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OVER 100+

EYE OPENING
FACTS ABOUT
GENERATION Z
CURATED YOUTH INSIGHTS +
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT TIPS
A 2015 FORBES STUDY ESTIMATED
GENERATION Z MADE UP ABOUT
25% OF THE U.S. POPULATION.
WHO IS GEN Z?
Members of Generation Z are currently 18 years and younger with
a birth year between 2001 and 2025.

‘‘
ACCORDING TO THE MOST RECENT U.S. CENSUS ESTIMATES,
GEN Z IS ABOUT 20 MILLION STRONG AND PROJECTED TO HIT
23 MILLION BY 2020. IN ADDITION, OTHER DEMOGRAPHIC
RESEARCH ESTIMATES THAT THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
DIVERSE GROUPS IN UNITED STATES HISTORY.
COMMON GENERATION Z
ATTRIBUTES
WHO I AM PERSONALITY

Culturally Global World Outgoing Inquisitive Gives credit Optimistic


Diverse Citizen to others

Connected all Sensitive to Media Maker Playful Creative Change Agent


the time others & Do-gooder
GEN Z DIGITAL EXPERIENCE
ATTRIBUTES
Gen Z, more than any other generation is driven by digital experiences.
These digital experiences are being fueled by changes in the characteristics
of Gen Z and the ways in which they use new technologies to exchange
information and communicate.

ON-DEMAND INTERACTIVE COLLABORATIVE AUTHENTIC

Gen Z has always had the Gen Z expects to pick and use Gen Z learns best through Brand awareness and Gen Z
ability to multi-task and various types of media and observation, collaboration, customer acquisition takes
handle multiple streams create a personalized “mash- intrinsic motivation, and from place only when situated
of information and juggle up” of content. Students also self-organizing social systems in a social and authentic
both short and long term use social media as a way comprised of peers. This can context.
information and/or to express their identity and take place in either a virtual
learning goals. creativity through creation of (messaging, virtual reality) or
user-generated content. in-person environment.
GEN Z ADAPTIVE SURVIVAL
STRATEGIES
Gen Z’s came of age in an economic downturn, seeing their Millennial siblings
struggling with huge student loan debt and living through a cascade of social
media amplified tragedies like Hurricane Sandy, terror attacks, and mass
shootings like Sandy Hook.
For them, life has always been a 24/7 hybrid social media reality show and as
a result they have consciously or unconsciously developed “adaptive survival
strategies” for navigating their always connected world.
GEN Z ADAPTIVE SURVIVAL
STRATEGIES (CONTINUED)
LIFE-PREPPING
These pragmatic youth are natural preparers in the face of an unpredictable
world – whether planning for physical safety in light of violence, or prepping
for their futures in a more uncertain economic climate.

Accustomed to high school intruder drills, they are always in “exit strategy”
mode, with over a third agreeing they “plot out escape plans when in public
places”, because of events like Sandy Hook.

Although half are scared of violence at school, they seem to have adopted
a practical “Keep Calm and Carry On” mentality.
GEN Z ADAPTIVE SURVIVAL
STRATEGIES (CONTINUED)
MONO-TASKING
Gen Z are consciously taking time to self-soothe, (a classic coping mechanism
from hyper-stimulation) disconnect, de-stress, de-stimulate, and control inputs.

8 in 10 Gen Z agree that “Sometimes I just need to unplug and enjoy the
simple things.”

82% agree “when I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I like to stop and just do
one thing at a time.”

57% like to take a break from technology to make things with their hands.

54% of 14 - 17 year old girls say baking makes them feel less anxious.
GEN Z ADAPTIVE SURVIVAL
STRATEGIES (CONTINUED)
HYPER-FILTERING
This is the first generation of “digital latchkey kids.” Though increasingly
physically protected by parents, digital behavior is not as closely monitored.

