GenZ Social Media Whys

Part
01
of two
Part
01

GenZ Social Media Whys

Due to the fact that most are still in their teenage and college years, Generation Z is still in the process of development and experimentation, making pinning down their social media habits difficult. Even so, there are some distinct broader trends in their concerns about social media and the platforms that they are gravitating towards that six key insights emerge from the data: They're gravitating away from Facebook and towards YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, as well as experimenting with numerous newer platforms like TikTok. They're primarily looking for entertainment and are highly visual. While they do enjoy connecting socially, they care deeply about their online privacy and so are gravitating towards platforms which help them to guard that. Finally, they want authenticity in their interactions and they want to change the world ... using social media.
Below is a deep dive into our findings. Note that while we did at least a surface-level study of each of the platforms mentioned in the report criteria, not all will be addressed in this brief. Fortnite, for example, is an online, multiplayer game, not a social media platform per se (even though it includes a social element and has been noted to build friendships between players), and so is outside of the intent of this report.

THEY'RE GRAVITATING AWAY FROM FACEBOOK

Gen Zers are connected almost perpetually through mobile devices; 95% of teenagers have access to a smartphone and the average teen spends an average of 11 hours per week on it. YouTube is by far the most popular social media channel among Gen Zers, drawing 90% of those age 18-24. The popularity of YouTube is hardly surprising given that Gen Z spends an average of 23 hours a week streaming videos. The video sharing platform is followed by Facebook (76%), Instagram (75%), and Snapchat (73%) in popularity.

However, except for Instagram, which grew in engagement from 71% in 2015, engagement with every major social media platform decreased in the last year, with YouTube and Facebook dropping 4 points and Snapchat dropping 5. Younger Gen Zers (the teens) are shifting away from Facebook even more quickly, dropping from 71% in 2015 to just 51% in 2018. Meanwhile, teen Instagram usage rose from 52% to 72% and Snapchat grew from 41% to 69%. Pew Research states, "For the most part, teens tend to use similar platforms regardless of their demographic characteristics, but there are exceptions." For example, Facebook is more likely to be used by teens from lower-income households. Girls are more likely to use Snapchat the most often (42% to 29%) while boys prefer YouTube (39% to 25%). Incidentally, both boys and girls enjoy video games, but for boys, gaming is almost ubiquitous (97%) compared to girls (83%).

As summed up by a Criteo study, "Older platforms like Facebook are still relevant, but the newer social networks like Instagram and Snapchat appeal more to the younger set." This is likely due in part to how they prefer to absorb content and their privacy concerns (see below).

Few (17%) use LinkedIn yet, but this is likely because the platform is primarily used by college graduates and only the oldest Gen Z members have reached that point yet. WhatsApp is only used by 20% of Gen Zers, though it is fairly popular among Hispanics (42%, not segmented by age in the available data). Reddit only captures 21% of Gen Z, but this is higher than for any other group besides younger Millennials (23% for age 25-29), meaning that Gen Z is well-represented within the platform, though it is not a favorite.

Some marketers are concerned at a recent study that shows that 34% of Gen Zers have "'permanently' deleted their social media accounts." Of course, as the NYU Dispatch notes, "permanence is a vague concept among this age group," and there's every likelihood that they'll be back--"even if on a different platform." For example, TikTok has risen rapidly in popularity among this generation at the same time that their Facebook usage has declined. This follows a finding that 49% of 18- to 24-year-olds said in 2018 that it would not be difficult to give up social media.

THEY'RE HIGHLY VISUAL

While Millennials mostly use social media to stay in contact with friends and family, Gen Zers "are actually more likely to be using social media to fill up time and to find entertainment." This affects their choices regarding platforms in ways which, stereotypically, older generations often just don't get. A common running joke among article writers is that if you're old enough to remember Kesha's 2009 song "Tik Tok," you're probably too old to know about the TikTok social media app. The app currently has over 100 million active users, or "Musers," over half of which are in Generation Z. These can create and post 15-second clips, most often of self-made music videos of themselves lip-syncing, though various challenges and memes are also popular. The 15-second limit hits the sweet spot for Gen Z's infamously short attention-span, which Whitney Dailey, Director of Marketing/Research & Insights, only half-jokingly called "as short as the loading time on a website."

