YouTube and Instagram rank the highest when Gen Zers are asked what social media platforms they are currently using, followed by Snapchat and then TikTok, according to research undertaken by Joy Ventures and getWizer to track Gen Z’s social media habits. The research was conducted in the US during March 2021, among a representative sample of males and females aged 15-24.
But while YouTube leads the way as the platform most are active on, Instagram is the platform they use the most, followed in second place by TikTok. When gender is taken into account, however, TikTok shoots to number one for girls, while YouTube and Instagram tie in first place for boys.
As their influence and economic power grows, brands are not surprisingly desperate to better understand how they can appeal to Gen Z. With social media playing a central role in the day-to-day lives of Gen Z, Joy Ventures joined forces with getWizer to use its automated research platform to get to grips with Gen Z and its use of social media.
“We were surprised at how varied social media usage is among Gen Z depending on age and gender,” says Shani Broner, SVP Global Research, getWizer. “This is incredibly valuable information for brands looking to use social media to connect with GenZ.”
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“Getting to understand Gen Z social media habits and behaviours enables us to support our entrepreneurs in the wellbeing space, with the goal of developing innovative products that meet consumers where they are,” says Miri Polachek, CEO of Joy Ventures. “getWizer’s automated platform helped us perform our research quickly and efficiently.”
When targeting Gen Z it is important to be aware age also plays a major role in their social media habits, with TikTok ranking as the leading platform for those aged 15-17. Instagram is favoured most by those aged between 18-20, while Facebook leads the way for the 21-24 age group.
Interestingly, Snapchat is the one most Gen Zers wake up with in the morning, while TikTok is the app they go to sleep with. Morning usage, however, sees little variation between the age groups, but those aged 17-20 are most likely to use social media immediately before they fall asleep.
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Highlighting the addictive nature of social media, 20 per cent of respondents say they spend five hours or more on TikTok while 18 per cent spend a similar amount of time on YouTube. Gen Z finds these most addictive platforms in terms of the time spent using them every day.
Only 21 per cent set clearly defined time limits for their social media usage, whereas 34 per cent use the platforms with no regard for how long they spend using them. Interestingly, 26 per cent of boys set a time limit, whereas only 17 per cent of girls do likewise.
Gen Z’s interaction with social media platforms also satisfies various needs. Instagram, for example, is the number one destination for Gen Zers when it comes to connecting and interacting with one another. YouTube, on the other hand, is the go-to platform when they are seeking information or just want to pass time — if they are bored, sad, or alone.