But like the Gen X Latchkey Kids who created their own rules and regimes
while parents worked, youth today are surprisingly filtering out what’s
overwhelming to them online: avoiding certain Youtube videos or sites that
they think are gross, inappropriate, or disturbing.

They’re slimming down their social networks and finding niche/private places
to share in a controlled environment, whether it’s Snapchat or a locked
Instagram feed.
NOTHING IS MORE CENTRAL TO
GEN Z THAN A MOBILE DEVICE.
Mobile devices are the gateway to communication (via texting),
socialization (through apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Tumblr)
and staying in touch with family/friends (through messaging apps).
GEN Z MOBILE TRENDS

The most recent Pew Research Tweens & Tech


report delved into the mobile habits of tweens.
The big (but not surprising) takeaway is that 88% of
American youth ages 13 to 17 have or have access
to a mobile phone of some kind, and a majority of
tweens (73%) have smart-phones.
MINORITY YOUTH &
MOBILE PHONE USAGE
For many minority youth, mobile devices (smart-phones & tablets) are their
only access point to the internet and social media sites. This is largely due to
the lack of broadband access in urban areas.
African-American youth are the most likely of any racial or ethnic group to have
or have access to a smart-phone; 85% of African-American youth report smart-
phone ownership, compared with 71% of Caucasian and 71% of Hispanic youth.
FOR GEN Z, OWNING A CELL
PHONE HAS SHIFTED FROM
A LUXURY TO A NECESSITY.
With each passing year, children are receiving their own
mobile technology earlier than ever before and becoming
increasingly reliant on it. Ironically in many ways tweens
do not need cell phones, but rather they just get them.
EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT
TO MOBILE DEVICES
As children become tweenagers, receiving a phone becomes just another
rite of passage that allows them to be further connected with their peers and
it is now a social norm to have one at an early age.
Additional research from the Pew Research Center stated that “nearly
three- quarters of teens have or have access to a smart-phone and 30%
have a basic phone, while just 12% of teens 13 to 17 say they have no cell
phone of any type”.
EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT
TO MOBILE DEVICES
(CONTINUED)
These numbers are only on the rise and the fact that the majority of Gen Z’s own
a cell phone has become one of this generation’s defining characteristics. As
a result of the device functionality “24% of tweens and teens go online ‘almost
constantly’”. This trend is generally occurring in many countries across the globe
but is specifically occurring in the United States.
MOBILE INTERNET USE
Gen Z are also going online frequently. Aided by the convenience and
constant access provided by mobile phones, 92% report going online
daily — with 24% using the Internet “almost constantly,” 56% go online
several times a day, and 12% reporting once-a-day use.

The Pew survey shows that 91% of tweens and teens


91% go online from a mobile device, at least occasionally.
MOBILE INTERNET USE
(CONTINUED)
% Of all teens who have or have access to a desktop, laptop or tablet computers

Desktop or Tablet Desktop or Tablet


Laptop Access Access Laptop Access Access
All teens 87% 58% Girls 15-17 90 58
SEX HOUSEHOLD INCOME
Boys 87 54 <$30K 78 48
Girls 88 62a $30K - $49,999 83 45
RACE / ETHNICITY $50K - $74,999 88l 59lm
White, non-Hispanic 91de 57 $75K+ 92lm 65lm
Black, non-Hispanic 79 54 PARENT EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
Hispanic 82 62 Less than high school 73 51
AGE High school 88p 51
13-14 84 61 Some college 89p 65pq
15-17 90f 56 College+ 92p 59
SEX BY AGE URBANITY
Boys 13-14 83 55 Urban 83 56
Boys 15-17 89 53 Suburban 89t 59
Girls 13-14 85 67hi Rural 89 55
Source: Pew Research Center’s Teens Relationships Survey, Sept. 25-Oct. 9, 2014 and Feb. 10-Mar. 16, 2015. (n=1,060 teens ages 13 to 17). Note: Percentages marked with a superscriptletter (e.g.,*) indicate a
statistically significant difference between that row and the row designated by that superscript letter, among categories of each demographic characteristics (e.g. age). PEW RESEARCH CENTER
MOBILE INTERNET USE
(CONTINUED)
Nearly three-quarters (73%) have a smart-phone while just 12% of tweens 13 to 17
say they have no cell phone of any type. More than half of Gen Z have access to
a tablet; 87% have a desktop or laptop.
African-American and Hispanic youth report going online with greater frequency
than Caucasian youth. About a third (34%) of African-American youth and 32% of
Hispanic youth report going online “almost constantly,” while 19% of Caucasian
youth go online that often.
A key insight we learned in 2015 from our Youthvine
community was that both tweens and teens have little
differentiation between a “web based browser”
experience versus a “mobile app” driven experience.
TO THEM IT’S ALL JUST “THE INTERNET.”
GEN Z TECHNOLOGY
TRENDS
Tweens are “mobile homesteaders” – who use a variety of apps to share,
communicate, and show off to their friends.