Another reason for TikTok's popularity is because Gen Zers want "highly visual and compelling content," with 68% preferring videos, 56% preferring pictures, and 49% preferring written stories and articles. Counter-intuitively, only 33% prefer infographics or other means of giving them raw data. Even more surprisingly, only a quarter prefer quizzes or games for their online content, suggesting that they prefer to absorb information somewhat passively and with the context or meaning built-in.

THEY'RE LOOKING FOR NEW FRIENDS

Being so visual, Gen Zers find that Facebook's limited and mostly text-based messaging just isn't cutting it. Instead, they are shifting to new social media apps like House Party, which enables video chat between up to eight people at a time. Many are interested in apps designed to help them safely meet new people. So, for example, Monkey links with Snapchat to allow a 15-second video chat with new people--long enough to decide if they want to add more time, short enough to "avoid cyberbullying and threats." Meanwhile, Bumble has grown from a Tinder-like dating app to become a "friend discovery marketplace" with Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz.

THEY WANT AN "AUTHENTIC" EXPERIENCE

It is well-known among marketers that rather than reaching Gen Zers through celebrity endorsements in a classical advertisement (which feels forced and inauthentic to the rising generation), the go-to strategy is to find relatable influencers whose interests and personality compliment the brand. We would hypothesize that the inverse is also true: A new social media channel would do well to draw existing influencers and encourage the development of new ones to draw both Gen Zers and marketers to the platform. Interestingly, nearly two-thirds (62%) don't mind ads as long as those ads "provide value" and feel organic; "all the better if ads can feel like native content in actual social media feeds."

THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR PRIVACY

Generation Z is far more privacy-conscious than previous generations, with 87% considering keeping their information private to outweigh getting "likes" or other measures of popularity. Naturally, this is heavily dependent on age, with those under the age of 19 twice as likely to consider popularity to be more important. Two-thirds say that they are careful about what personal information they share online and about the same number say they have personalized the privacy settings on their accounts and that they are uncomfortable sharing their location publicly. Only 5% of females and 8% of males say they "accept every invitation to connect with others."

This concern about privacy impacts Gen Z's platforms of choice. So, for example, in place of the old message board format, in which a person's input may be permanently archived and available to the world, many are turning to Discord to communicate with other fans of their hobbies, which provides a "great degree of anonymity." This is also likely why Snapchat trails YouTube in overall use, yet 35% of teens say that they use Snapchat "the most often" compared to only 32% who said YouTube.

As a result, nearly two-thirds (64%) have recently changed their Facebook privacy settings, and 44% deleted the app from their phone in 2018. Even among those who have stayed on the platform, it is common (47%) to have taken at least one break of several weeks or more from Facebook.

THEY WANT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE

Privacy concerns are not the only reason Gen Zers are abandoning Facebook and similar social media platforms. Those who leave or take a break from social media cite the following reasons:
  • Wasting too much time (41%)
  • Too much negativity (35%)
  • Not using it as often (31%)
  • Not interested in the content (26%)
  • Privacy concerns (22%)
  • Too much attention-seeking (18%)
  • Too commercialized (18%)
  • Makes them feel bad about themselves (17%)

This fits perfectly with the fact that they primarily use social media for entertainment. If staying on a platform is creating stress and negativity, Gen Zers see no reason not to delete it in favor of another which gives them "a positive and empowering experience."

THEIR apps need a reason to exist

As a result, there is a disconnect between Gen Z's use of social media and that of Millennials, or Gen X. A common joke among social observers is that if you're old enough to remember Kesha's 2009 song "Tik Tok," you're probably too old to know about the TikTok social media app. The app currently has over 100 million active users, or "Musers," over half of which are in Generation Z. Users of the platform can create and post 15-second clips, most often of self-made music videos of themselves lip-syncing, though various challenges and memes are also popular. This makes it perfect for Gen Z's desire for entertainment, positivity, and privacy.

