Gen Z Social Media Usage

Shocking Gen Z Social Media Usage Insights (2023 Statistics)

⚡ In 2023, Gen Z, the tech-savvy generation, is shaping the digital world. They spend a lot of time online, with YouTube being their favorite platform (88% usage), followed by Instagram (76%). They also love TikTok for its fast-paced, visual content. Brands wanting to connect with Gen Z should be authentic, keep up with trends, and understand the purpose of each platform for effective marketing.

In 2023, Gen Z’s social media usage continues to shape the digital landscape, with YouTube reigning supreme at 88% and Instagram following closely at 76%. As digital natives who value authentic connections, this tech-savvy generation spends more time online than any previous cohort.

This blog post delves into the latest statistics on Gen Z’s favorite platforms, their impact on marketing trends, and what businesses need to know to engage effectively with this influential audience.

📢 Key Takeaways
Short on time? Here’s what you need to understand from this article:
  • YouTube is the most-used social media platform among Gen Z, with 88% usage, while Instagram follows closely behind at 76%.
  • TikTok has rapidly become a dominant platform among Generation Z users due to its visually engaging and fast-paced content, making it a valuable marketing channel for brands looking to engage this audience.
  • Gen Z spends an average of 4 hours or more on social media daily. Brands targeting this demographic should prioritize authenticity and transparency in their content while keeping up-to-date with popular trends and viral challenges on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.
  • Understanding the purpose of use for each platform is crucial when creating effective social media marketing strategies that resonate with Generation Z’s diverse interests and needs.

Understanding Generation Z

Gen Z is the generation born between 1997 and 2012, making them between nine and 24 years old in 2021, with unique characteristics that set them apart from previous generations.

Defining Gen Z

Defining Generation Z, or Gen Z for short, typically refers to the demographic cohort that came after Millennials.

As the most diverse generation yet, Gen Z embodies an array of cultures, values, and perspectives. They are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, activism on social issues like climate change or racial justice, preference for customization over standardization in products or services, and an overall emphasis on authenticity.

Gen Z’s Unique Characteristics

Generation Z, also known as digital natives, is a unique group that has been exposed to technology and the internet since birth. This tech-savvy generation possesses a wide range of impressive traits that differentiate them from previous generations.

One significant characteristic of Gen Z is their strong inclination towards visual content and entertaining media experiences. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat attract considerable engagement from this demographic because they cater to Gen Z’s preference for visually appealing material.

Additionally, members of Generation Z have demonstrated an increased consciousness about social responsibility and environmental issues compared to older cohorts, leading them to seek eco-friendly products (FACT 10).

Another notable aspect of this cohort is their influence on family spending decisions – it’s estimated that around $600 billion worth of purchases each year are affected by Gen Z interests (FACT 7).

Moreover, these individuals prioritize data security by gravitating towards anonymous-minded platforms which offer greater protection over personal information (FACT 8).

Gen Z’s Social Media Statistics

Gen Z’s social media usage is heavily dominated by YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, with Facebook and Twitter showing a significant dip in usage.


TikTok has rapidly become a dominant social media platform among Gen Z users due to its visually engaging and fast-paced content. The app offers an addictive combination of short-form videos tailored to an individual’s interests, making it the perfect platform for young digital natives with attention spans that are naturally shorter than previous generations.

Interestingly, TikTok has started to reshape the marketing landscape as brands scramble to reach this highly engaged audience. For instance, fashion label Gucci tapped into user-generated content by encouraging their followers to showcase their unique styles using the hashtag #GucciModelChallenge.

This approach resonated well with Gen Zers, who gravitate towards authentic interactions rather than traditional advertising methods.


Instagram has become an essential platform for Gen Zers, shaping how they communicate, think about themselves, and interact with others. In fact, 76% of Gen Z’s social media time is spent on Instagram, making it the second most-used platform after YouTube.

The platform’s visual nature enables users to share their own experiences while also tapping into a larger creative community through hashtags and influencers. Brands that want to engage with this audience must incorporate authenticity and realism in their content as 67% of Gen Z-ers prefer seeing real people in advertisements.


Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms among Generation Z. In fact, it rivals Instagram and TikTok in terms of usage statistics. According to recent data, over 60% of Americans between the ages of 13-24 years old are active Snapchat users.

With its unique features like filters and stickers, Snapchat allows Gen Z to create fun and engaging content that they can share with their friends. Moreover, brands have taken notice of this trend by incorporating Snapchat into their marketing strategies through different advertising options such as sponsored lenses and geofilters.


YouTube is the most-used social media platform among Gen Z, with 88% of them spending time on the app. This makes it an essential channel for marketers targeting this demographic in 2023.

YouTube offers content creators numerous opportunities to educate and entertain their audience, making educational content creation a viable social strategy for the coming year.

If creating a YouTube strategy is not feasible, consider creating short-form video content on Instagram or TikTok that leverages keywords for SEO. Brands should create content that cuts through the noise and is not directly related to their products to appeal to Gen Z on YouTube.

Comparing Gen Z And Millennials’ Social Media Usage

Gen Z and Millennials have different platform preferences when it comes to social media usage, with Gen Z favoring TikTok and Instagram while Millennials prefer Facebook and LinkedIn.

