A new generation in town: Gen Z. They’re the largest, most diverse generation in history, and they will shape our world for decades to come, which is why we need to know what makes them tick.
According to a recent study, 83% of teens use video platform, making YouTube the most popular among teens. My question is, why are going to there, what are watching, and the results. We discussed Gen Z user are 13-17 years of age and parents and followed up with extensive quantitative research.
Here are three things we learned.
Gen Z turns to YouTube to learn something, Yes Education
Surprised to know that Gen Z are turning to YouTube to plan out their next steps. Gen Z teens say YouTube has helped them become more knowledgeable. 68% say YouTube has helped them improve or gain skills that will help them prepare for the future.
This drive for self-improvement is coming to life in unexpected ways. For example, study with me videos, where people film themselves studying to encourage good study habits, are a growing genre. Think of them as a virtual study buddy. It shows Gen Z innovating with a new video format that brings together a desire to learn with a need for togetherness and human connection.
Gen Z looks to YouTube to deepen real-life connections and bridge generations. We’ve seen teens (and adults) with their heads in their phones, oblivious to the world around them. But online video is a social experience. 7 in 10 said watching videos with others helps them feel more connected.
Gen Z uses YouTube to take a break from the stresses of being a teenager. Teenagers are stressed. When they’re not doing school work or preparing for exams, they’re busy with extracurriculars or trying to navigate relationships. 84% said they feel overwhelmed by the work and activities they have to do.
And that’s one reason they’re heading to YouTube — to decompress a little and forget about day-to-day life. In fact, when we asked Gen Z which platforms they turn to when they want to relax or cheer up, the No. 1 response was YouTube. So when you see a teen obsessing over a silly video trend, realize they’re just looking to have fun and take a break from the stresses of growing up and educating themselves.
And while you might think teens are only sharing the latest viral videos among each other, think again. Research suggests many videos are crossing generational divides. Eight in 10 of the Gen Z teens we spoke to said they proactively share YouTube videos with their parents or other adult family members.
What This Gen Z behavior means for brands
It can be tempting to think of the next generation as different from those who came before. But what marketers should realize is that Gen Z is confronting the same coming-of-age situations that millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers once went through. They’re just expressing themselves in different ways, thanks to the technologies now at their disposal.
Just like teens before them, Gen Z is looking for ways to escape the stresses of everyday life and prepare for the future, and YouTube plays a big role in both these areas. Brands hoping to connect with this generation should be looking to help them do both.