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GLOBAL 2016: Young people use social platforms in different ways

The marketing world is obsessed with using traditional models of marketing cohorts to define the behaviour of several millions of people. To that end, what are the different social platform behaviors of millennials (born 1980-1995) vs Gen Z (born circa 1996-2010)? Both generations use Facebook (it is a fallacy that ‘the kids are deserting Facebook’ – the use cases are just very different). In broad strokes, older users use Facebook for sharing their lives and interests, or for simply just staying in touch, with their friends. Gen Z however are less about these public demonstrations of identity (plus why would they want to share everything on the platforms where their parents live?) instead, for many young users, Facebook is simply Google - for people. For example: a Gen Z person might someone at a party, look them up on Facebook to learn what groups they’re in, who their friends are, and what brands they like, before deciding whether or not to add them to their Whatsapp group.
James Whatley
Digital Director
Ogilvy & Mather, London