It is undeniable that the digital era continues to dominate our daily lives as we deepen our reliance on smartphones and the internet. From social media platforms to instant messaging apps, video streaming services, and podcasts – the internet is an increasing source of engagement and information for all age groups, including seniors aged 65 and over.
Internet and Smartphone Usage Across Age Groups
A closer look at the statistics reveals how ingrained digital habits are becoming. On average, French citizens engage with the internet for about 2 hours and 24 minutes daily. It's also interesting to note that people aged between 50 to 64 spend nearly the same amount of time online, averaging 2 hours and 29 minutes a day. The trend continues amongst the 65 and over age group, who dedicate around 1 hour and 32 minutes to the internet daily.
Smartphones are quickly becoming a popular tool to access the internet with 57% of those aged 65 and over, and 79% of the entire French population utilizing them. By 2023, 93% of households had internet access with the 15-65 age group almost fully connected. Even more impressive, 81% of people aged 65 and over go online at least once a month, a fivefold increase since 2009.
Preference for Social Media and Instant Messaging
Emails are rapidly being replaced by apps like WhatsApp and social media platforms. In fact, by 2023, two-thirds of the French population were using these platforms. On average, a French citizen uses about 3.5 social media platforms per day. The 50-64 age group averages around three, while those aged 65 and over utilize approximately 2.3. An impressive 39% of internet usage is dedicated to these platforms.
Different apps resonate better with different age groups. Facebook, for example, is favored by 40% of those aged 65 and over, more than Instagram, Snapchat, X.com (formerly Twitter), and TikTok. The steady rise in the average age of social media users corroborates this trend, climbing to 44 in 2023 from 41 in 2018.
The Rise of Online Streaming Services and Podcasts
Internet consumption isn't confined to social media and instant messaging. Video streaming services, for example, are drawing a considerable audience with 52.4 million French visitors each month. Podcasts aren't far behind, drawing nearly 20 million French listeners.
The Emergence of AI Generative Tools
AI generative tools, a relatively new entrant into the digital landscape, are showing promising signs of adoption. Regular usage amongst the French population stands at 5 million and is likely to grow.
Online News Consumption
News consumption has also shifted online, with 69% of the French population and nearly two-thirds of 15-24 year olds getting their news from dedicated websites and apps each month. Online written press is particularly popular, with smartphones being used by 40.3 million people to access news.