Smartphone and social network enthusiasts: the over 55 have a passion for technology, 8 out of 10 say it simplifies their life

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Last updated on October 4, 2018 at 03:25 pm

An international survey powered by Amplifon and conducted by Ipsos sheds light on a new generation of “young seniors” who are comfortable with technology: Italians, in particular, are hyper-connected, on social media, lovers of smartphones more than seniors in the United States, France, Germany and Australia.

Amplifon’s digital multichannel ecosystem meets the new technological needs of the over 55 and the new app makes it possible to manage devices easily and effectively.


the “silver generation”

Smartphone in hand and always online to share experiences immediately on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is not a portrait of the Millennials, but of a new generation, the “silver generation”, brought to light in the study “Smart ageing. Technology has no age” powered by Amplifon and conducted by Ipsos about the relationship that the over 55 of different countries worldwide have with technology 1. The Italian seniors, in particular, are devoted smartphone users (76%) and stand out for their use of social networks (76% has at least one account) which speaks to a very intimate relationship with technology: for 78% of Italian seniors it simplifies life, for 83% technology makes it possible to do things that they could not do before and for over a third it can improve health (35%). 

Take everything, but not my smartphone

In Italy smartphones have won the hearts of the “silver generation”. The latest generation cell phones are, in fact, the most loved devices of the over 55 in the country: used by 76% of the individuals interviewed, it ranks much higher than laptops (63%) and tablets (41%). The Italian passion for smartphones is shared, at least partially, by Australians and Germans (71%), but is not as strong in France (68%) and the United States (67%). The Italian over 55 are – along with their American peers – the most connected: 75% go online several times during the day versus, for example, 55% of the Germans and 65% of the Australians. 

Per ogni cosa, c’è un’app

 Communicate, look at weather forecasts, find directions, stay informed and make purchases. The Italian “young seniors” have an application for every need. Chatting is the main activity: almost 9 out 10 of those interviewed had downloaded Whatsapp (87% vs 76% of the Germans and 27% of the French) and more than 4 out of 10 had installed Messenger. Apps are indispensable for finding out about the weather (62%), navigating on Facebook (54%) and finding directions (53%), but also for reading the latest news (40% vs 28% of the French and almost 22% of the Germans) and shopping online (30% vs 26% of the Americans and 17% of the Australians and the Germans). 

Now I “tweet”

Along with playing bocce ball and cards, the over 55 pass their time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Italians are on social media more than other countries.

76% has at least one account compared to 75% in the United States, 69% in Australia, 59% in France and 52% in Germany. The top users of Twitter (22% vs 8% of the Germans and 11% of the Australians and the French) and Instagram (18% vs 6% of the Germans and the French), the Italians are second only to the Americans in their use of Facebook (71% vs 67%). The social media seem to debunk the myth that Italians are tied to their families: only 46% said they go online to maintain relations with family members compared to a whopping 78% of the Australians and 77% of the Americans. The reasons for using social media include to pass the time (59%) keep informed (48%) and look up friends in faraway places (43%). Of note is the fact that 25% of the Italians interviewed use social media to discuss current events and 6% for professional reasons like increasing visibility and finding new clients. 

“The research data reveal a new generation of over 55 open to and curious about technology. They have 4 devices on average, are very active online and use the internet to communicate and keep informed. A new generation is emerging worldwide, the young seniors – adds Andrea Fagnoni, Senior Client Officer at Ipsos – people who find themselves in the middle of the technological revolution which doesn’t frighten them, but rather they strive to understand and learn about it by getting involved and discovering even more about the potential benefits of the latest innovations. The Italian over 55 are decidedly part of this trend”.

Technology that simplifies life

In Italy almost 8 out of every 10 individuals have always been passionate about technology. The Italian over 55 recognize the value more than seniors in other countries: 83% say that technology makes it possible to do things they couldn’t do before (the percentage drops to 79% in France and to 69% in Germany), for 78% technology simplifies life and for 35% it improves health (compared to 26% in the United States and 17% in France).

Hearing is unique and personal, like our digital footprint and our DNA

Alessandro Bonacina, Chief Marketing Officer of Amplifon Group

“The Ipsos study presents us with a generation of over 55 with new digital habits and a great interest in technology. Two trends which we, as a company, pay close attention to: we are constantly working to meet the needs of our customers by providing cutting edge instruments allowing them to simplify their lives with positive repercussions for their health. Hearing is unique and personal, like our digital footprint and our DNA. For this reason – explains Alessandro Bonacina, Chief Marketing Officer of Amplifon Groupto improve people’s lives we developed a totally personalized customer experience, a hearing care revolution. We designed a new multichannel ecosystem, which will help the customer at any given moment, inside and outside the store. The launch of the Amplifon APP is the first important step. The application is a real medical device which allows the user to control the hearing aid, connect it to the TV and Smartphone. The ‘Companion’ also makes it possible to analyze usage and provides daily guidance to make the most of Amplifon’s products, while also making it easier to stay in touch with the specialist. It’s an ecosystem that is evolving constantly which will allow us to provide our customers with innovative services to continue to improve their lives. This is our innovative contribution to the simplification of people’s lives”.

Amplifon APP

Available on IOS and Android devices, the Amplifon APP allows for simple and rapid regulation of the hearing aid’s functions such as, for example, adjusting the volume and the different listening programs, as well as access to advanced functions like reducing wind noise and the focus on speech. It also provides the user with the ‘Amplifon companion’, a real virtual trainer which can be utilized to analyze device usage and give personalized recommendations to provide customers with the maximum satisfaction.

1 Comparative survey conducted in different countries on the relationship of the over 55 with the new technologies involving 6,000 people in Italy, Australia, France, Germany and the United States.

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