According to the Tech Trends 2022 study carried out by Starcom Romania, technology is increasingly becoming part of everyday life, whether we refer to online applications, social networks, online games, smart household appliances or technologies that are now beginning to be discovered at the level local, such as robots, augmented reality or 360 photos and videos.
By Romanita Oprea
The study was attended by Romanian internet users from the urban environment, from all age groups. The study is part of HumanGraphExperience, a series of monthly infographics made by Starcom Romania, based on quantitative studies.
”This study confirmed to us that the technology has gained a strong momentum and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Products and services that some time ago seemed difficult to understand and use have become our everyday reality. And once we saw the possibilities, we have access to, we became aware that technology, in any form, is an enabler for all of us.
We are witnessing the next major stage of the Internet, the Web 3 ecosystem, a topic of global interest, which is becoming more and more known among Romanian consumers, especially through the presence of cryptocurrencies.
People seem to be 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 lifting of restrictions imposed by the pandemic context, people wanted to make the most of offline experiences in 2022. Thus, we can see a slight decrease in internet activity compared to 2021.
However, the digital environment is still omnipresent in people’s lives, with people from the younger generations (18-34 years old) still being the most passionate about it and being more open to trying new opportunities (medical consultations online, Metaverse, e-commerce). On the other hand, older generations (45+) continue to slowly migrate to digital channels, especially for searching information or accessing games.
Online payments and shopping are still top of mind for 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, shaping a new era of Social Media. Thus, consumers are increasingly interested in communities where they can generate authentic connections. Of these, WhatsApp remains at the top of the used platforms, 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 posted on social networks, seeing significant growth for TikTok, one of the most popular Social Media platforms. Twitter also registers a slight growth trend among Romanian urban Internet users compared to 2021.
Rethinking screen time
In terms of the most popular online activities, using banking (49 percent), e-commerce (45 percent) and social networking (45 percent) applications are still on the priority list for consumers, already becoming a norm of daily life by day. Additionally, food ordering apps (Glovo, Bolt Food, etc.) are popular in 2022 as today’s consumers seek convenience and choice in their purchases.
However, people seem to be more interested in spending time outdoors, experiencing the world offline, with a growing interest in apps that enable people to get around: maps / navigation systems (34 percent) and means of transport (Taxi, Uber) (29 percent).
Games – a space for everyone
Like other forms of media, online games have become increasingly popular in recent years amid the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
Among the most appreciated games by urban internet users are puzzle (47 percent), strategy (38 percent) and educational (33 percent).
Podcast topic preferences are changing
Podcasts have been the phenomenon of recent years, giving consumers access to their favorite content anytime, anywhere (for example, while commuting, working out, or cleaning the house).
In 2022, as consumers shift their attention to other types of content as well, we see a growing trend for technology podcasts.
While entertainment and informational podcasts are losing popularity compared to the previous year, educational ones remain a good resource for younger generations who may be looking for alternatives to formal trainings.
Zoom, the leading video conferencing platform
And in 2022, Zoom remains the main video conferencing platform in use, with 67 percent of respondents saying they use it. It is followed by Skype (40 percent), Meet (39 percent), Teams (33 percent) and Webex (9 percent).
YouTube, in the top of preferences for music platforms
YouTube remains the favorite music platform of Romanians (83 percent of respondents). Spotify follows by a considerable margin (37 percent), which shows a significant increase compared to 2021.
Technology becomes part of everyday life
In 2022, people are exposed to new technologies more and more, so they start to consider gadgets that improve their lives as something natural.
The most up-to-date and willing to integrate these new technologies into their daily lives are especially 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 the most used technology in 2022 as well, and people’s interest in monitoring health and fitness activity is increasing. Also, in an era of speed, 5G technology seems to be very attractive to consumers, with its adoption increasing significantly compared to last year.
As for the new technologies that are just starting to be discovered locally, people are becoming more and more curious, especially towards Augmented Reality, 360 photos / video and robots, these are on an upward trend.
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, in the future, technology will replace the work of people, negatively impacting the number of available jobs.
Web technologies 3
Among urban Internet users, 77 percent have heard of at least one Web 3 technology, cryptoworlds being the most in-depth among both men (66 percent) and women (54 percent), especially among the younger generations (18-34 years old).
For 4 out of 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 carried out by the media agency Starcom Romania, between October 17 and 20, 2022, using the CAWI (Computer Assisted Interviews) method on a sample of 803 people, aged over 18, from urban areas, internet users.