We asked 300 Youthvine tweens what device they use as their primary
connection to the Internet, 77% reported using both websites and mobile
apps, 19% reported using only mobile apps, and (4%) reported using
desktop computers as their primary connection.
Nearly all of the tweens surveyed have access to a mobile device (smart-
phone, tablet) with the majority owning an iOS device (43%), followed by
Android (15%), and Windows (6%).
GEN Z TECHNOLOGY
TRENDS (CONTINUED)
Tweens move seamlessly between mobile devices and PCs, 41% cited
using only mobile devices.
42% self-report spending at least 2 hours a day using social media, 35%
report 1 hour a day, and 15% who spend 5 hours a day on social sites.
Most of their online time is spent consuming and sharing media through
social media apps: 61% report using messaging apps (including texting and
SMS) as a primary form of communication and sharing among friends.
Tweens said they were MORE likely to use YouTube (26%), Instagram
(24%), Snapchat (20%), and Vine (14%) during the 2014-2015 school year.
TWEENS &
MESSAGING APPS
Nearly all of tween cell phone owners use text messaging — either directly
through their mobile phones or through an app or a website.

In a testament to the shifting landscape


of texting, one third (33%) of tweens with
33% cell phones use messaging apps like Kik,
Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp.
TWEENS &
MESSAGING APPS
(CONTINUED)
However, tweens on the lower end of the income spectrum are also
more likely to use messaging apps on their smart-phones, with 39% of
cell-owning tweens from households earning less than $50,000 annually
using the apps, compared with 31% of tweens from wealthier families.
Girls are also a bit more likely than boys to use messaging apps, with 37% of
cell-owning girls using them compared with 29% of boys with cell phones.
Use of these apps varies little by the age of the tween.
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS
In a Pew Internet study, when asked a general question about whether they used
social media, three-quarters (76%) of Gen Z use social media.
When asked about seven specific sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat,
Tumblr, Google+, and Vine), and given the option to report another site used, 89%
of Gen Z reported that they used at least one of the sites and two-thirds of tweens
(71%) reported using two or more sites.
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS
While there are many social and digital channels to occupy the attention of this
demographic, we feel that the following are the primary platforms where tweens
gather and are most likely to create and share content with their colleagues and
drive positive brand associations.
We see youth today even more adept at developing their unique persona from
a young age, realizing both the need to stand out to get social media likes and,
moreover, showcase a unique side to get noticed in a highly competitive college
admission process, or if they’re lucky - fame as a YouTuber or IGer!
FACEBOOK
Despite numerous reports that “teens don’t
use Facebook”, it remains the most popular
of all the social media platforms, with 71% of
all tweens saying they use Facebook.

Boys and girls are equally likely to report


using the platform, but older users ages 15
to 17 are more likely to use it than younger
users 13 to 14. Much of the difference is
located within the youngest age group — the
13-year-olds — of whom less than half (44%)
say they use Facebook, while of 77% of 14-to
17-year-olds report use.
INSTAGRAM
First launched in 2010, Instagram has
become a mainstay for adolescent
social media users.