Platform Preferences

Generation Z’s platform preferences differ significantly from older generations, gravitating towards visually engaging apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. The following table highlights the differences in platform usage between Gen Z and Millennials.

PlatformGen Z UsageMillennial Usage

This table illustrates that Gen Z has a higher usage rate of YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat compared to Millennials, who show a preference for Facebook and Twitter. This information provides valuable insights for businesses looking to target and market to these different age groups effectively.

Time Spent On Social Media

Gen Z spends a considerable amount of time on social media, averaging around 4 hours or more daily, which is significantly higher than adults aged 18 and above. The table below highlights the time spent on various social media platforms by Gen Z.

Social Media PlatformTime Spent (hours per day)

These statistics demonstrate the significant role social media plays in the lives of Gen Z, providing ample opportunities for businesses and marketers to connect, engage, and target this generation through various online platforms.

Purpose Of Social Media Use

The purpose of social media use varies greatly for Generation Z, reflecting their diverse interests and needs. The following table outlines the predominant purposes for which Gen Z uses various social media platforms.

PlatformPurpose of Use
YouTubeGen Z primarily uses YouTube for entertainment, educational content, and discovering new interests, as it’s their top platform for media consumption.
InstagramInstagram serves as a hub for Gen Z to connect with friends, follow influencers, and explore visual content such as photography and fashion.
TikTokTikTok is popular among Gen Z for its short, entertaining videos, allowing them to engage with diverse content and join challenges or trends.
SnapchatGen Z uses Snapchat primarily for private messaging and sharing short-lived content with friends, aligning with their preference for digital privacy.
FacebookAlthough Facebook usage has dipped among Gen Z, it is still occasionally used for connecting with family members and joining interest-based groups.
TwitterTwitter offers Gen Z a space to share opinions, follow news, and engage with public figures and celebrities in real-time.
RedditReddit attracts Gen Z users seeking anonymous discussions, niche communities, and content aggregation from various sources.
TwitchTwitch is the go-to platform for Gen Z gamers to watch live streams, follow gaming influencers, and engage with the gaming community.

Gen Z’s impact on social media trends includes a preference for visual content, a desire for both entertaining and informative posts, and heightened concerns about privacy.

Visual Content

Generation Z is a visual generation, and this trait is reflected in their social media consumption habits. Images and videos are among the most popular types of content that Gen Z prefers to engage with on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.

Moreover, the use of user-generated content (UGC) can be an effective way for brands to market products or services to Gen Z on social media. This approach allows brands to leverage consumer trust in recommendations from peers rather than relying solely on traditional advertising methods.

By incorporating UGC into their ads or campaigns, brands can create more authentic and relatable content that resonates better with younger audiences.

Entertaining Vs. Informative Content

Gen Zers prefer short-form video content that is both entertaining and informative. For instance, a makeup tutorial on Instagram or TikTok can provide useful tips while keeping the viewer entertained with music or engaging visuals.

However, when it comes to long-form video content like YouTube videos, Gen Zers tend to lean more towards educational and instructional content that provides value.

To meet Gen Zers’ preference for educational content on YouTube, brands should focus on creating detailed tutorials or explainer videos that answer viewers’ questions and add value to their lives.

Brands themselves can leverage this trend by providing educational resources related to their products or industry.

Privacy Concerns

As digital natives, Generation Z values their online privacy and data protection. The use of social media has raised concerns about the amount of personal information that is shared on these platforms.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 54% of Gen Z-ers want control over the personal information they share online.

A study by YPulse found that 62% of Gen Z feels confident to buy when they see good ratings and reviews from other customers. Brands should be transparent with how they collect and use customer data, as this transparency builds trust among their audience and encourages them to engage more actively with brands online.

Marketing To Gen Z On Social Media

Brands looking to market to Gen Z on social media should prioritize authenticity and transparency, consider partnering with influencers, and emphasize social responsibility and activism in their messaging.

Authenticity And Transparency

For Gen Z, authenticity and transparency are crucial when it comes to marketing on social media. They want brands to be truthful about their products and values, while showcasing real people in their campaigns rather than just models or celebrities.

In addition, influencer partnerships need to be disclosed clearly according to FTC guidelines for sponsored content. Gen Z wants brands that are socially responsible and care about important issues like climate change, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Influencer Partnerships

Influencer partnerships are crucial when marketing to Gen Z on social media. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Gen Z is more likely to trust influencers over traditional advertising methods.
  • Brands should identify influencers whose values align with their own and who have a genuine connection with their audience.
  • Micro-influencers (those with smaller followings) can be just as effective as macro-influencers in reaching Gen Zers.
  • Influencers should be given creative freedom to promote products in a way that feels authentic and natural to their audience.
  • Disclosure of sponsored content is important to maintain transparency and build trust with Gen Zers.
  • Brands can collaborate with influencers on giveaways, product launches, and other campaigns to increase engagement and reach on social media.

By partnering with the right influencers, brands can effectively tap into Gen Z’s purchasing power and drive sales while building brand awareness and loyalty.

