TikTok - Social Media User Insights

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TikTok - Social Media User Insights

Gen Z are attracted to private social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram because they offer more anonymity and independence than public platforms such as Facebook. Gen Z experiment on social media to create personal/customized experiences, to experiment with their different personas/identities, and to access/experience new tech concepts. Below is an overview of our findings.

Usage Statistics

  • According to data from GlobalWebIndex, Gen Z are more likely than millennials to use Instagram and Snapchat, compared to Facebook and Tweeter. 63% and 35% of Gen Z use Instagram and Snapchat, respectively, compared to 58% and 27% of millennials for the former and latter platforms, respectively.

Attraction to Private Channels

I. Anonymity/Privacy

  • Hootsuite states that Gen Z prefer private social media platforms because they are "more guarded on social media" than the older generations.
  • Gen Z are, therefore, attracted to platforms such as YikYak, Secret, Whisper, and Snapchat because of their privacy and ephemerality. Additionally, Gen Z are attracted to platforms such as Instagram because it is easy to create aliases or maintain different personas.
  • However, most Gen Z are not comfortable with established platforms such as Facebook where they cannot easily conceal their identities.

II. Perception/Independence

  • While they might still use it, about 34% of American Gen Z believe that Facebook is for old people.
  • According to Forbes, Gen Z prefer using private, and newer, platforms such as Snapchat, which their parents, and older peers, do not understand. This allows them to "share their personal information in a way that feels confidential."

Reasons for Experimentation

I. To Create a Personal Feel

  • According to RGA, Gen Z experiment with social media platforms in order to suit their individual needs. Because most of their interaction with friends is done online, the generation experiments with each platform's existing features and functions to create a personal/customized experience.

II. Openness to new Concepts

  • According to an Accenture poll, 73% of Gen Z are excited about virtual reality and functions such as voice-activated ordering. Therefore, Gen Z are more likely to experiment with social media platforms in order to access/experience these new tech concepts.

III. Split Identities

  • According to a report by Snapchat, its success has been as a result of its ability to provide Gen Z with a space to "experiment with their identities."
  • According to Contently, Gen Z are the most likely generation to open multiple 'fake' accounts on various platforms including Instagram in order to "post privately for close friends without the fear of public backlash."
  • Notably, while Gen Z "post their aspirational selves" on social accounts, they still identify with the personas that they create.


While there was no readily available information that directly addressed the different factors that attract Gen Z to private one-on-one social media channels as well as the reasons that drive them to experiment with social media more, we used various credible data and analyses of Gen Z behaviors/preferences on social media to compile the required information.
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TikTok: Barriers

Research suggests that declining interest in the use of social media by Gen Zers and Millennials is likely a barrier hindering these generations from trying new social media platforms. Factors such as social media empowering negative thoughts and negative behavior, cyberbullying, image and beauty standards, and depression, anxiety and stress were identified as factors putting these groups off social media.



  • According to Nola Mokeyane, social media has a gradually negative impact on the way Millennials measures their image and beauty standards.
  • A study from January 2018 conducted by Barna Research Group reveals that Millennials and Gen Zers are more emotionally affected by the dangers of social media.
  • According to the report, 31% of Gen Zers confirmed that looking at other people’s posts often made them feel bad about the way they look.
  • 30% of Millennials also claimed that looking at other people’s posts often made them feel bad about the way they look.




To identify barriers for Gen Z and Millennials that stop them from trying new social media platforms, your research team leveraged a compilation of credible expert analysis reports, news articles, social media journals, and others. Note that we have included a source beyond the standard Wonder limit of not more than 24 months old source because the source still holds valuable information for this report.
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Fortnite: Success Factors

Factors that make Fortnite a successful social media platform are using conversational techniques to reach Gen Z players, redefining friendships and creating a sense of belonging and community. The things that make Fortnite addictive include continuous feedback, it's like a hunt and cartoon graphics. Fortnite has caused a notable cultural phenomenon.



