Few brands are as clued in to what Gen Y is thinking as is MTV, with its sweet spot of 18 to 24. But increasingly, the company is trying to suss out what is on the minds of the youngest Millennials — those between 12 and 17 — not to mention how the older wave is navigating such gloomy employment prospects. We asked Alison Hillhouse, VP at MTV Insights, fresh off a research blitz, to share what’s coming from this next wave.
Q: So what are the biggest differences between the younger end of Gen Y and their older brothers and sisters?
A: They’re moving to Twitter, especially the 15 to 18 crowd. It really seems to be exploding all of a sudden with teenagers. They say, “We’re all transitioning to Twitter, because our parents are on Facebook, and we get a lot of spam on Facebook.” Of course, the numbers are huge for Facebook, and these kids know they need it. They have to check in there; you can’t avoid it. But their intimate conversations? Those are now happening on Twitter. They talk in code a little bit more there, and there’s less pressure to friend your entire school there.
Q: They’re not nervous?
A: No. They think experience is overrated. In fact, 55% say their hustle is more valuable than an MBA would be. More than half of them think you can Google how to be the CEO of a startup.
Q: What about politics?
A: That’s very complicated. But one thing we see is that they like to be funny. They get their political views from memes.
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