More than half (52%) of all Gen Z report using


Instagram to share photos and videos with
friends, with girls substantially more likely to
use it than boys (61% to 44%). The typical
American tween who uses Instagram has
150 followers in their network. Girls outpace
boys in their typical number of followers, with
girls reporting a median of 200 followers on
Instagram compared with 100 followers for boys.
SNAPCHAT
Snapchat is another relatively new
photo and video focused sharing app
that Gen Z have embraced in the last
two and half years.

Two-in-five American tweens (41%) use


Snapchat to share images and videos that
are then automatically deleted within a
predetermined amount of time — usually a
few seconds. By a wide margin, girls and older
tweens are the most likely to send snaps —
with half of girls using the service, compared
with 31% of boys.
VINE
Roughly one quarter of Gen Z (24%) use
Vine, an app that allows users to record
and share short, six-second videos.

Vine is used by more girls than boys, with 27%


of young females using the app compared with
20% of young males.
YOUNOW
YouNow is a video-based social
networking site that allows users to watch
and create interactive live stream videos.

This platform is wildly popular with tweens


and teens and allows them to interact with a
new breed of live broadcasters.
TUMBLR
Tumblr is a microblogging service
where users can curate and share
posts of mostly visual content they
create themselves or find elsewhere
on the web. About one-inseven (14%)
tweens use Tumblr.

Tumblr is predominately used by girls in this


age group with 23% of girls 13 to 17 using the
service, compared with just 5% of boys the
same age. Much of this is driven by the oldest
girls (ages 15 to 17) of whom 27% report using
Tumblr. Overall, older tweens are modestly
more likely to use Tumblr than younger
tweens, with 10% of 13- to 14-year-olds and
16% of 15-to 17-year-olds using it.
GEN Z MEDIA
CONSUMPTION TRENDS
When it comes to content, social video is the clear winner. Younger Gen Z are
most drawn to YouTube, with 85% stating they use the service to stream videos,
10 percentage points higher than older Gen Z. Overall, Gen Z represents a
massive share of US streaming video on Netflix (79%) and YouTube (81%).
Tweenage girls use social media sites and platforms — particularly visually
oriented ones — for sharing more than their male counterparts do. For their part,
boys are more likely than girls to own gaming consoles and play video games.
TWEENAGE GIRLS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
& PLATFORMS, PARTICULARLY VISUALLY-ORIENTED
ONES - FOR SHARING MORE THAN THEIR MALE
COUNTERPARTS DO. TWEENAGE BOYS ARE MORE
LIKELY THAN GIRLS TO OWN GAMING CONSOLES.
VIDEO GAMES

Some 81% of tweens 13 to 17 have or have access to a game console such as a


Playstation, Xbox, or Wii. 91% of tween boys own game consoles, while 70% of
girls say they have or have access to a console.
VIDEO CALLING
Some 47% of Gen Z talk with others over video
connections such as Skype, Oovoo, Facetime, and
Omegle. Older girls are the most enthusiastic chatters
with 54% of them video calling or chatting with others
compared with 44% of all other tweens and teens. And
53% of Hispanic youth video chat and call, a bit more than
the 43% of Caucasian youth who report talking by video.
Despite all the new media Gen Z have at their disposal - from
Instagram to YouTube to Xbox, tweens still rank watching TV
and listening to music as the activities they enjoy “a lot” and
do every day, ahead of playing video games/mobile games,
watching online videos, and using social media. In fact, only
10% of Gen Z ranked social media as their favorite activity.
GEN Z TRADITIONAL TV
Gen Z are spending more time on
Netflix and YouTube as opposed to
traditional TV; the amount of time
they spend on these websites
combined equates to 59% versus
traditional TV at 29%.

