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The First Social Platforms Gen Z & Millennials Open When They’re Bored

Apr 28 2021

Social media is entertainment for Gen Z & Millennials—so, what’s the first one they open when they’re bored? We asked…

In April, our social media behavior report found that entertainment is the top reason that young consumers go on social media: 54% of 13-39 -year-olds go on social media to find entertaining content, 51% say they get on to keep up with their friends’ and families’ lives, and 32% get on social media to follow the news. And earlier this month, YPulse’s Social Media Deep Dive trend research found that “entertaining content” is the main reason that Gen Z and Millennials are visiting their favorite platforms. That report explores the most popular social media, pitting the biggest platforms head-to-head to find out which next generation consumers spend the most time on, how each makes them feel, and which starts the most trends, and more.

During quarantines, Gen Z and Millennials spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to alleviate and escape from boredom—and social media was their go-to solution. But which platform is the biggest boredom-buster? To find out, we asked young consumers, “When you’re bored, what is the social media app/platform you open first?” 

The Platforms They Open First When Bored

Among 13-39-year-olds

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. TikTok
  4. YouTube
  5. Twitter
  6. Snapchat
  7. Reddit
  8. Pinterest
  9. WhatsApp
  10. Discord 

Ultimately, Facebook is the top platform that young consumers say they open when they’re bored. Interestingly, when we look at the main reasons that Facebook users are visiting the platform, “chat with friends and family” is number one and “keeping up with friends’ and families’ lives” is second—”to fight off boredom” comes in third. So it might be surprising to see the platform at the top of this list. But clearly when young people are bored, they aren’t just looking for video content. When we look at the reasons they open Facebook when they’re bored, the answers vary widely. Connecting and keeping up with loved ones was a common theme, but many respondents also mentioned memes, news, gossip, and Facebook Groups and Marketplace.  For some, opening the app is a habit. One explained it’s “Just what I automatically open,” and another said “Habit, I go to check up on everything.”

But, while Facebook was the top of the ranking among 13-39-year-olds overall, as we see again and again, top responses for Gen Z and Millennials were not the same: 

Sure, Instagram and YouTube ranked second and third among all age groups, but TikTok took the number one spot for 13-19-year-oldswhile it took the fourth and fifth spots among 20-29-year-olds and 30-39-year-olds. The ranking shows the major difference between Gen Z and Millennials, and the app’s popularity with teens. When we look at the top reasons that Gen Z TikTok users open the app, entertaining content and to fight off boredom are number one and two. Meanwhile, Facebook is the top platform among 20-39-year-olds and takes the fifth spot for 13-19-year-olds, once again displaying the difference between Gen Z and Millennials.

YPulse Business users can access the full Social Media Deep Dive trend report and data here.

Don’t have a YPulse Business account? Find out more here.

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