Note that while Gen Z is highly engaged and willing to try out new social media platforms, they keep fewer social media platforms than Millennials (an average of 7 platforms vs. the Millennials' 8) and have become increasingly choosy about where they share their own content, most likely because of the aforementioned privacy concerns. In addition, Gen Zers don't stay fixed on any one social media platform. Instead, they're prone to "channel hopping," especially when they encounter a new brand. So, for example, they might stumble onto a new brand on an Instagram ad, hop over to YouTube to research it, and get feedback from peers on Snapchat. This, combined with their choosiness, means that each social media platform needs to have a purpose that satisfies a Gen Zer's needs if it is going to stay on their mobile device for long.

THEY WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD ... WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Much like Millennials, Gen Zers want to make a difference in the world, and 81% of them believe that "they can have an impact on social and environmental issues by using social media." Since they themselves are as easily swayed by the opinions of others on social media (26%) as they are by the news (also 26%), and because so much of their social interaction is at least mediated by social media, "more than half (58%) feel that supporting social or environmental issues online is actually more effective at making a difference than doing something out in their communities."

CONCLUSION

The major difference between Millennials and Gen Zers when it comes to social media technology is that Millennials are "Tech Savvy," while Gen Z is "Tech Innate," having never known a world without social media and related technologies that Millennials grew into. Consequently, they grew up with a well-developed sense of the danger social media can present to one's privacy, sense of well-being, and even future. Even acknowledging those dangers, most believe that social media is a tool that plays a positive role in their lives, though their platforms of choice are evolving--as indeed everything in their young lives is evolving. Consequently, while the above observations are true today, no social media platform can afford to remain static if it wants to remain relevant, as Facebook is beginning to find out.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

GenZ Market Analysis

With 95% of Gen Xers saying they either own or have access to a smartphone, it is one of the most important trends amongst this age group. The smartphone is their ticket to the world, as it lets them find information on social issues, gain circles of friends, find products to buy and become activists for their preferred causes. YouTube enjoys incredible popularity amongst this demographic, as it puts videos from every possible topic at their fingertips. It has replaced television as the most watched medium for this age group. Gen Xers are attracted to influencers over celebrities as they seem more approachable and relatable. Some influencers have a more loyal fan base than many celebrities.

In determining the trends and insights for Gen Xers, we consulted surveys from reputable firms along with market studies and press releases. After compiling this information, we included trends that were mentioned across multiple surveys and reports along with notable people and items in each trend.

GEN Z FACTS & Insights

Gen Z is the most connected and digitally experienced generation to date. They have never experienced a world without smartphones or the internet. Making up 25.9% of the population, they will hold 40% of the consumer market by 2020. It is estimated that they will have $40 million dollars of buying power. When you figure in the younger demographic of Gen X and the influence on their parents, that number soars to $200 million. An overwhelming 92% of this demographic goes online daily, spending up to nine hours a day soaking in various typed of media. The internet has become so important to them that 41% say that working Wi-Fi is more important than a working bathroom. Though, with all their online activity, it is of interest that 77% of school-aged Gen Zers like to read printed books.
This exposure to so much information has created a generation that is tuned into social issues.
35% of Gen Zers say they know someone who prefers the use of gender neutral pronouns. They prefer to define themselves by experimenting with different “stereotypes”. 20% believe they are not exclusively heterosexual, and 60% believe that same sex couples should be able to adopt.
82% of Gen Zers state they have one or more friends that are of a different race than themselves.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GEN Z

They are proponents of dialogue. Over 57% believe change can happen with productive dialogue. They are aware of the issues we face as a nation, as they have grown up post 9/11. They view terrorist attacks as a normal occurrence. Gen Zers have lived through the Great Recession and many have seen their families struggle financially. This has produced a generation that is aware and tends to be pragmatic when it comes to the world and problems in their daily lives. They have an awareness of justice issues, poverty, racism, and the refugee crisis, amongst other issues.

They are doers, with 72% wanting to start their own business someday. This generation is quite aware of the enormous debt associated with college. Only 64% plan to go to college and cite the cost as a deterimental factor. This percentage is one of the lowest seen in generations. They are the most likely group to manage their online reputation and value their privacy.

With their constant exposure to media, they are a tricky group to market effectively. They respond best to edgy campaigns that include a social media and video component. They tend to dislike traditional advertising methods and will click "skip" on skippable ads quicker than any generation. A majority, 51% , employ an ad blocking technology, as they believe ads clutter their web and app experience.

