Biz Tips: GenZ are Reshaping the Future of Social Media

Biz Tips: GenZ are Reshaping the Future of Social Media

GROWTH:

GenZ are Reshaping the Future of Social Media

The cohort after Millennials born after 1995 are reshaping the future of social media. They appear to prefer peer influencers, live-streaming and crypto enabled apps.

The are also extremely pragmatic, entrepreneurial and see digital not just as a ‘hang out’ place for their peers but as a place to cultivate personal brands that can be businesses. The early evidence seems to indicate that GenZ aren’t just mobile native, they are video natives with incredible ideas on how the future of the internet should look like.

GenZ are driving new online and offline behaviors

I’ve learned this first-hand with my work with the YEAY app and the WOM Protocol. I keep coming back to how GenZ are highly ethical and in fact want to see a world with more inclusion, decentralization of services and social and economic equality globally. Their influence on social media isn’t just about sharing their fashion preferences, though there’s that too. We don’t just find them on Instagram, but a wide range of apps that suit their interests.

GenZ is also approaching the internet as entrepreneurs because they are approaching money differently. Earning crypto online is also because they see their Millennials siblings having less money than their parents and having to make-do with less. GenZ are therefore pragmatic by necessity, and this could push them to re-think certain aspects of capitalism. Capitalism online is a bit like digital advertising, where our data is exploited for profit just to a few tech companies like Google and Facebook.

GenZ see digital assets as a valid alternative to this out-dated model where Ads exploit people and harvest their data to personalized and target them in a context that doesn’t seem compatible with human rights, social good and truly making the world a more positive place.

Flexibility and an interest in exploring new channels will go a long way and will attract GenZ to new business models where crypto and digital assets are implicated. GenZ crave great online and offline experiences, but also a way to compensate for the inequality they are facing with rising student loans, costs of housing and flat wage growth. They know perfectly well the world they are graduating into.

GenZ are the First “Decentralization” Native Cohort

In speakers to hundreds of people involved in blockchain with the WOM Protocol we came to the conclusion that young consumers want the best control over their content creations, data and choices online — which we refer to as a self-sovereign marketing solution. Decentralization manifested is deeply a part of that not just from better user experiences online, but in how content creators, curators, audiences and algorithms relate in the next generation of DApps.

Social Media in 2025 may look radically different than it does today in 2018. Video, influencer marketing and digital asset incentives will all have scaled to mainstream levels, where marketing and advertising will have to shift along with them.

GenZ already has it their prime-time spending days. Believe it or not, Gen Z is entering its prime working years. The 13- to 24-year-old cohort’s spending power is estimated at somewhere between $29 billion and $143 billion, easily eclipsing that of the millennial generation. Aligning the future content ecosystems with their values and behaviors therefore is key.

GenZ are channels hoppers and a decentralized ecosystem needs a broad net of partners that are aligned to serve their needs. This won’t be about one killer app but about macro trends of how we consumer mobile in new ways — that’s trending towards micro video content with niches that bring offline to online and online to offline all within a peer-to-peer umbrella. This is why ‘decentralization’ as a movement is so important to the future.

Advertising needs to learn from GenZ who to reach GenZ

If networks want dedicated fans they need to offer immersive experiences that connect with GenZ interests and passions. With the rise of micro influencers GenZ aren’t just passive audiences, they want to be creators, curators, crypto earners and be a part of the decentralization movement. They want their online activities to have real world impact and not just be the casual sharing of yet another Instagram story.

New generations have little interest in the channels their parents prefer, just as Facebook will never again attract teens, or Instagram seems more boring than TikTok, the new eclipses the old. Social media needs a revolution, and decentralization might be a significant element of it. As a GenZ advocate, I’ve been paying attention to what these teenagers are saying, and I still keep learning from them.

From agencies to brands, there’s a lot of reverse mentoring happening. The GenZ influencer are creating YouTube channels, Twitch experiences, WeChat groups, and software development in blockchain that will fundamentally change the world. Blockchain is expected to achieve some level of widespread adoption by 2025, and to reach these new consumers the advertising community and retail brands need to consider crypto more seriously.

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GenZ are Reshaping the Future of Social Media was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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