On any given day, American teens


(13- to 18-year-olds) average about
nine hours (8:56) of entertainment
media use, excluding time spent at
school or for homework. Tweens
(8- to 12-year-olds) use an average
of about six hours’ (5:55) worth of
entertainment media daily.
WHEN INTERACTING WITH GEN Z,
YOUR “VOICE” SHOULD BE ASPIRATIONAL ENOUGH TO LOOK UP
TO BUT “LIKE ME” ENOUGH TO RELATE TO AND CONNECT WITH.
HOW TO SPEAK TO GEN Z
BE DO NOT BE

Smart, witty, humorous, and Condescending. Never stray


slightly irreverent. from our core values and
integrity.
Forever cool because we
stay true to our identity: fun A servant to the tides of
and full of the adventurous, trends, marketing or anyone
otherworldly, dream trying too hard to be hip.
chaser-ness.
Overt or in your face
Proud of who we are,
honoring our roots and Not evangelistic or heavy
infusing content with our handed, preferring instead
own personality. to experience.
GEN Z MESSAGING
CHARACTERISTICS
An authentic voice comes from a single persona.

LANGUAGE SHOW NOT TELL


THE POPULAR KID THAT’S EVERYONE’S FRIEND SHORT, COUPLE WORD DESCRIPTIONS
CULTURALLY DIVERSE
THE LIFE OF THE PARTY OUTGOING CHEEKY FLEETING
ASPIRATIONAL
SARCASTIC, BUT NOT DRY HUMOR;
ALWAYS NICE AND CLEAR ENOUGH FOR TWEENS TO “GET IT”
SENSITIVE TO OTHERS
USE HASHTAGS FOR ANYTHING
PERSONALITY CREATIVE TRENDY/TRANSIENT/FLEETING
GIVES CREDIT TO THE FANS INSTEAD OF TAKING CREDIT
CAPTIONS/DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD BE LANGUAGE
ALWAYS UP FOR A CHALLENGE THAT WILL LAST FOR THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS
OPEN-MINDED A BELIEVER WITHOUT SOUNDING LAME OR OUTDATED
OPTIMISTIC INQUISITIVE CLEVER USE OF
PLAYFUL DOUBLE ENTENDRES
FIVE ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR
CONNECTING WITH GEN Z
Thumbs First An Emoji Is Worth A
Gen Z is a thumbs first generation. 1000 Words
Born with mobile devices, apps and Gen Z is a highly visual generation.
the mobile web in their paws, they’re Use emoji, Vines, YouTube video
always connected and their world or GIFs to communicate with them
moves fast, changing with every and show that you’re willing to
swipe on their phone. speak their language.

Keep It Short
When communicating with Gen Z on social
media or online, use text that is short, sweet
and to the point. This generation is used to
communicating in 140 characters or less.
Their attention span is limited, so you better
hurry up and share your message.
FIVE ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR
CONNECTING WITH GEN Z
Come Together
Tweens have had the total sum of world
knowledge a Google search away. This
has empowered them with opinions and an
expectation that you’ll include them in the
conversation. Ignore them at your own risk.

Change The World


Roughly one in four Gen Zs are involved in
volunteering. They have a global perspective
and want to be part of the solution. They’ll
expect you to give them a cause and show
them how to get involved.
‘‘
GEN Z IS IN CONSTANT CONTACT, ALMOST 24/7.
ALTHOUGH EASILY CONSIDERED A TREND, THIS
BEHAVIOR HAS ALMOST TRANSCENDED THE
IDEA OF A TREND. IT IS A NORM.
Youthvine Gen Z Research and
Co-Creation Community
Pew Internet 2015 Tween Study
PiperJaffray Taking Stock with
Tweens 2015
SOURCES CNN
Business Insider
Sparks & Honey
MTV
GREGG WITT
Chief Engagement Officer, Immersive Youth Marketing
Tel: 619-342-6482 I gregg@immersiveyouth.com I Twitter: @immersiveyouth
immersiveyouthmarketing.com