  • Through Rival Technologies, Fortnite's sister company, the gaming platform conducted conversational surveys that can be implemented through social media and messaging applications.
  • With the study having two faces, the first engaged 50 kids, aged 9 to 18 whereby players were sent series of six chats leading to the launch of Fortnite’s season six, inquiring about game play, their friends, hobbies, brand perceptions, and their expectations and their experience afterwards with video and image uploads.
  • 95% of them also took part in a multi-day diary and shared their daily game play, wins and in-game purchases.
  • The second phase engaged 860 Fortnite fans whereby Fortnite partnered with the famous Twitch and Fortnite player, TheSquatingDog, who shared a link to Fortnite's Instagram first chat.
  • Insights from these chats provide a clear picture of the typical Fortnite player and reveal some critical insights into how the game is affecting the lives of Gen Z.


  • Similar to millennials, Gen Z are seeking out an experience of belonging and friendship.
  • Since Gen Z players don't frequently hang out in person Fortinte creates a platform for them to meet their friends online and play whenever they want.
  • Voice chat makes it possible for Gen Z players to chat and joke around with their online friends during game play in a way that mimics real life hang-outs.


  • As a brand, Fortnite has come up with ways of fostering community among consumers.
  • A study by Rival Technologies reveal that Fortnite is something "players can both excel in and escape to."
  • Fortnite significantly provides Gen Zers a platform to bond over.
  • Since change is constant in Fortnite, tweaks and in-game mysteries encourages word of mouth offering players something to talk about.
  • By providing a common ground "Fortnite" provides gamers with a sense of belonging and a tribe they can call their own, complete with its distinctive lore, rituals, and slang.
  • Generally, Gen Z is an audience that seeks a genuine community.



  • Fortnite’s developers have adapted player feedback, which keeps players coming back for new weapons, tactics, skins, and prizes.


  • Generation Z are obsessed with the game's format whereby a player alongside other 100 players is dropped on an ever-shrinking map, fighting until just one avatar stands, while scavenging defeated players' materials.


  • Fortnite designers have incorporated the use of bright cartoons and vibrant colors which is a powerful tool for gamers who are highly motivated by such designs.
  • Studies have found that children react positively to bright colors so that the game is rich in bright reds and yellows and blues are well positioned to boost young gamers' activity.



We began the research by leveraging a compilation of market reports such as MarketDrive, news reports such as TheSunNews, entertainment publications such as FortniteIntel, technology journals such as WccfTech and DenofGeek. We were able to find publicly available, pre-compiled data on factors that make Fortnite a successful social media platform and what makes the platform addictive, including how it is driving and changing pop culture relating to Gen Z and millennials, information on pop culture relating to Gen Z and Millennials was limited. This prompted the research team to dig deeper into the subject, we looked into the reputable marketing site Adage where we identified a mainstream article that revealed millennials and Gen Z are much more used to living on platforms like Fortnite. It is at this point that we established that most users of Fortnite widely made up of millennials and Gen Z.
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Twitch: Success Factors

Some of the factors that make Twitch a successful social media platform are that it encourages unpolished and unfiltered video game live-streaming, eSports tournaments, its gaming community, and real-time interactions.


  • Launched in 2011, Twitch is a "global community of millions who come together each day to create their entertainment: unique, live, unpredictable, never-to-be-repeated experiences created by the magical interactions of the many."
  • According to Mediakix, the core demographics of Twitch are 81.5% male users, 55% of which are 18-34 years old (encompassing Millennials and Generation Z).

