Philip Ellis
News & Views
The social habits of Generation Z

Millennials are so last year. The new demographic that market researchers are getting excited about are those who were born between 1996 and 2010. Unlike consumers born in the 1980s and 1990s, these “Generation Z” kids are true digital natives, having never known a world without easily accessible internet.

A recent report published by AdWeek examines the social media consumption habits of over 1,400 respondents in the 13 to 20 age range, including their preferred platforms and their attitudes towards brand endorsements.

What platforms are essential to Gen Z?

YouTube is by far the most popular platform among this group, with 95% using it and 50% saying they couldn’t live without it. 15% say they couldn’t live without Snapchat, and only 9% say they couldn’t live without Faebook or Instagram.  After YouTube, the other social networks take a bit of a dive; 69% say they use Instagram, 67% use Facebook and Snapchat, and only 52% use Twitter.

There’s also a gender split across some of these platforms, with Gen Z males more likely to use Twitch and Reddit, and females more likely to use visual channels like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.

How do they use these platforms?

When it comes to staying in touch with friends, 35% use Snapchat, and 26% use Facebook. For keeping up to date with the news and current events, 23% use both Facebook and YouTube. YouTube is also the leader in shopping reviews and recommendations (24%) and tutorials (66%).

Attitudes to influencers and brands:

Most of these figures confirm what we already know; for instance, Gen Z trust social media influencers just as much as they do “traditional” celebrities like TV or movie stars. In some cases, they trust them even more; 70% say they would trust an online influencer for advice when purchasing tech gadgets, while only 21% would trust a mainstream celebrity. Social media stars also have 48% trust when it comes to recommending beauty products, marginally more than traditional celebs who have 44%.

While most Gen Zers are fine with a celebrity or influencer putting out branded content, they insist on transparency. 79% say it’s OK for a star to talk about why they like a certain brand, but they prefer it if the spokesperson’s relationship with the brand is made clear.

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