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Where Does Gen Z Spend Most of Their Time Online?

Updated on February 2, 2024
3 minute read

Spoiler: It’s not on TikTok.

Published February 2, 2024

Fact: Gen Z spends a lot of time online, and their purchasing power is only getting stronger.

Morning Consult, a data-decision intelligence company, recently conducted a report to learn more about Gen Z’s social media usage.

One main takeaway? Video is here to stay.

Keep reading, we're breaking down their findings — plus, what it means for brands trying to reach Gen Z.

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Gen Z’s Social Media Usage: Where Do They Spend Their Time Online?

According to Morning Consult's report, YouTube is the most-used platform for Gen Z — with over 80% spending their time on the app:

Coming in at the number two spot is Instagram at 75% — hinting that the platform isn’t “over.” 

And TikTok (69%) and Snapchat (63%) aren’t too far behind either.

However, there’s a notable dip once you get to the likes of Facebook and X (aka Twitter). 

Interestingly, more male respondents use platforms like YouTube, X, Discord, Reddit, and Twitch.

On the flip side, when it comes to Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook, female Gen Zers take the lead.  

And while its usage is on the lower end, Gen Z is still showing some love for BeReal

TIP: Bookmark this blog post: 5 Gen Z Marketing Strategies To Implement in 2024

How Much Time Does Gen Z Spend on Social Media?

Morning Consult reports that 35% of Gen Zers spend over four hours a day on social media.

This a slight drop from the previous year (38%):

By comparison, only 19% of U.S. adults spend that much time online — showing the generational differences when using social media. 

And when you contrast Gen Z’s social media usage with their main reasons for using social media, the report also found that:

  • 68% use it for entertainment and scrolling

  • 19% use it for messaging and communication

The takeaway? If you want to reach Gen Z, doing it via social media is the way to go — they're digital experts for a reason.

FYI: Later's social media management tools are trusted by over 7M brands, creators, and marketers to plan, manage, and analyze their content. Create a free account today.

What Does This Mean for Brands Wanting to Reach Gen Z?

The proof is in the pudding: Gen Z likes to be online and YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are their platforms of choice.

But even more importantly, Morning Consult's report found that Gen Zers actively seek out new brands more than any other generation of consumers.

The content that most leads to a purchase? Reviews, hauls, and GRWMs.

Gen Z social media usage: content that leads to a purchase — graph

So, consider creating videos that have a fun hook, yet integrate your product in a seamless way.

Draw inspiration from the rise of the TikTok "FaceTime" trend, brands collaborating with influencers for subtle product placement, or a simple tutorial.

But remember: Gen Z are quick to suss out anything that feels forced and are intentional about where they spend, so make sure your content is genuine to your brand (and that your product holds up too)!

Compared to older generations, Gen Z’s social media usage leaves more room to reach, connect, and market to them online.

If you haven’t started yet, 2024 is the perfect time to experiment.

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