Gen Z’s Preferred Social Apps Vary by Activity; Instagram’s Tops for Following Brands

October 29, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Social Media | Teens & Younger | Youth & Gen X

Sure, teens aren’t that into Facebook anymore. But it still serves some purpose to them, according to the State of Gen Z report [download page] from the Center for Generational Kinetics. As is stands, teens prefer different apps for different purposes, and Facebook is the go-to for creating and checking group events.

As for posting content, it’s the most-used social app by teens that is the destination for their efforts. The Gen Z consumers surveyed for the report were most likely to say that they use Snapchat to post a video and to post a selfie. This follows recent research in which Gen Z said they’re more likely to create content for Snapchat than Instagram stories.

But Instagram may be the top dog for marketers. When it came to following brands, the Center for Generational Kinetics found that Instagram is the preferred platform for Gen Z respondents. Once again, this is supported by other research: ongoing surveys from Piper Jaffray have discovered that teens believe Instagram is the best marketing channel with which to reach them.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t true for all youth. While Gen Z respondents were 2.5 times more likely to point to Instagram (41%) as Facebook (16%) as their preferred way to follow brands, an accompanying survey of Millennials reveals that the opposite is true for this slightly older cohort. Millennials tab Facebook as their preferred way to follow brands by a 2:1 margin over Instagram (38% and 20%, respectively).

Reviews and Influencers Are Critical

Consumer reviews are critical to adults’ purchase decisions, and Gen Z consumers are no different. Fully 86% of Gen Z respondents indicated that they read reviews before making a first-time purchase using their own money, and about two-thirds need to read at least 3 reviews. One in 5 need even more support to make a purchase, needing to read at least 7 reviews before making a first-time buy.

For brands looking to control the narrative a little and get into the social media action, influencers can be an important conduit: almost half (46%) of Gen Z respondents reported following more than 10 influencers on social media.

The full study is available for download here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 2,032 respondents belonging to Gen Z (ages 13-22; n=1,000) and the Millennial generation (ages 23-41; n=1,032).

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