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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.