Gen Zers care about the world. 55% of Gen Z’s choose eco-friendly and socially responsible items.
They want their brands to be healthy and socially conscious. Brands that have a purpose other than just selling a product are popular.

TRENDS

  • Gen Zers use their smartphones 15.4 hours per week, the most of any device they use. Approximately 95% have access to or own a smartphone. Overwhelmingly, their preferred brand is Apple with it coming it at #13 in a YPulse survey that let them rate 332 brands of various types products. It was the number one phone brand in this survey. More than 80% of teens would rather have an iPhone than an Android smartphone.
  • Music is quite popular amongst this demographic. Gen Zers, according to the 2018 Sweety High’s Gen Z Music Consumption and Spending report which surveyed more than 500 females aged 12-22, shared that nearly 97% of females that are Gen Z listen to five musical genres or more on a regular basis. Spotify is the most popular place to listen to music, obtaining 61% of the vote. The five most popular artists were Ed Sheeran coming in at first place followed by BTS a K-Pop boy band, Shawn Mendes, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift. Shawn Mendes used social media to create a hugely successful singing career. At 18 years old, has released two albums. He began his career on Vine, sharing 6-second songs of hit covers.
  • YouTube came in at #1 in a Ypulse survey that interviewed 8,484 Gen Z consumers. An incredible 72% of Gen Zers visit the site daily. According to Google, 70% of teenagers relate more to YouTube creators than celebrities with over 44% trying a recommendation from a digital creator, compared to 36% for celebrities. One teen said he preferred YouTube because television is so outdated. MattyBRaps is a popular Gen Z vlogger on YouTube. At age 15, he has over ten million subscribers.
  • In an AgilityPR survey, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Kevin Hart were at the top of the favorites list of popular celebrities. Selene Gomez, who became popular on the Disney channel, uses her popularity to share her struggles with mental illness. Taylor Swift has just wrapped up a world tour for her new album that is filled with songs about life, relationships, and break-ups. Kevin Hart, who rounded out the list, is a popular comedian. Zendaya is a celebrity that has received a huge following on social media with over 51 million Instagram followers. She is an actress with her own shoe line and can be seen in the Spider-Man franchise. Her personality and self-confidence attract teens to her. She makes them feel like they can accomplish their dreams. She is also an activist. Zendyaya participated and promoted the Women’s March on Washington and has worked on the #WeNeedMore campaign, Verizon’s campaign to get more females in STEM-related fields.
  • Influencers have become increasingly popular with this generation. They have become so popular because they are more relatable than celebrities. Gen Zers want to be like them, and the easiest way to do that is to use the products they endorse. Larsen Thompson has become an influencer through her viral dance videos. She is now a model and has been in a Juicy Couture campaign. She advocates for female empowerment and women’s rights. Some influencers promote no products, but a cause. Malala Yousafzai is a notable influencer not because of the products she endorses, but her platform. In 2012 the Taliban attempted to assassinate her because she spoke out against the ban on girls attending school. After she recovered, she launched the Malala Fund that fights for the rights of the 130 million girls who are not allowed to go to school. Haile Thomas is 17 years old and a health activist. After her father was diagnosed with diabetes, she was inspired to help others eat a healthier plant-based diet.
  • In the AgilityPR survey one of the top video games was Call of Duty, a multi-player shooter game. They released a Black Ops 4 expansion pack and made over $500 million at the launch. SIMS, another top video game, is a life simulation game and has sold over 10 million copies and 30 million downloads worldwide.
  • In a Business Insider survey, Gen Zers were asked to pick their favorite fast food restaurants. The top ten restaurants were McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and IHOP (International House of Pancakes).
  • The YPulse survey also included food amongst the brands they had the Gen Zers rate. The most popular brand was Doritos, followed by Oreos, Hersheys, and Goldfish. These brands have maintained their market share by introducing unique products and using social media to their advantage.
