56% of Gen Z use social apps to express themselves, but not for branding

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. June 18, 2019

51% of Gen Z consider themselves to be more creative than generations before them when it comes to visual digital culture, according to a report by Snap Inc and JWT Intelligence at Wunderman Thompson. Indeed, 48% of them spend their free time online editing photos, creating memes and digital art.

Their identities are more tightly connected to social media tools offering them ways to express themselves, but also leveraging apps to drive creative connections.

Although 56% of respondents used social apps to express themselves creatively, just one fifth are using it to develop their brands.

At the same time, 46% added that they were expressing themselves online because of passion and not for branding reasons.

Over half (60%) of respondents further believe that their social output represents a real version of themselves.

“We have been studying Gen Z since 2012,” said Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence at Wunderman Thompson. “In many ways they are one of the most revolutionary consumer cohorts to date, disrupting radically different notions of gender, brand, politics, and questioning everything in the world around them.

“This group has also grown up with not only digital tools, but an entire universe of internet references to draw on. As such, they’re using creative tools to express themselves in new sophisticated ways, but also using them to connect with others, affect causes they care about, and make money. Their non-linear approach to creativity, whether its combining sound, with illustration, or video, is already so advanced. This group is set to transform the creative talent space.”

Among the tech tools Gen Z prefers to use are AR filters/lenses (40%), emojis (43%), color filters (44%) and text captions (51%).

27% of Gen Z also admitted to previously hacking or adapting an app or web feature to do something they couldn’t typically do.

Among the major social networks, Snapchat was a preferred app for creating videos and images, sharing them, communication with friends and posting thoughts.

Snapchat creative tools ranked top (35%) for creating art and editing photos, ahead of Instagram (29%) and Photoshop (23%).