Dec 16 2020
Entertainment is a top reason that young people are on social media—here’s what content they’re looking for on each top platform…
This year, the social platforms that saw the most growth weren’t just about connecting with friends—they prioritized entertaining users. When we asked young consumers what type of information they consume on social media, 66% said entertainment—making it the top type of information they’re coming to social platforms for.
But what types of content are they watching most on these platforms—and what do brands need to know about the unique content drawing them to one platform over another? The number one reason that young consumers tell YPulse they would unfollow a brand on social media is if the posts are boring—so understanding what exactly it going to engage them on each platform is undoubtedly vital. In YPulse’s most recent social media monitor survey, we asked young people not only what platform’s they’re using, but what content they like most on each of those top platforms. Respondents could choose from a list of content types that included Politics, Art and design, Health and fitness, Beauty, How-Tos, Home Improvement / DIY, Travel, Vloggers / Online personalities, and many more, and were asked what types of content they enjoy most on each of the popular platforms that they use. We found that while there is some important overlap on the genres of content that young consumers are enjoying on social platforms, the top types that they like to watch on each varies significantly. Here’s a breakdown of the top five types they say they enjoy on some of the most-used social spaces:
Comedy is the number one content type bringing young consumers to all their favorite platforms, ranking at the top of the list for everyone from Facebook to TikTok. It’s not a huge surprise that they’re looking for boosts and smiles on their feeds. YPulse data shows that Gen Z and Millennials are even more likely to say that they are using TV shows and videos as medicine to treat their different moods during this time, with 74% now reporting they do so compared to 65% in 2019. In fact, Adweek reports that young consumers are obsessed with “feel good short-form content.” According to a TheSoul Publishing study, 69% of consumers in the U.S. spend 30 minutes to three hours watching short-form content (videos that are less than 10 minutes long) every day. Many of the videos being streamed include cooking, comedy, DIY, and craft videos to “fill in those extra hours of the day that are no longer spent commuting to work or going out with friends.” Our data shows that comedy is the top content type attracting young consumers to social spaces.
It’s also notable that “Food/Cooking” is a top content type they enjoy watching on nearly every platform (save TikTok where it ranked a very close #6). We recently explored the importance of food and cooking among Gen Z and Millennials, who have turned to their kitchens for comfort during COVID. For all brands trying to reach them, a potential route to their hearts is through their stomachs…or at least through content that appeals to those stomachs.
But it’s the differences in content types in the rest of these top five rankings that gets more interesting. Fashion and Beauty are in the top five for Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Gaming/esports is the second most popular type of content on YouTube, and in the top five for Snapchat and TikTok but not as popular on Facebook and Instagram. Current events is a top ranking content type they enjoy on Facebook, but doesn’t appear high on the list for any other platform, hinting that it’s a unique draw for the site. Another unique standout: Dancing is the second most-popular content type on TikTok, but not a draw on any other platform. Tiktok’s dancing challenges are constantly trending and the app’s use of music has made it stand out from the crowd. Brands that are using the new(er) social media contender should know that it’s an important part of the app, and a top reason that young people are watching content there.
The majority (78%) of young people agree, “Brands should make ads that fit in with what’s in my feed / on the site already.” Knowing the different types of content drawing young users to each platform is a vital part of creating the content that will fit in those feeds, and engaging Gen Z and Millennials on the social spaces they’re spending so much time looking at.
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