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.