has made the phones more affordable for the youth.
More youth are discovering that they can do more with their phones and this interest has given rise to the downloading of different applications. Different brands have different apps ranging from business applications to entertainment, but the one thing apps have in common is the fact that they make it easier and more exciting to use phones.
With Apple alone having over 300 000 applications to choose from and it having opened its Apple Mac application store on 6 January 2011 - with over one million apps downloaded in one day - and with all the new apps for the tablets, we can expect 2011 to be a year of apps....