  • The most popular clothing labels tend to follow the values of Gen Zers. The PiperJaffray Gen Z survey, Agility PR and YPulse included clothing in their surveyed brands. The following brands made multiple appearances. Nike came in at the top of these surveys. They are on the Instagram most followed list. Part of their popularity is contributed to their efforts in paring with athletes that Gen Zers love like Simone Biles and influencer FKA Twigs (a singer and dancer). Victoria's Secret and PINK's use of runway models like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Kendall Jenner have made them a top brand amongst Gen Z with a loyal following. Fashion Nova made the survey as one of the hottest female brands and was googled more the Chanel. Supreme, a clothing brand, is popular amongst the whole age demographic for Gen Z. This brand has used popular designers, artists, photographers, and musicians to develop their designs that are sold with a limited inventory and sell out quickly.
  • A quick search on any media will show that makeup is hugely popular. Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of the most popular makeup brands and has used Instagram and YouTube to ramp up their following. Their use of social media for product releases is considered a social media event. Makeup is smashing gender ideals by becoming gender neutral. James Charles, Manny Gutieewa, and Lewys Ball have millions of followers on social media and have all been featured as models by the most popular makeup brands. In 2019 the makeup industry will see more gender neutral products like genderless mascara and foundation.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "One thing we know for certain about Gen Z is that they are the most digitally savvy and connected generation to date "
  • "Gen Z’s don’t know a world without internet or smartphones. Gen Z’s live their lives on Instagram and Snapchat, navigating social media landmines along the way."
Quotes
  • "Gen Z—those born between 1996 and 2014—makes up 24.3 percent of the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census estimates for 2016. "
  • "They spend between six and nine hours a day absorbing media, according to a survey from Common Sense Media. Among teens, 92 percent go online daily, Pew Research reports."
  • "And when Z’s get married, they’re more likely than their forebears to wed someone of another ethnic group. About 1 in 6 marriages today are of an interracial couple, according to Pew Research. In 1980, the rate was fewer than 1 in 10."
  • "They’re aware of a troubled planet. Most Z’s have grown up since 9/11 and have only known a world where terrorist attacks are the norm. Additionally, they’ve lived through the Great Recession, and they’ve seen their parents, or many of their friends’ parents, struggle through job losses, foreclosures, and more."
  • "Like millennials before them, they’re keenly aware of justice issues concerning poverty, human trafficking, refugees, racism, and more."
Quotes
  • "Although there isn’t an exact date range, Generation Z includes those born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. More specifically, Gen Z is today’s teenagers and those in their early 20s. That means the oldest members of Generation Z are in college or just graduating."
  • "Gen Z – which includes today’s teenagers and young 20-somethings – currently makes up 25.9 percent of the U.S. population and is expected to account for about 40 percent of all consumer markets by 2020."
  • "What’s more, it’s reported that Generation Z has $44 billion in buying power. But when you factor in their influence on parent and home purchases, their real spending power is closer to $200 billion."
  • "Generation Z cares about the world. They’re acutely aware of environmental, political, and socio-economic problems that societies face today. "
  • "And according to a study by The National Retail Federation and IBM, they’re “more serious about this” than any other generation. For this reason, 55 percent of Gen Z choose brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible."
  • "Unsurprisingly, most of Generation Z want to take matters into their own hands. In fact, 72 percent of teens in the United States say they want to start their own business one day. Only 64 percent of Generation Z plans to pursue a college degree compared to 71 percent of Millennials – a 7 percent decline."
  • "What’s more, in Google’s report on Gen Z, 26 percent of teenage shoppers said they expect retailers to offer a more personalized experience based on the customer’s shopping habits and preferences."
  • "Generation Z clicks “Skip” on skippable video ads after only 9.5 seconds. Meanwhile, Generation X wait 12.6 seconds."
  • "In fact, Google found that 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities."
  • "Research from Fullscreen revealed that over 44 percent of Gen Z respondents tried a recommendation from a “digital creator” (defined as someone who garnered fame entirely online), compared to just 36 percent who’ve tried products promoted by celebrities."
Quotes
  • "Not only do Gen Zers skip online ads three seconds faster than their Gen X forebears, but they apply ad-blocking technology like you apply sunblock on vacation. Another section of the same report finds that 51 percent of Gen Zers use ad-blockers to “declutter” their web and in-app experience when browsing or shopping."
