Generation Z, the group of young people who were born between 1996 and 2012, were raised on the internet. They have never known a life without social media in it and it shows. As digital natives, it makes sense that 44 percent of Gen Z checks their social profiles every hour.
Today’s teens use social media for everything including news, socializing, and entertainment. They love to put their entire lives on display and view others’ lives the same way. Unlike millennials, though, they know the risks of oversharing on the internet and gravitate toward more personal, private platforms with ephemeral aspects (e.g. Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Instagram).
While generations before them prefer Facebook, the social media platform of choice for 95 percent of Gen Z is YouTube. Because teens use social media as entertainment, they turn to video sharing sites like YouTube and TikTok. Merging the entertainment aspect of television with the personal connection of social media, YouTube allows users to interact with others through comments and live streams or passively watch if they wish.
YouTube also allows Gen Z to feel connected with content creators from around the world. Whether they want electronics unboxing videos, makeup tutorials, or clips of professional gamers beating the latest video game, users can learn new things or find sheer entertainment alongside millions of others. Despite the huge follower count some YouTubers have, they always add a personal touch to their videos, addressing the viewers directly with a “Hey guys!” at the start of each video. Because Gen Z is used to communicating primarily online, YouTube offers them a platform where the division between their digital and in-person world blurs.
ConnectPal, a social media platform where users pay to view other users’ profiles, offers exclusive content that Generation Z loves. This group is willing to give up personal data or resources if they get something good in return. On ConnectPal, that could be exclusive content, merchandise discounts, or any other goodies their favorite content creators choose to provide in exchange for a profile subscription.
Because Gen Z is used to viewing celebrities’ Instagram stories right alongside their best friend’s, they feel a more personal connection to famous people online. ConnectPal, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms that allow them to feel personal closeness to their favorite celebrities are the most appealing to this group. Their constant connection to social media often leaves Gen Z-ers feeling depressed and anxious, so deeply personal content like that found on the platforms listed above lets them feel like they have a friend in the content creators, even if they have never actually interacted.
Whether they want to follow every detail of their classmates’ days or want to ask their favorite content creator a question on a live video stream, Generation Z craves connection through digital means. With social media platforms like ConnectPal and YouTube, they can enjoy deeply personal content and share their own. Unlike any generation before them, Gen Z truly makes the border between their online and in-person lives disappear.