Social Responsibility And Activism

Gen Z is a socially conscious generation that places great importance on social responsibility and activism. When it comes to their preferred brands, Gen Zers expect them to take an active stand on important issues such as diversity, sustainability, and inclusion.

To connect with this socially responsible generation, brands need to engage in authentic activism and make meaningful contributions towards the betterment of society. For example, some fashion brands like Gucci have implemented eco-friendly production practices and invested in sustainable initiatives that appeal to Gen Z’s values.

Overall, when done right, aligning your brand with core ethics can lead not only more success but also significant loyalty from younger generations who then choose your products over competitors’.

The Future Of Gen Z And Social Media

The future of Gen Z and social media is expected to be heavily influenced by technology, with advancements in virtual reality and the metaverse potentially changing the way they interact with social platforms.

Evolving Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are constantly changing and adapting to the latest trends and consumer needs. For instance, Instagram has evolved from being a photo-sharing app to a leading social commerce platform with features such as shopping tags and in-app checkout options.

The growth of virtual reality, augmented reality, metaverse technology also indicates that social media will continue evolving into more immersive experiences for users. Gen Z’s affinity for online gaming is another factor driving this evolution; hence we can expect more integration between gaming and socializing on these platforms.

The Role Of Technology In Social Media Use

Technology has played a significant role in shaping social media usage among Generation Z. The rise of mobile devices and internet connectivity has made it easier for people to access social media platforms from anywhere, at any time.

One example of technology’s impact on social media is the increasing use of video content. Gen Zers are consuming more video content than ever before, with YouTube being one of their preferred platforms.

Social media companies are also investing heavily in video features such as IGTV and Instagram Stories to cater to this trend.

Another area where technology plays a crucial role in social media is privacy and data protection. With increased concerns around personal data safety, many young consumers are opting for anonymous-minded platforms like Whisper or Signal that prioritize user privacy.

Overall, technology continues to shape not only Gen Z’s relationship with social media but also its marketing potential for businesses hoping to reach this demographic.

Our Takeaway

Generation Z’s social media usage shows a strong preference for visual content and short digital videos, with YouTube leading the pack at 88% usage. Instagram and TikTok also show significant Gen Z engagement, while Facebook and Twitter lag behind.

Social media trends are continually evolving, but authenticity, transparency, social responsibility, and influencer partnerships remain essential to connecting with this demographic.

As Gen Z’s purchasing power grows stronger by the day, brands must adapt their marketing strategies accordingly to stay relevant in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


What is Gen Z Social Media Usage?

Gen Z Social Media Usage refers to the frequency and ways in which members of Generation Z use social media platforms to connect with others, consume content, and interact with brands.

How much time does Gen Z spend on social media?

Statistics show that Gen Z members spend an average of 2.5 hours per day on social media platforms.

What social media platforms do Gen Z consumers use?

Gen Z consumers report using a variety of social networks, but platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat are among the most popular among this age group.

How does Gen Z social media usage compare to previous generations?

Gen Z statistics show that this age group spends more time on social media every day than Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. Additionally, Gen Zers are the first generation to grow up with social media as a ubiquitous presence in their lives.

How do brands engage with Gen Z on social media?

Brands on social media are increasingly focusing on creating authentic content and fostering two-way conversations with Gen Z consumers. According to a survey by Sprout Social, 64% of Gen Z shoppers want brands to have a strong social media presence.

What are some facts about Gen Z social media usage?

Some statistics show that nearly half of Gen Zers spend four or more hours on social media every day, while others suggest that this age group values visual content and short-form videos more than any previous generation.

How do Gen Z members use social media to consume content?

Gen Z statistics show that this age group often prefers to consume content on their mobile devices, and they are more likely than any other age group to watch social media posts or Stories from influencers and friends.

What is the impact of Gen Z social media usage on society?

The ways in which Gen Z uses social media are shaping many aspects of modern society, from the way we communicate and consume content to the way brands market themselves and engage with consumers.

How can brands effectively reach Gen Z on social media?

To effectively reach Gen Z on social media, brands must create content that feels authentic, transparent, and engaging to this age group. They should also focus their efforts on visual content and invest in platforms that are popular with Gen Z consumers, like Instagram and Snapchat.

How can businesses use Gen Z social media usage statistics to inform their marketing strategies?

By understanding Gen Z social media usage statistics, businesses can tailor their marketing strategies to better meet the needs and preferences of this age group. For example, brands may want to focus on short-form videos and Instagram Stories to capture Gen Z’s attention, or invest in influencer partnerships to increase their reach on social media.

Are there any challenges associated with marketing to Gen Z on social media?

Yes, there are several challenges associated with marketing to Gen Z on social media, including the need to create content that feels authentic and transparent to this age group, and the need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and platforms that are popular with Gen Z consumers.

James Allen, a finance enthusiast with 10+ years of experience, founded Billpin in 2020 to demystify personal finance. Inspired by his mother’s frugality and his own financial expertise, James aims to transform people’s relationship with money. Through this site, he provides easy-to-understand guides, empowering individuals to manage their finances effectively and take control of their financial future.

Content Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the authors alone, not those of any companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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