Quotes
  • "On average, Gen Z uses their smartphones 15.4 hours per week—more than any other type of device. Gen Z consumes 13.2 hours of TV content per week—significantly less than boomers and Gen X. There has been a 41 percent increase in the use of ad-blocking software in the past 12 months. "
  • "They respond to edgy campaigns. Traditional marketing doesn’t work for Gen Z. Marketers need to embrace technology and new ways of storytelling. According to an infographic from Upfront Analytics, Gen Z customers respond to edgy and visual marketing tactics. Videos—especially short ones like those created via the social network Vine—work particularly well with young customers. "
Quotes
  • "Privacy matters more to Generation Z. They are very careful and intentional about managing their online reputation."
Quotes
  • "They prefer brands that are healthy, socially conscious, and connected with influencers on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat."
  • "Ypulse, a New York youth-marketing firm, interviewed 8,494 Gen Z consumers on 332 brands this year for its Ybrands survey. Then the firm ranked those brands based on the consumers' awareness, past purchase, and loyalty, as well as their perceived personality and influence."
  • "More unique to Gen Z, Calise said, is their preference to buy from brands with expressed stances on social causes. "
  • "#1- YouTube: Nearly a third of teens watch YouTube more than Netflix, Hulu, or cable. "The content on YouTube is so much more diverse and funny and relatable," one 16-year-old told Business Insider. "The stuff on TV is so outdated. I would watch Netflix, but I don't have the money to sign up.""
  • "2. Doritos- Why it's popular: One of "the most successful snack foods ever," Doritos continues to appeal to Gen Zs with its perfectly engineered taste."
  • "3. Oreo- Why it's popular: Oreo's is often driving the conversation by introducing weird new flavors and shocking consumers, like Swedish Fish, Banana Split Creme, Candy Corn, and Watermelon."
  • "4. Netflix- Why it's popular: Streaming options like Netflix are how Gen Zs watch television, as there are no commercials, you can binge-watch, and there's a greater variety of options."
  • "5. Hershey's- Why it's popular: Cheetos has capitalized on food mashups— for example, Taco Bell's Cheetos Burritos and Mac n' Cheetos and Cheetos Chicken Fries at Burger King."
Quotes
  • "since 95% of teens report that they have a smartphone or access to one"
  • "More than 52% of the teens surveyed favored YouTube above all other streaming services. In fact, more than 72% of teens report visiting YouTube daily. Popular teen vloggers on YouTube, like 15-year-old MattyBRaps who has over 10 million subscribers, are constantly creating entertaining music videos, vlogs and challenges and posting them to their YouTube channels for young and loyal fans to watch."
  • "When it comes to teens, and which celebrities they think are cool or not, our survey found Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Kevin Hart topping the favorites list. With more than 1.8 million teens battling with mental health these days, most can identify with Selena’s recent highly-publicized hospitalization and treatment for her battle with mental health issues. Taylor Swift recently wrapped up a successful world tour, captivating millions with her songs about relationships and heartbreaks. Last, comedy reigns king among teens with Kevin Hart"
  • "The top games listed by teens in our survey included Call of Duty, a multi-player first shooter game with zombies, that debuted Black Ops 4 in 2018 and made $500 million at launch. Sims, a teen favorite life simulation game, launched its fourth major title in 2014 that has since sold more than 10 million copies and 30 million downloads worldwide."
  • "When it comes to brands that teens are loyal to, Apple tops the chart, with over 80% of teens preferring iPhone to Android products. Although Nike continues to remain a top teen brand, Adidas and other streetwear brands have begun to see bigger gains."
Quotes
  • "These guys are more likely to shop at thrift stores than buy fast fashion from the high street, and will be quick to condemn big label brands who don’t align with their own values. "
  • "Unlike previous generations who aspired to be like folks who were a little older, members of Generation Z look to their peers for inspiration, aspiration and guidance."
  • "Perhaps one of the most influential Generation Z members in the world, Malala Yousafzai first came made news in 2012 as the girl who survived an attempted Taliban assassination. Her crime? She publicly spoke out against a Taliban-imposed order banning girls from attending school. Malala was gunned down when a masked gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. Two years later, she launched the Malala Fund and a global movement that fights for the right of the 130 million girls around the world who are prevented from attending school."