Factors that make Twitch a successful social media platform

  • According to Twitch, there are currently about 15 million daily active users tuning into Twitch.
  • In 2018, its users streamed 505 billion minutes of contents.
  • According to ReferralCandy, one of the reasons that make Twitch successful and special is because it allows unrehearsed and genuine live-streaming contents, including video games.
  • Millennials in particular love to watch social media live streamers who show real experience, unique quirks, and authentic personalities while playing games, which in turn encourages them to try out the games themselves.
  • According to a Whistle report, 77% of Generation Z males are regular video game audiences, including video game live-streaming, 25% more than their Millennial counterparts.
  • Twitch leads the growth of eSports and gaming tournaments worldwide by making tournament hosting, joining and viewing simple with live-streaming features such as a built-in game server that has the option of delaying live broadcast by about 15 minutes to prevent cheating on both sides of the competing teams. This makes the platform stand out in the gaming industry.
  • Influencer Marketing Hub reports that 21.3% of Twitch viewing is about eSports.
  • According to SportsPro Media, the heritage of eSports is established deeply in the world of online video, which is the majority of daily entertainment diets of both Millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z) audiences.
  • According to a Whistle report, 68% of Generation Z males consider gaming as an important part of their identity.
  • Whistle reports that 91% of Generation Z males and 84% of Millennial males regularly play video games.
  • According to ReferralCandy, the real-time chat feature of Twitch is also one of the reasons that it is a successful social media platform.
  • Twitch promotes community through social interactions, conversations, and by providing a way for users to directly support the contents of their favorite creators.
  • Whistle notes that 72% of Millennials believe that video games and Twitch help them improve their social connections, compared to 66% that said gaming is a way to measure up against their friends; while 74% of Gen-Z believe that video games and Twitch help them improve their social connections, compared to 55% that said it's important to be better than their friends when they play video games.
  • Whistle also reports that 58% of Generation Z said that online gaming is very important for their social life, where they use Twitch video game streaming platform to build online friendships and join communities.
  • Twitch sent about 16 billion chat messages and had 4.9 billion times of interactions using Twitch Extensions in 2017.

What makes Twitch addictive?

  • TwitchMetrics reports that the top 5 most popular games on Twitch in September 2019 are World of Warcraft (141,264 average viewers), League of Legends (116,823 average viewers), Fortnite (107,138 average viewers), Dota 2 (93,803 average viewers), and Just Chatting (86,509 average viewers).
  • According to the Richard's Group, 58% of Millennials have played video games in the past 30 days, out of which 20% have spent more than 20 hours of gaming during those days, or about 5 hours a week of playtime. Millennials are 25% more likely than other generations to play video games regularly.
  • Lab42 Research notes that Generation Z audiences prefer fewer game genres compared to Millennials, such as action, fighter, adventure RPG, and building/simulation.
  • Some of the game elements that are important for Gen Z are fun games, good story line, and good gameplay, while Millennials focus on games that are challenging and doesn't rely on story lines.
  • About 52% of Gen Z are more likely to watch other people's games compared to 47% of Millennials. But 48% of Millennials spend more than 1 hour watching other people's games, compared to only 30% of Gen Z audiences.
  • Another reason that makes Twitch addictive is the content creators and influencers.
  • According to TwitchTracker, there were about 3,419,933 total streamers and influencers in August 2019, or about 3.9 million monthly average streamers since January 2019.
  • In 2017, there were more than 27,000 Twitch Partner streamers. Twitch Partners are the more serious streamers who leveled up from just being a Twitch Affiliate.
  • MediaKix reports that the current top 10 Twitch streamers and influencers who are all popular with Millennials and Gen Z audiences are Ninja (4 million followers), Summit1g (2.9 million followers), Shroud (2.7 million followers), Syndicate (2.5 million followers), IMAQTPIE (2.2 million followers), Nightblu3 (2.1 million followers), Lirik (2 million followers), DrDisRespectLive (2 million followers), Sodapoppin (1.7 million followers), and Loltyler1 (1.5 million followers).
  • According to StreamElements, Summit1g, Ninja, and Tfue are the only influencers who have not been replaced in the top 5 since January 2019.
  • Based on a Forbes article, one way of showing how Twitch as a live-streaming platform is driving and changing pop culture is when major celebrities and music icons notice, interact, and play together with their top influencers.
  • That's what happened when Twitch top influencer, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, was joined on March 14, 2018, by the famous US rapper, Drake, for a "Fortnite" stream late at night. They were also joined later that night by another US rapper Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who admitted that he's a fan of Ninja.
  • According to The Game Awards’ Geoff Keighley, in the article published by Forbes, “Video games are popular culture. Last night was proof of that.” This was with regard to the historic Fortnite stream by Drake and Ninja that broke Twitch's record for the most concurrent viewers of all time of about 628,000 viewers by a single streamer.
  • According to Subsign, Drake's marketing move was brilliant because it showed his fans, including the Millennials, that he is one of them by aligning himself with one of the most popular games, Fortnite.


From Part 04