The generation of people today who have always lived and grown up with the internet is Gen Z. A huge part of the world’s population has seen the introduction and growth of the internet through the years, whereas another has seen it as an irreplaceable part of life. And with the convenience of communication that comes with the online world, a lot of the youth also lives and breathes social media. People’s day doesn’t feel complete without Snapchat stories, TikTok videos and Instagram live streaming being watched or posted.
Gen Z mostly consists of teens who constantly use social media platforms and have always had smartphones around them. It is no wonder then that they often become either perpetrators or target audiences for viral trends online. Let’s better understand what are Gen Z’s preference for social media websites and why.
Social Media for the Gen Z
Gen Z or the post-millennial population cannot imagine a world with the medium of communication that we enjoy today. A world without likes, reactions, follows and subscribes is not something they have experienced and can properly comprehend. So connecting with people including family, friends and anyone else has been at a tap or click away. The uses of social media in their daily life has been huge and thus, it gets easier to understand just how much of a big deal it is for them to be as active on these platforms as possible.
At any given time of the day, nearly half of the population in Gen Z is online. Research suggests that around 45% of teenagers go almost constantly and a similar portion of them go online many times a day. With access to smartphones, tablets and PCs, this number is likely to rise even more.
So what does this large chunk of Gen Z demographic do online?
The most common answer is to stream content. Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Reddit and the list is endless. They happen to watch almost a full day (24 hours) of video content per week. One can keep browsing on for different types of content and yet they will not exhaust all that is there to search for.
The more smartphones there are around us, the more people are online. Similarly, the quick evolution of internet usage has also led to the need for smartphones everywhere. It is a cyclic equation where one is not without the other. Today, the majority of Gen Z either owns smartphones or has access to them in one way or another. This easy access to social media sites through smartphones adds to the habits of being online all the time. Virtually, there is no limit to how long you can be on such websites, thus there are endless things to do online all the time. The online content is curated to the user’s needs and you can easily find what you are looking for. With interlinked posts, relevant advertisements and enough similar content available in just one go, it is no wonder that the Gen Z finds social media easily addictive.
Importance of Visual Mediums
Visual mediums of communication have always generated more interest than simple text-based communications. Thus the preference for visual mediums by the Gen Z is not really surprising. Photos and videos are what pushes the viewers to share, consume and engage with more content online. Instagram being a predominantly visual-based platform is a very good example of this, as it is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there.
Video content, in particular, garners far more takers than any other type. YouTube live streaming, Instagram live streaming and Facebook live streaming being the prime illustrations of this. Although Facebook has been pushed down the list by more recent live streaming platforms and incoming of newer sites, it is still relevant to the masses.
Now that we have understood the reasons why the Gen Z is so active on social media and what are the things they do online, let’s take a closer look at some of their preferred social media stations in 2019.
Preferred Social Media Stations in 2019 for Gen Z
The social media platform with the largest number of users, Facebook caters to both visuals and text. Although there has been a slight decline in its popularity in Gen Z, there is still a sign of young users here. Facebook live streaming, especially, has made it more relevant and help this site to keep up with the newer trends. You must read this post on how to get the most out of Facebook Live to know more about this platform & its features.
If you are a part of the internet using Gen Z and you don’t have an Instagram account, you are truly out of the loop. Instagram live streaming, stories, photographs and memes; this a whole cultural phenomenon that thrives on this platform. And with the increasing number of influencers and marketing content, Instagram is the place to be at. In live streaming industry, both Facebook and Instagram are popular. Here is a quick comparison between Facebook Live Vs Instagram Live.
The most popular video streaming platform in the world, YouTube has been constant entertainment for the masses. And with the advent of Youtube live streaming, it is now in competition with other video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar etc. with an endless number of videos on this platform, it is quite easy to spend hours here.
With succinct statements being shared here, twitter allows users to simply project their thoughts and opinions onto the world. And after its take-over of Periscope, Periscope live streaming through Twitter has added to the reasons why users would flock to this platform. Popular personalities, organisations and events have all caught on to the increasing traction the Periscope live streaming has from the Gen Z.
Whether it is simple photographic communication through Snaps, the option of using interesting filters, putting on daily Snap-stories or chatting through this platform, Snapchat is easy and fun. Especially for the Gen Z, Snapchat is hugely popular in helping build connections with people without having to “talk”.
One of the most recent trendsetters, TikTok is an app for making and sharing short videos on an online community. The videos are usually parodies of songs, movies and Tv show scenes. It is a fun activity for the Gen Z along with the follows shares and likes that are now a standard part of social media platforms.
One can simply conclude that the most popular social media stations for Gen Z in 2019 are the ones that have the most visual content and usually possess the quality to make that content viral. This fact has also been acknowledged by companies and brands who want to target this age group of individuals through digital media marketing and live streaming strategies. With these interactive platforms, it is easy for them to get the pulse of their audience and even get useful feedback. Those who follow these Gen Z marketing trends are the ones who profit from this market.