The Kids Are Getting Out

The Social Media landscape is changing (again) - Photo by  R. Nial Bradshaw via Flickr

The Social Media landscape is changing (again) – Photo by
R. Nial Bradshaw via Flickr

The trend for ‘Generation Z’ — today’s post-millennial school/varsity-goers — is to move away from social media like Facebook and Twitter, according to this article from The Conversation. According to Time, more than 11 million young people have fled Facebook since 2011 – to be more precise, there’s been a drop of over 25% in the 13-17 age bracket, and 7.5% in the 18-24 year-olds, between 2011 and 2014.

There are two main reasons. One is that there is a renewed consciousness of privacy, so ‘ephemeral’ social media like Snapchat (which destroys a message after it has been viewed) are becoming more popular. Then, there’s the ‘granny’ factor. When Mom or Aunty Madge ‘like’ your Facebook picture, it makes you seem ‘uncool’.

“Brad, I see you were out drinking with your buddies last night. I hope you didn’t drive in that state!” — Awkward!

In a study published in August last year, the Pew Research Center reported that 49% of smartphone owners between 18 and 29 use messaging apps like Kik, Whatsapp or iMessage, and 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages, like Snapchat. According to another Pew study, only 37% of people in that age range use Pinterest, only 22% use LinkedIn and only 32% use Twitter.

Yikes! That’s an important consideration for marketers, and I have previously written about the growth of Snapchat, which is yet to hit South Africa to the same extent at the States, but I predict will happen in the very near future; so it’s important for brands to chart the path ahead in these lesser-known social media channels.