Gen Z want personalised ads, are least concerned about private data collection

New research suggests that Generation Z, typically referring to those aged 15 to 22 years, are major smartphone users with 55% using their devices over five hours per day.

According to Cognizant, the IT and technology company, Gen Z are generally positive about the future of the Internet with 67% saying it will exert a positive influence on future societies, whilst 37% said the Internet would have a negative effect.

Gen Z  (37%) are also the least concerned about companies using their private data compared to millennials (45%) and Gen X (47%). Indeed, 32% of Gen Z mobile users aren’t concerned about their private data being used without their consent.

However, 67% of the generation feel that companies know too much about them through data collection. Older consumers are more likely to agree as 75% of Gen X are worried about information collection.

At the same time, a third of Gen Z and millennials are happy for companies to collect their data.

However, interruptive ads are a still a concern for 66% of Gen Z Internet users. Although the majority understand that ads are a trade-off to access Internet content for free, they also consider Internet ads to be an interruption.

34% of Gen Z consider online ads to be helpful if they are relevant to their personal preferences.

Context is important with 46% of the generation’s Internet users being turned off by ads placed next to offensive content.

When it comes to making online purchases, friends and family have the greatest influence on Gen Z shoppers (47%), followed by social media influencers (24%), media reviewers (10%) and sales representatives in-store (7%).

Accordingly, 35% of Gen Z believe user-generated content will have more credibility in the future.

In terms of content consumption, the majority of Gen Z (56%) prefer to interact with their devices through touch interaction, whilst millennials are split between 49% preferring to talk and 40% preferring touch interaction.

The majority of Gen Z (60%) would also like to test virtual reality entertainment experiences in the future – a feature that is already extending to advertising.