  • "Haile Thomas is a 17 year-old health activist, educating kids on how to adopt a plant-based diet. Her inspiration stems from her own experience. Haile’s father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes when Haile was just eight years old."
  • "Why not start off our list with a bang? Zendaya is one of Gen Z’s most influential players, with over 51 million followers on Instagram, an IMDB list of starring roles longer than my arm, her own shoe line, and a fresh, modern style to make any influencer jealous. Her quirky personality and self-confidence speaks to her peers and tells them that they can be and do whatever they want - just like her."
  • "Best known for her viral dance videos as part of the Fraternal Twins duo, Larsen is also a rising star in the modeling world after featuring in Juicy Couture’s latest campaign. She’s also an advocate for female empowerment and women’s rights, appearing the Global Goals Campaign viral Spice Girls dance video. Her unique look and absolute fierceness make her a force to be reckoned with online."
Quotes
  • "Nike- One of only three brands able to crack Instagram’s most-followed list (the others include NatGeo and, of course, Instagram itself), Nike has managed to amass an enormous social following thanks in part to its smart pairings with teen-beloved athletes like Simone Biles and cultural influencers like FKA Twigs. With athleisure still going strong, the Nike swoosh is just as coveted by teens as ever—in fact, it rated as the No. 1 clothing brand in a recent Piper Jaffray survey of Gen Z"
  • "Victoria’s Secret has a loyal following among the fashionable Gen Z set. Teen girls eagerly buy up its popular Pink brand and follow its runway models, who have included Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Kendall Jenner, on social media. "
  • "Forever 21 has long been a staple in the world of fast fashion, and Gen Z consumers love its budget-friendly, of-the-moment apparel"
  • "One of the first big cosmetics brands to successfully use social media to build a fanbase, Anastasia Beverly Hills has become practically inescapable in the make-up artist communities of Instagram and YouTube—and set the path for plenty of other up-and-coming brands, too. Over-the-top trends like contouring, matte lips and bold eyebrows (see: Kylie Jenner and countless other teens on Instagram) can all be attributed in part to Anastasia, whose product releases are now highly-anticipated social media events."
  • "For Gen Z celebs, it’s all about family—or, more specifically, sisters. Over the past few years, the Hadids and Jenners have risen from not-so-humble roots to become global mega-stars thanks to a combination of good genes, better connections and unprecedented social media savvy. "
  • "20-year-old Zendaya has become known for both her fearless personal and fierce social activism, promoting the Women’s March on Washington and working with Verizon’s #WeNeedMore campaign, which encourages more kids to get into STEM. This July, she’ll make a splash on the big screen as one of the stars of the new Spider-Man franchise. "
  • "At just 18 years old, singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has amassed over 40 million followers across social platforms including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and put out two albums—Handwritten and Illuminate. The artist first gained popularity posting six-second covers of hit songs from all sorts of artists on Vine in 2013"
  • "Gone are the days when the only models to score big cosmetics contracts were thin, white and blonde—or even women, for that matter. James Charles (age 17), Manny Gutierrez (25) and Lewys Ball (also 17) are helping to shatter gender-based beauty ideals, using social media to show off their enviable cosmetics know-how and post addictive makeover tutorials. In the process, they’ve gained millions of followers and even caught the attention of brands that had traditionally only used female models. "
Quotes
  • "1. McDonald's 2. Taco Bell 3. Wendy's 4. Burger King 5. Starbucks 6. Chick-fil-A 7. Pizza Hut 8. Domino's 9. KFC 10. IHOP "
Quotes
  • "According to a new report, Gen Z teens are listening to more diverse music than ever before. Girls Gen Z Digital media company Sweety High’s 2018 Gen Z Music Consumption & Spending Report revealed that nearly 97% of Gen Z females say they listen to at least five musical genres on a regular basis."
  • "More than 500 females ages 13-22 participated in the study. Spotify is the group’s most-cited source for frequent listening (61%), followed by terrestrial radio (55%). The five most popular artists, listed from 1 to 5, are reportedly Ed Sheeran, K-Pop boy band BTS, Shawn Mendes, Beyonce and Taylor Swift."
Quotes
  • "While Nike still comes in at the top spot for both lists here, PINK, Victoria’s Secret, and Fashion Nova (the fast fashion brand that's Googled more often than Chanel) rank high as hottest brands among females, while Jordan and Supreme rank high among males."
