Do Baby Boomers use Messaging Apps?


Alumni Travelers tend to range from 50-85 years old. These travelers remember when cell phones were bigger than their heads. An iPhone was merely science fiction when they were born. Now the majority of people have smartphones, and they use them to message friends and family while traveling.

Percentage of Smart Phone Users (Aged 50+)

Pew Research cites that 96% of Americans currently own some kind of cell phone. 81% of those Americans are using smartphones. 8 years ago, this was unheard of. In 2011 only 35% of people had smartphones.

But what about your clients? If your travelers fall between 50-64 years old, you can expect 95% of them to have a cell phone with 79% using a smartphone. For those aged 65+ 91% carry cellphones and 53% of those are smart phones. These numbers tend to increase in higher income households; such as those spending thousands of dollars to travel to a sporting event or somewhere more exotic.

What are they doing on their smartphones? It turns out they are doing the same things as you and I.

5 Cell Phone Uses for Baby Boomers:

  1. Looking at the date and time
  2. Video chatting with grandchildren
  3. Texting with friends
  4. Using GPS to help navigate when driving or walking
  5. Making emergency phone calls

Source: Aging in Place: Cell Phone Guide for Seniors

Just yesterday you were explaining to your mom/grandma what an iPhone is. Now she’s using hers to text friends. The intuitive nature of modern phones have made it easy to communicate for the least tech savvy age group. However emails are still going unread on their mobile devices.

This means that a last minute reminder email sent to a traveler older than 65, only has a 13% chance of being read. They do use email, but in some scenarios messaging is a more effective way of reaching them. Smartphones are becoming a necessary travel tool. In a 2016 survey by, 76% of travelers named their mobile device as their number one travel accessory. When they’re not sharing photos to Facebook, they’re using Facebook Messenger to check in with their children and grandchildren back home.

Peoplocity’s Numbers

At the past Rose Bowl, our 2-way messaging application had an average 72% download rate with 1000 travelers. We found that travelers with more complex travel packages like air and land transportation and optional tours, downloaded it at a higher rate. They were more likely to need updates and reminders versus a traveler with a Game Day only package.

Not only did they download it, they used it and loved it!

“Thank you for a wonderful experience! The app was very helpful – responses were quick and saved us a trip to the help desk. Good job to all!”

– Ohio State Fan

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use messaging to more effectively engage with your travelers, click here to schedule a demo.

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