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Gen Z are spending more time on TikTok than any other app

Data by Measure Protocol has found that Gen Z spends the most time on TikTok compared to any other app. However, only 83% of teens use TikTok compared to 87% on Instagram.

Here’s some news that is neither shocking nor surprising.

Research by Measure Protocol has found that Gen Z spend most of their time on TikTok compared to other social media apps by quite some margin. Those aged between 16-to-25 spend three times longer on TikTok in a week compared to Instagram and Snapchat. It’s only competitor is YouTube, but even then TikTok is still twice as far ahead.

According to data gathered in September 2022, Gen Z are on TikTok for 12.4 hours a week on average. YouTube trails at 5.8 hours, Instagram at 3.8 hours, and Snapchat at 3.7, respectably.

While usage time may be up, TikTok still lags behind Instagram and YouTube on penetration rates. 83% of US teens said they use TikTok compared to 87% for Instagram, meaning it still has a ways to go before it reaches the same advertising potential and generational reach.

YouTube remains king, with a whopping 93% of Gen Z using the site weekly.

Keep in mind that these numbers reflect an average weekly phone use of 45 hours. Additionally, Gen Z use 42 unique apps per week, making it difficult for new platforms to permeate the market.

The cultural force of TikTok can also be felt in individual rankings for overall app usage. 24% of participants had TikTok as their most-used app and 10% as their second.

So, what does all this mean?

Over the last decade we’ve seen the power balance across social media platforms shift. Facebook used to be the dominant force of online communication but has been largely forgotten amidst newer apps that prioritise video and short-form content.

It probably doesn’t help that Facebook’s brand has been irreversibly damaged due to constant privacy and user data scandals. Very few people are excited about the Metaverse, either.

It seems clear that Gen Z are attracted to apps that encourage close knit communication with friends and quick gratification. Immediacy is paramount in a market that is over saturated with services desperate for our attention.

Given that young people are fluent in web browsing, app navigation, and online marketing, they’ll understand immediately what is worth their time and what isn’t. Any service that wants to rival the big giants will need to offer an instant, seamless, obvious product. There’s no time for onboarding or tutorials in 2023.

BeReal saw some significant successes last year, seeing an increase in downloads by over 1000 percent. It has been a particular hit with Gen Zers, most likely due to the simple premise and emphasise on close friends. The future is in immediate circles, rather than broadcasting everything to everyone. Influencer culture is far from dead, but it’s not something that all of us are striving for anymore.

We should probably expect TikTok’s extreme growth to continue in 2023, though it’s unlikely to overtake YouTube for now. Still, anything is possible in such a fast-moving industry. BeReal seemingly came out of nowhere – the same with a new platform could happen again.