From entertainment on TikTok to learning on YouTube: Young people go to several social networks, but for different reasons

According to the YPulse Social Media Monitor survey, young people prefer to go to Instagram over TikTok to keep up with their favorite influencers. Image: Shutterstock

On average, members of Generations Z and Y are active on six social networks. But they are not looking for the same thing on TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook. More than eight out of ten young people say they go to different social networks for different reasons, according to a US report. Between the search for inspiration, the need for entertainment and the desire to learn, what are the different reasons that drive young people to the most popular social platforms? Each social network serves its own purpose, it seems. Young people have a wealth of social platforms at their disposal, which they use according to their needs, explains the YPulse Social Media Monitor* report, which looked at the top reasons why young users aged 13 to 39 in the US and Canada visit Instagram, TikTok , Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, X (Twitter) and Pinterest.

Learning and entertainment

According to data, young people first turn to TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook to search for entertaining content. Still, there are certain differences between Gen Z and Millennials. “From the quick, engaging videos on TikTok to the real-time updates and playful stories on Snapchat, these two are Gen Z’s more likely choices for entertainment,” explains YPulse. Nevertheless, the Chinese giant is more popular with Gen Z, as it draws more than half of them to this kind of content. In comparison, two out of five young people go to Snapchat for this type of content, just ahead of Facebook. For their part, Millennials prefer Instagram for entertainment over TikTok and Facebook.

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Apart from entertaining users, TikTok, Snapchat and this time YouTube are the best choices for young people who want to boost their mood. Authentic, positive and touching content is popular on these platforms.

Finally, YouTube, and to a lesser extent TikTok, is also used by curious young people looking to watch tutorials and learn something new. The success of the many beauty trends on TikTok is a reflection of this usage.

Instagram: a go-to for brands

The Pinterest platform stays true to its ethos and remains a model for interior design inspiration, but also for finding hobbies and travel ideas. X (formerly Twitter), despite its recent controversies, remains the largest social platform where North Americans ages 13 to 39 keep up with current events. Instagram, meanwhile, is the perfect place for users who want to keep up with their favorite influencers and celebrities.

This report highlights how important it is for brands to adapt to the most popular content across platforms to better reach potential consumers or even specific generations. While TikTok, Facebook and Instagram continue their forays into the world of online shopping, purchasing products is often cited among the least popular reasons why users go to these platforms. Nevertheless, users are more interested in using social platforms to find new products and brands. “Despite being ranked as the fourth main reason young people visit Instagram, nearly a third say they use it to discover new products/brands. This is the highest ranking brand content of any of the young consumers’ reasons to visit top platforms – – although the same number use TikTok for this purpose,” explains YPulse.

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-Sabrina Alili