LOS ANGELES, July 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Tapatalk, the leading mobile forum app, has announced survey results showing that of those participating in online communities such as forums feel better understood by other members than by those on mainstream social media or even people in real life (IRL). To learn more about this trend, Tapatalk conducted a study to better understand how and why people engage with specialized online communities and those in real life. The 1,000 U.S. survey respondents were over 18 and had belonged or currently belong to an online/virtual community that shares a common interest.
The survey results demonstrate that people who have belonged to an online community, such as forums, felt a greater sense of connection. In fact, nearly three quarters (74%) said that belonging to an online community has improved their sense of unity in the world and 77% said it has improved their overall well-being. Part of the reason for this sense of connection is due to over 83% of community members feeling it's easier to find people as passionate about a particular topic as they are online rather than in the real world. The engagement seen within these communities is robust and many members see great value in the exchange of ideas with others. Over three-quarters (76%) consider online community members their friends and 64% think online communities better understand their passions than family and real-world friends.
While this sentiment of appreciation for online communities was felt strongly across generations, it was most apparent for Gen Z and Millennial respondents. About 60% of Gen Z said online community support is very important to them, compared to only 48% of all other generations. Compared to Baby Boomers, Gen Z is 22% more likely to feel their online community better understands their passions than their family or friends and 20% more likely to enjoy the company of an online community more than those around them IRL. Beyond just the enjoyment and comfort of online communities, Gen Z and Millennials are actually finding more trustworthy responses and advice in these digital hubs of exchange. Nearly three quarters (73%) of Gen Z and Millennial respondents trust responses from their specialized online communities more than those from people in person or on Facebook.
Gen Z and Millennials preferring specialized and decentralized online communities over centralized ones like Facebook was also a common sentiment. In fact, 60% of Gen Z and Millennials feel closer to online forum communities than their Facebook friends, compared to only half of older generations. Furthermore, 80% of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials said they feel better understood about their passions by people in their specialized communities than their Facebook friends, compared to only 67% of Baby Boomers. While a preference for specialized online communities over those like Facebook was seen across the generations, it was seen most strongly among America's younger generations.
"Online forums play an increasingly important role as a place where people feel most comfortable discussing their passions and challenges," said Winter Wong, CEO of Tapatalk. "As demonstrated by the younger respondents, the popularity of these specialized online communities will continue to grow as people seek out greater exchange and connection. We're proud to power the infrastructure that enables these valued communities to thrive."
Tapatalk's mobile-first app for forum owners and their members is used by over 200,000 forums in 186 countries. Those forums that have connected to Tapatalk have an aggregate registered user base of 300 million people - in the range of Twitter and Reddit. The Tapatalk mobile app enables forum owners to provide their users with a native app experience, so they can engage with the forums they love on a mobile device, and easily create content and stay engaged with push notifications. For more information, visit Tapatalk.com or follow Tapatalk on LinkedIn, Twitterand Facebook.