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Finding Generation Z: What platforms do they use most?

Move over Millennials. It’s time to make room for Generation Z.

Unlike their counterparts born through the eighties to early nineties, Gen Z has grown up in a completely digital world. Their formative years came at a time when internet usage and social media activity became a ubiquitous part of daily life. In contrast, Millennials, particularly those at the older end of the generation, came of age at the intersection of an analog and digital world. 

Possessing an instinctual savvy for all things digital, Gen Z’ers are more aware about self-image than previous generations. They embrace sharing on social media, but there are limits. They’ve taken note of how previous generations have shared too much information online and as a result, take a more conservative approach to their portrayal on the internet.

Their buying behavior is equally as reserved. Generation Z is a group that experienced the Great Recession during a formative time in their lives. As a result, they are a cohort that cares deeply about financial stability.

By 2020, Gen Z is expected to account for 40 percent of all consumers. Where can brands seeking to tap into this massive market find them? We’ve outlined a few places below.

The Leaders 

YouTube: Generation Z is spending much less time consuming traditional television programming and much more time tuning into YouTube. One of the main reasons the Google-owned video platform is a draw for them is because of its mobile accessibility. More than 96 percent of the Generation Z cohort owns a smartphone and they’re using mobile devices to watch video. Also with plenty of short-form content available on demand, YouTube caters itself to the viewing habits of Generation Z’ers, who hold an average attention span of eight seconds.

Snapchat: Out of all the social networks available today, Snapchat is perhaps the platform Gen Z’ers gravitate to the most. Featuring content available for a limited time only, Snapchat’s fundamentally private design is a big reason why Generation Z’ers have attached themselves to the nearly six-year old platform. As alluded to earlier, Generation Z is aware about the image they portray online, so sharing of temporary photos and videos is appealing.  According to a study from PR firm SCG, more than 78 percent of surveyed Generation Z’ers said they are active users of Snapchat.

Instagram: The social network that began as a photo-sharing service is in a neck-and-neck race with Snapchat. Over the last year, Instagram has taken and incorporated some of Snapchat’s most popular features, like the story, to bolster its popularity among younger audiences. Since launching stories in late 2016, Instagram has grown usage of the feature to 250 million people according to TechCrunch. The major draw of Instagram for Generation Z’ers is its function as a creative outlet Digiday reported. Much of the content that performs extremely well on Instagram is centered around high-quality photography and well-produced videos.

Trailing but Still in the Game… 

Facebook: Although it has an active user base, Facebook is not nearly as popular among Generation Z’ers as some of the previously-detailed alternatives. The 13-year-old social network is not the preferred platform of choice among Generation Z because of its reputation as an outlet for adults. As noted in one of our previous blogs, Facebook is the preferred social medium of choice for Baby Boomers, with more than 90 percent of them adopters of the platform according to eMarketer. Despite their waning interest in the platform, it continues to be a major presence in the lives of Generation Z. In a study cited by Adweek of 1,452 US teens and young adults ages 13-20, 67 percent of respondents were Facebook users.

Twitter: Twitter’s growth has stalled in recent years due to the emergence of social networks like Snapchat and Instagram. Chat apps like WhatApp and Facebook Messenger have also stunted progress of the real-time social messaging platform.

The Up-and-Comers Roughly 200 million people have been flocking to and most of them are teens. Founded in Beijing in 2014, the app encourages users to share short looping videos of themselves (think Vine) lip syncing over their favorite songs. Due to its pop culture appeal with young audiences,’s most recent valuation came in at $500 million.

HouseParty: Launched in 2016, HouseParty has attracted Generation Z with live video streaming in a private group setting. As of December of last year, the app had more than 1 million daily users.

Are you looking for a way to get your brand in front of Generation Z? Contact Awlogy for consultation and assistance today.

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