Quotes
  • "Generation Z will be realistic, thanks to their skeptical and straight-shooting Generation X parents and growing up in a recession. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, during the Great Recession, the median net worth of Generation Z's parents fell by nearly 45 percent."
  • "Seventy-one percent of Generation Z said they believe the phrase "If you want it done right, then do it yourself.""
  • "Forty percent of Generation Z said that working Wi-Fi was more important to them than working bathrooms."
Quotes
  • "The report predicts that gender-fluid beauty concepts will reach a tipping point in 2019, creating a new range of product categories (not to mention more acceptance around those who don't want to identify with one gender over another)."
  • "Over the past few years, both influencers and brands have pushed the envelope around both gender and beauty ideals. Fashion brands like Telfar, Agender and Blindness have taken advantage of the wave of acceptance and desire for a less gendered industry."
  • "Influencers like Jack Bennett and brands like Sephora are all also making strides in terms of getting the beauty industry to be more accessible and gender-neutral. Things like genderless mascara, foundation and other beauty items will continue to shift the culture to one of more openness and not just tolerance, but the embracing of a more gender-fluid world."
Quotes
  • "Gen Zers are more likely than Millennials to say they know someone who prefers that others use gender-neutral pronouns to refer to them: 35% say this is the case, compared with a quarter of Millennials. Among each older generation, the share saying this drops: 16% of Gen Xers, 12% of Boomers and just 7% of Silents say this."
Quotes
  • "For Gen Zers, the key point is not to define themselves through only one stereotype but rather for individuals to experiment with different ways of being themselves and to shape their individual identities over time"
  • "For example, 20 percent of them do not consider themselves exclusively heterosexual, as opposed to 10 percent for other generations. Sixty percent of Gen Zers think that same-sex couples should be able to adopt children—ten percentage points more than people in other generations do."
  • "Members of this generation therefore tend to believe that change must come from dialogue: 57 percent of millennials,"
  • "Gen Z’s belief in dialogue combines a high value for individual identity, the rejection of stereotypes, and a considerable degree of pragmatism."
  • "Because influencers are not necessarily Hollywood celebrities with millions of followers and dollars, Gen Z feels they can relate with these real people and aspire to be them. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use the products they use."
Quotes
  • "Generation Z has redefined the word “celebrity.” Young people today are influenced less by traditional celebrities, actors and singers, for instance, and instead favor internet “celebrities” who are closer to their age, and (in their view) more relatable. These internet influencers have become super-popular on social media, making influencer marketing a highly effective strategy to reach the Gen Z audience."
  • "50 percent of Generation Z “can’t live without YouTube.” "
Quotes
  • "One of the most surprising findings in a recent UNiDAYS study is that 77% of the 22,723 student-age members of Gen Z surveyed read printed books. For a generation that’s grown up immersed in screens, they truly value their time away from them, curling up with a good book away from the pings and posts. It all goes to show that brands can’t forget providing a physical experience in our increasingly digital-centric world."
Quotes
  • "As part of the most ethnically and gender-aware generation, today's teens are strong supporters of social justice – not just within the confines of ethnic and gender equality, but across several social issues that they have experienced first-hand."
  • "his has resulted in a generation of social, political, and environmental activists who spend a lot of time and energy participating in local and national debates around the causes they believe in. Often they are the ones driving the conversation – online and offline – locally, regionally and nationally."
  • ""I have one or more friends who are of a different race than me," 81% of Gen Z respondents agreed, "
Quotes
  • "Over its twenty-two plus year history, Supreme has worked with some of our generation's most groundbreaking designers, artists, photographers and musicians - all who have helped continue to define its unique identity and attitude. "
  • "Supreme is the definition of Streetwear and in many ways is the force that continues to bless the streetwear world and carry it into the next generation. There will never be another Supreme. All products are super limited and sell out quickly."