What are Generation Z’s favorite Apps?

I’m a GenZ evangelist and digital entrepreneur, and I believe they have a unique vision of the future of the internet including blockchain, decentralization and a new model of influencer marketing that’s more distributed. We’re building this in Berlin (YEAY) and Malta with the WOM Protocol.

The youth still govern the future trends for digital interactions and apps, so watching GenZ create online, we can catch glimpses of the future of digital, marketing, branding, advertising and mobile products and online to offline (O2O) experiences.

I wanted to dive in, in May, 2019 to give an update of what’s actually popular among this generation and trending.

The 2019 State of Gen Z report by Zebra IQ uncovers new data and trends on Generation Z as consumers, employees, and trendsetters. Here I’m going to quickly summarize some of their findings.

  • Gen Z, the generation born between 1995 and 2010.
  • Gen Z are digital native creators, not just growing up with texting, but growing up with stories, musical.ly like interactions, TikTok and many newer experiences. Generation Z is the first generation to grow up with the internet and smartphone technology as a part of their childhood.
The top apps among Gen Z reveal important preferences and interests compared to older generations.

Born between 1995 and 2010, Gen Z has grown up with the internet and smartphones and spent their entire lives adapting to new technology. This influence is transforming major consumption patterns online such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, to name just a few. Video consumption is increasing, as well as memes, interactive stories (micro video) and various streaming services (gaming, niche, social commerce, etc…).

Digital Transformers

This generation illustrates many trends.

  • This is a generation that watches Netflix twice as much as cable TV.
  • They show the move to mobile gaming & gaming streaming (think Twitch).
  • The generation that would rather stream music with ads than buy an album and own it forever. Think Spotify and Apple Music.
  • They are also very pro-active on becoming creators and micro-influencers. They aren’t just passive as the uptake of Instagram stories and variety of features Snapchat has can attest to.
  • GenZ prefer niche platforms that cater to their specific interests, online activities and collective mindset. We see very specific apps that GenZ men and women might prefer.
Most Millennials won’t recognize all of these icons. GenX? Even less.

Gen Z According to Zebra IQ

Zebra IQ, a marketing and insights tech company, recently released a report detailing Gen Z ‘s online habits and interests, including their favorite apps, popular slang, and most-liked brands and influencers.

Video Streaming is In

Twitch lets millions of viewers tune in to watch live video games and other creative content.
  • A young male audience of over 15 million daily active users.
  • Twitch has significant immersion for its audience. 95 minutes daily is rather high. Twitch has a variety of Western and Eastern competitors now and is owned by Amazon.

User Generated Content is Still Hot

Reddit lets users build their own community pages and offers organized discussion on popular topics and niche interests.

The “front page” of the internet is popular also among GenZ men. It’s raw, honest and very informative for any niche interest or mainstream craving for info and memes.

Reddit is like “forums” 2.0. There are “sub-Reddits” on nearly everything that is created by the community, not brands. This means Reddit is a quasi decentralized platform. Gen Z are peer-to-peer oriented, many of whom won’t even have a Facebook account.

  • Reddit is for example very strong among those interested in new technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Immersive Creative Stories and “Upgraded Memes” are In

  • TikTok has been growing a lot in the past 18 months.
  • It’s an app made by ByteDance that is currently the most valuable Unicorn startup.
  • It’s often compared to Vine, but has become much more than that.
TikTok lets users make short video clips with a range of effects. The format is similar to Vine, the short-form video platform that operated from 2012 to 2017 and gave birth to social media influencers like Jake and Logan Paul.

TikTok has gone especially viral in South and East Asia, being a Chinese app but has a surprising global traction among teens.

These are just North American numbers, globally this app could one day rival Instagram according to some analysts. ByteDance is perhaps the startups that’s the best at developing & marketing apps in the world.

Honorable Mention

Imgur

Unfold

Zebra

Brat, the YouTube Channel

  • GenZ among other things owns how the future of influencer marketing and video content will evolve, Brat is an interesting case-study.

Others

  • NTWRK
  • YEAY (social commerce)
  • Snapchat (the perennial “Gen Z app”)
  • Depop
  • Kuaishou (in China)
  • Bilibili (Asia)
  • Little Red Book
  • Ethereum (the leading public blockchain is very popular among GenZ, though not technically an app per se)
  • YouTube (GenZ is more addicted to YouTube content than any other generation and it’s climbing)
  • Jinri Toutiao (News & content curation)
  • Huanju Shidai-backed LIKE Video
  • LiveMe (live-streaming is very big with GenZ)
  • Momo (content & dating)
  • Zhihu 知乎 (the “Quora” of China)
  • And so many more.

I hope this article has given you a quick overview of how Gen Z are the ultimate digital transformers and making the following more popular than ever.

  • Peer-to-peer apps
  • Live-streaming
  • Memes
  • Stories (micro video) both for sharing and for “fun”
  • Social commerce
  • Micro influencers
  • Tokens and blockchain incentives
  • Niche interest communities
  • Next-gen Video branding
  • Increase in video consumption
  • Video chat and editing
  • Mobile Gaming
  • The rise of Dapps
  • Cryptocurrency investments

Gen Z is truly demonstrating a lot of trends that have the potential to transform social media, marketing, advertising, branding and the internet as we know it.