According to the “Tech Trends 2022” study carried out by Starcom Romania, technology is becoming more and more part of everyday life, be it online applications, social networks, online games, smart home appliances or technologies that are now being discovered at the level local, such as robots , augmented reality or 360-degree photos and videos.
By Romanita Oprea
Romanian urban internet users of all ages took part in the study. The study is part of HumanGraphExperience, a series of monthly infographics created by Starcom Romania and based on quantitative studies.
“This study has confirmed to us that the technology has gained a lot of momentum and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Products and services that some time ago seemed difficult to understand and use have become our everyday reality. And as we saw the opportunities we have access to, we realized that technology in any form is a enabler for all of us.
We are witnessing the next great stage of the Internet, the Web 3 ecosystem, a topic of global interest that is becoming more and more known among Romanian consumers, especially with the presence of cryptocurrencies.
People seem to be getting more and more curious, but they need more time to understand and take advantage of the unique experiences that await them on these digital platforms,” said Mihaela Nouraș, Consumer Strategist, Starcom Romania.
Balance between online and offline activity
With the restrictions imposed by the pandemic context lifted, people in 2022 wanted to make the most of offline experiences. Therefore, we can see a slight decrease in internet activity compared to 2021.
However, the digital environment is still pervasive in people’s lives, with people from the younger generations (18-34 years old) still being the most passionate and open to trying new possibilities (online medical consultations, metaverse, e-commerce). ). On the other hand, older generations (45+) continue to slowly switch to digital channels, especially to search for information or access games.
Online payments and shopping remain at the forefront of consumers’ online activities.
The power of virtual communities
The popularity of the social network Facebook is beginning to decline, especially among younger generations, as consumer needs change and shape a new era of social media. As a result, consumers are increasingly interested in communities where they can make authentic connections. Of these, WhatsApp remains at the top of the platforms used and Telegram is being adopted by more and more people as these spaces encourage all members of the community to express themselves freely and create content of interest to the entire community.
However, people remain interested and anchored in the content being posted on social networks and are seeing significant growth for TikTok, one of the most popular social media platforms. Twitter also registers a slight growth trend in Romanian urban internet users compared to 2021.
Rethink screen time
When it comes to the most popular online activities, the use of banking (49 percent), e-commerce (45 percent) and social networking applications (45 percent) remain on the top of consumers’ priority lists and are already becoming the norm of everyday life . Additionally, grocery ordering apps (Glovo, Bolt Food, etc.) will be popular in 2022 as today’s consumers seek convenience and choice in their shopping.
However, people seem more interested in spending time outdoors, experiencing the world offline, with growing interest in apps that make it possible to get around: maps/navigation systems (34 percent) and transportation (taxi, Uber) (29 percent).
Games – a room for everyone
Like other forms of media, online gaming has grown in popularity in recent years amid the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
The most popular games among urban Internet users include puzzles (47 percent), strategy (38 percent) and educational games (33 percent).
Podcast topic preferences are changing
Podcasts are the phenomenon of the last few years, offering consumers access to their favorite content anytime, anywhere (e.g. while commuting, working out or cleaning the house).
As consumers turn their attention to other types of content in 2022, we see a growing trend towards technology podcasts.
While entertainment and informational podcasts are slipping in popularity year-on-year, educational podcasts remain a good resource for younger generations who may be looking for alternatives to formal training.
Zoom, the leading video conferencing platform
And in 2022, Zoom remains the most used video conferencing platform, with 67 percent of respondents saying they use it. This is followed by Skype (40 percent), Meet (39 percent), Teams (33 percent) and Webex (9 percent).
YouTube, at the top of music platform settings
YouTube remains the most popular music platform for Romanians (83 percent of respondents). Spotify follows at a clear distance (37 percent), which represents a significant increase compared to 2021.
Technology becomes part of everyday life
In 2022, people are exposed to more and more new technologies, so they start to see gadgets that improve their life as something natural.
The most recent and willing to integrate these new technologies into their daily lives are primarily men and people in the millennial age group.
New technologies and interest in them
The most popular technologies among urban internet users are those that improve the user experience, such as 5G (61 percent), artificial intelligence (55 percent), and smart appliances (54 percent).
Smart wearables are still the most used technology in 2022 and people’s interest in monitoring health and fitness activities is increasing. Also, in times of speed, 5G technology seems very attractive to consumers as its adoption has increased significantly compared to last year.
As for the new technologies that are only just being discovered locally, people are becoming more and more curious, especially about augmented reality, 360 photos/videos and robots, these are on the up.
How artificial intelligence is perceived
According to the Tech Trends 2022 study, 54 percent of urban internet users, especially men, say they feel comfortable interacting with brands that use artificial intelligence.
On the other hand, 51 percent of respondents are concerned about the possibility that technology will replace human labor in the future, negatively impacting the number of jobs available.
web technologies 3
Among urban internet users, 77 percent have heard of at least one Web 3 technology, with crypto worlds being most intense among both men (66 percent) and women (54 percent), especially among the younger generations (18-34 years). .
For 4 in 10 urban internet users, cryptocurrencies/NFTs are the future of investing.
Urban internet users also expect to interact with product/service categories such as home appliances, banking, and fashion in the metaverse (virtual space).
The Tech Trends 2022 study was conducted by the Starcom Romania media agency between October 17th and 20th, 2022 using the CAWI (Computer Assisted Interviews) method on a sample of 803 people over 18 years old from urban areas and internet users.