For those unsure what or who is Generation Z, it is the demographic cohort that consists of those born between the years 1995 and 2012, and who will be in the age range 6-23 in the year 2018. One of the hotly discussed topics among media experts on Generation Z is which social media platforms this generation’s lives will revolve around. Will Instagram still be the force it is today? Social media can be such an unpredictable game. One moment Vine was the hottest thing in town with users hooked up onto it clamouring for more and the next moment Vine closed down. Here, we will take a look at 6 platforms that we feel will represent Generation Z!
Houseparty is a social media application that lets you video chat with others and allows up to 8 people in one conversation. It is a free application that basically acts as a virtual “living room” to hang out and chill. Once signed up, users can create a live hang-out session with their friends. Houseparty has already become very popular with a pool of 20 million who typically spend an average time of 51 minutes on the platform.
It seems almost as if the world of social media has come full circle. After the widespread proliferation of computers in each household, we created virtual chat rooms to “talk” to one another, sometimes for hours on end. Subsequently, the age of sharing media came and we started to carefully select the best photos and videos, edit them meticulously and share them on platforms such as Instagram so that others could “experience” our best moments without actually being there with us. But here in Houseparty we have an app that fundamentally hearkens back to the days where we interacted with one another in the same moment having the same experience.
Unlike other social media platforms, Houseparty does not act as a medium to receive new content (such as from influencers and celebrities) but centers itself around fostering existing relationships. While this is one of Houseparty’s selling points, it does raise questions for brands on how they can harness such a social media platform for marketing.
Musical.ly (simply pronounced musically) is a lip-sync app turned massive video-sharing platform released in 2014. It allows users to create videos of up to 15-seconds and share them with their followers. The app’s interface is very similar to that of Instagram’s in terms of the arrangement of the navigation bar. (Not a bad choice!)
Musical.ly’s video recording software encourages users to unleash their creative prowess/creativity by providing several useful tools. Other than letting users add music from Apple Music’s huge library, Musical.ly also lets them add visual effects and Snapchat-like face filters. Users can also pause a clipping when taking a video so that they can transit between different scenes in one video.
Videos created are posted to different categories, such as comedy, talent, sports, and style. On the discover section, users can view videos by category, trending tag, or song choice. There’s also a leader board highlighting the top musers (the term for popular users on Musical.ly). Some of these top musers have astounding reach due to their popularity on other platforms like Instagram. For example, Loren Gray who has 23M fans on Musical.ly has 9.2M Instagram followers and Baby Ariel who has 24.4M fans on Musical.ly has 8.1M Instagram followers.
Combining features of Instagram, Snapchat and Vine, Musical.ly seems like it has all the traits to lead it to the very top.
Snapchat is a mobile-messaging application that lets you share text, videos and drawings. The messages however have a ‘self-destruct’ feature so recipients can view the content for the duration stipulated by a sender. If the sender sets the duration of a picture to 5 seconds, the recipient will only get to view it for 5 seconds, after which the picture will disappear. With recent updates however, users can allow a snap to exist forever with no time limit. Snapchat’s camera software allows users to showcase their creativity with the ability to add stickers and face filters, or to doodle on your photo or video.
Pictures and videos can either be sent directly to a friend or can be published as the user’s story. The user’s story can be viewed by any of the user’s followers and unlike direct snaps, these can be viewed more than once, however, they will only last for 24 hours.
Generation Z’s affinity with Snapchat comes as no surprise due to the ephermeral nature of the content. Surveys have shown that people in Generation Z tend to want to keep things more private and are more cautious of their online presence. Hence, the assurance that content will disappear and not haunt them in the future makes platforms like Snapchat favourable to them.
Despite competition from Instagram Stories that offer similar functionality, Snapchat still reigns supreme among those in Generation Z with approximately 72% of Americans aged 12-24 having Snapchat on their phone, compared to 66% for Instagram.
This is part one in a series entitled ‘6 Key Platforms To Reach Gen Z’. The aim of this two-part series is to introduce to you 6 platforms that are important in reaching out to the Generation Z crowd. Stay tuned for part two!