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Twitter Shares New Insights into Gen Z Usage and Engagement



Twitter has provided some new insight into how younger audiences engage via tweet, and what they’re looking for from brands, specifically, on the platform.

And as you might expect, younger users drive the discussion on the platform – though you likely wouldn’t have guessed that they were quite this influential.

Twitter Gen Z data

As Twitter notes, nearly half of all of the Tweets that were sent between May 2020 and May 2021 came from users aged between 16 and 24.

That runs somewhat counter to the perception that Twitter is being increasingly used by politically-motivated groups to drive their messaging – but then again, Twitter is also known for its more left-leaning movements and focus, which would align with younger, more progressive viewpoints on many key issues.

But in some ways, that may also lessen the value that some put in Twitter trends, as it’s primarily young users, and not necessarily representative of the majority. This data shows that it’s increasingly very young demographics that are engaging with tweets, which points to rising trends, but may also, again, not be representative of broader opinion.

Though, in a marketing context, driving trends is what we’re most interested in, and Twitter says that some 70% of Gen Z users come to the app to learn about new products, while they’re also active in sharing their opinions on the same.

Just as important, Twitter is where Gen Z comes to gauge whether brands are keeping up with the cultural and societal conversations happening around us, with many saying they use the platform to comment on how brands are connecting with social issues they care about.”

Which is a key consideration for reaching young audiences, with various research indicating that young consumers increasingly want to see brands take a stand on social issues, and voice their support for key movements.

Twitter also notes that young users are looking to interact with ad campaigns, particularly those that invite participation.


They were especially engaged when there was an element of the campaign they could riff on – something meme-worthy. In one campaign, in particular, Gen Z dominated engagement, sending half of all campaign-related Tweets.

Twitter Gen Z trends

Which is also a big element in the appeal of TikTok, providing a means for users to interact with the brand message, and provide their own take, which then connects them into a broader conversation, and can facilitate more exposure and community.

Based on these findings, Twitter advises that brands should take a participatory approach to their campaign creation, while they should also ensure that they stand by their words, and drive ongoing action through advocacy pledges.

Sustain the conversation and connect with them whenever the opportunity calls for it.”

That interactive, community-based approach aligns with the habitual behaviors of Gen Z, who, again, increasingly expect to be able to take part, and create their own content based on campaigns and trends.

Social media has given everyone a platform to share their voice and experience, and failing to utilize that is missing a major opportunity of the format. And now, young users who’ve grown up with social platforms, are looking to actively engage, in everything.

The data here shows that this is a key opportunity, worth factoring into your approach.

You can check out Twitter’s full Gen Z research here.



Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays



Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options, Including Explore Placement and Interactive AR Displays

As we head into the holiday shopping push, Instagram has announced that it’s testing out some new ad options, in the hopes of maximizing its revenue intake, while also providing new opportunities for brands.

Though I can’t imagine that these will be entirely popular additions with users.

First off, Instagram’s adding new ads into Explore, with the first page of Explore now set to feature a new ad unit in the content feed.

As you can see in this example, that’s a pretty big ad. Instagram hasn’t clarified if all of these new Explore ads will be featured as prominently as this, but the option will provide another means to reach IG users ‘in the earliest stages of discovering new content they care about’.

It could be a good consideration, with a chance to get your products featured in the main discovery feed in the app.

Instagram’s also testing ads in profile feed – ‘which is the feed experience that people can scroll through after visiting another account’s profile and tapping on a post’.

So now, if you check out someone’s profile, and tap on a post, you’ll also be eligible to be served ads in that dedicated stream of their content, essentially inserting ads into another surface in the app.


Instagram’s also looking into whether this option could also be used as a monetization opportunity for creators, as that activity will be tied back to an individual profile and content.

Instagram’s also testing what it’s calling ‘Multi-Advertiser Ads’, which will display more promotions from similar businesses to users after they’ve engaged with an ad.

Instagram ad updates

As per Instagram:

“When a person expresses commercial intent by engaging with an ad, we deliver more ads from other businesses that may be of interest, powered by machine learning.”

So Instagram’s looking to push even more related businesses at you, stacking ads upon ads. I don’t know how effective that will be, but in theory, it could get your brand in front of interested users based on previous ad engagement.

Finally, Instagram’s also launched an open beta of its AR Ads, which will be available in both feed and Stories in the app.

Instagram ads update

As you can see here, Instagram’s AR ads, built in its Spark AR platform, will invite users to interact with their ad content, which could also include positioning virtual furniture in their home, or test driving a car in the app.

Which Meta also says will help brands align with future engagement shifts:

“By giving businesses tools to create more personalized and immersive experiences today we’ll help them drive performance and prepare for the metaverse.”

I mean, AR and the metaverse, which is largely VR-based (going on the examples we’ve seen thus far) are not the same thing, but the creation of 3D objects will play a part in that next stage, and could help to advance your thinking on ad approaches.


These are some interesting ad considerations, but they’ll also see a lot more promotions being squeezed into your Instagram feeds, which, as noted, likely won’t be welcomed by users.

But with parent company Meta under rising pressure, Instagram has to do its part. And while leaning into further Reels, and forcing in more ads, may not be a great play, long-term, the usage and engagement data will ultimately tell the tale.

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