Ever since social media emerged, a certain hierarchy has been clear—Facebook is king, everyone else battles for a distant second. But the rise of a new breed of “native” social user may soon lead to the crowning of a new social media king.
Despite the fact that Facebook has long been considered the pinnacle of social media success, boasting the most active users, these younger generations favor more visually-driven platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, suggests a new survey from business news and how-to website The Manifest.
The numbers don’t lie—while only 36 percent of Generation Zers report using Facebook weekly, 89 percent use YouTube, 74 percent use Instagram, and 68 percent use Snapchat at least once a week.
“Snapchat and Instagram are cooler for younger generations because they have less content,” said Mark McIntyre, CEO of advertising and web design agency MaxAudience, in a news release. “You get to choose to see all the good stuff and none of the junk. It’s way more image-based and way less text-based, and you don’t get everyone’s rant.”
YouTube attracts majority of social media users from every generation
The only social media platform to attract more than half of every generation is YouTube.
The majority of Generation Zers (89 advertising and web design agency), millennials (86 advertising and web design agency), Generation Xers (68 advertising and web design agency), and baby boomers (52 advertising and web design agency) use YouTube at least once a week, which may be correlated with people’s affinity for video content.
“Video content is the richest form of visual content,” said Joseph Rothstein, CEO of social media marketing agency Social Media 55, in the release. “It allows you not only to remember the sounds but also the sights.”
Images remain preferred content to post for all generations
Although demand for video content is rising, people still prefer posting images to social media.
Approximately three-quarters of Generation Zers (77 percent), millennials (77 percent), and Generation Xers (72 percent), along with 52 percent of baby boomers, prefer posting images on social media.
“Imagery tells a story that we can all fill in,” said Jeremy Graves, CEO of Jeremy Graves Coaching and Consulting LLC, which helps businesses on matters related to strategy and culture, in the release. “We don’t have to read what someone else thinks. We can connect through imagery, and the story becomes our own instead of having to read someone else’s script.”
Social media agencies and experts believe the increasing popularity of visual content has given rise to platforms that prioritize visuals over text-based content and allow users greater control of what they see and from whom.
The Manifest surveyed 627 U.S. social media users.