••• social media research

Taking a break from the ‘Gram?

In a December 2017 survey by ad agency Hill Holliday, conducted by its in-house research division Origin, more than half of young adults ages 18 to 24 said they're "seeking relief from social media."  

Some have deleted their social accounts entirely – 34 percent of young adults surveyed said they'd done so – and roughly two-thirds said they'd taken a break from social platforms.

The reasons vary but for many, it's worries about wasting time, while others think there's a lot of negativity on social platforms. Disinterest in content and platform commercialization were also cited as motivations for quitting social media.

Facebook, for example, checks many boxes named by young adults as reasons to take a social sabbatical. Many users said they were dissatisfied with the social media giant because of negative interactions with other users, irrelevant content due to News Feed updates and a sense that the platform is inundated with promotional ad space. And it wasn't just Facebook. Young adults were more likely to take a break from or delete their Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter accounts than their Tinder, Pinterest or LinkedIn ones. 

••• gaming research

Roblox gaining on Minecraft

Minecraft is the juggernaut of kid gaming, backed by Microsoft and boasting nearly 144 million lifetime sales. A study by research firm Interpret confirms that while Minecraft is still the most-played game among kids in the U.S., currently being played by over a quarter of gamers age 6-12, the title seems to have lost some steam. 

GameByte – an annual study of kids’ gaming habits and preferences – has tracked Minecraft playership since 2012 and the results of this year’s study show the first drops in active playership ever. Minecraft’s share of all gaming time by kids age 6-12 has dropped 5 percent since last year, although it still commands a hefty 13 percent of total game time. 

One possible explanation for the dip is the recent rise of Roblox, a mod-friendly title that borrows Minecraft’s ethos of building and playing anything. Roblox still lags behind Minecraft (the study ranks it as the No. 2 kids game in the U.S. by active playership) but its gains over the past 12 months are significant. Since last year’s study, Roblox’s active kid playership has more than doubled on both PC and console. 

One thing that Minecraft and Roblox share is their ability to monopolize play time. Over one-third of Roblox and Minecraft players report playing other games less because of these titles. This “one-game” phenomenon affects toys as well, causing a similar proportion of Roblox and Minecraft to play less with physical toys.