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YPulse’s 10 Most-Read Articles of 2021

Gen Z and Millennials’ top hobbies, Gen Z cancelling skinny jeans and side parts, and Gen Z’s top brands were just some of the most-read YPulse articles of the year…

2021 is almost coming to a close, and we’re looking back at the last year to find out which stories about Gen Z and Millennials were the most valuable to our readers. This year, our most popular content gave an inside look at young consumers’ hobbies and passions, their top brands, generational wars, and more. Here are the top 10 most-read YPulse articles of the year:

1. Gen Z & Millennials’ Top 15 Hobbies Right Now

YPulse’s hobbies and passions behavioral report looked at what young consumers’ biggest hobbies are, and found that not only their top pastimes, but some differences between groups that brands should understand. Gaming topped the list for Gen Z and Millennials’ top hobby, but what else made the list?

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2. The Biggest Problem Gen Z & Millennials Say They Are Facing in 2021

Each year, we ask young consumers the biggest problem their generation faces today  to get a better understanding of their biggest concerns In 2020, during a year defined by the pandemic and political upheaval, racism and discrimination topped the list, capturing the frustrations and fears of young people on the precipice of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests. This year, COVID-19 topped the list as the pandemic continues to rage on.

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3. Gen Z & Millennials Use Social Media Differently—Here’s 3 Charts That Show How

TikTok isn’t the only thing separating Gen Z and Millennials’ social media use. We highlighted some of the ways they use platforms differently, including who they follow on social media, the main reasons they visit the social media platforms they use, and what they’re doing more of on social media since the pandemic began.

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4. Gen Z Is Cancelling Side Parts & Skinny Jeans, & Millennials Aren’t Happy on The Viral List

Every week YPulse rounds up the most viral stories of the past seven days to keep brands and marketers up to date with the most important pop culture moments of Gen Z and Millennials’ worlds. This year, one of those viral lists was actually one of our most clicked articles thanks to the continued interest in the ongoing, mostly  lighthearted generational wars. This year Gen Z infuriated some Millennials when they cancelled side parts and skinny jeans on TikTok. It all started when one user’s audio, where they assert that “there’s no one who looks better with a side part than they do with a middle part,” generated thousands of videos and lead to the hashtag #middlepart receiving millions of views.

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5. Who are Gen Z & Millennials’ Favorite Celebrities?

Fame is so fragmented these days that the kinds of celebrities that Gen Z and Millennials say are their favorite may be more important than the exact celebrities they name. Our most recent celebrity and influencer survey asked young consumers, “Who is your favorite famous person? A famous person could be a movie star, YouTuber, athlete, musician, Instagrammer, TV star, etc.” And while we can tell you the celebrities who got the most mentions, the reality is that no single “famous person” received more than 30 mentions. So, while those who do garner large fan bases are worth mentioning, what might be even more important is the kind of celebrity that both of these generations are most likely to name as their favorite.

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6. Yes, Gen Z Is Much More Likely Than Millennials to be on TikTok

Is TikTok really a Gen Z platform? The data says yes, and we broke it down by looking at the year-on-year growth, and which age groups and genders are using the app. Gen Z, and especially Gen Z females, continued to dominate the app this year.

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7. Here are Gen Z’s Top 10 Brands

Our brand data monitors the brand health of over 400 brands in North America on a weekly basis, revealing 13-39-year-olds’ affinity for brands across industries. The brand data looks at 20 youth-centric diagnostics, including which brands they think are cool, reflect who they are, are talked about, reflect diversity, make the world better, and more. All of these individual measures then roll up into YScore+; an overall snapshot of how your brand is performing among young consumers. In this article, we gave readers a glimpse of Gen Z’s brand preferences by revealing the 10 brands with the highest YScore+ among this group, which includes Amazon, Quizlet, YouTube, Netflix, and Nike.

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8. These Are Gen Z & Millennials’ Favorite Video Games Going into 2021

In our gaming report, we asked young consumers to tell us their favorites to see what titles started 2021 on top. Respondents mentioned over 1000 individual video game titles as their favorites—a tremendous amount. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario Bros. / Mario Kart, Fortnite, and FIFA were some of the video games they named as their favorites at the beginning of the year.

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9. This Adele x Megan Thee Stallion Mashup Has the Internet in Tears, on The Viral List

Viral videos and memes are by far the most important pop culture moments to young consumers, and this Adele and Megan the Stallion clip took the internet by storm when it came out. Shortly after Adele’s “30” album dropped in November, the artist was the talk of social media and users couldn’t help but question why the artist never has any backup dancers at her live performances. From there, a meme was born, gracing social media with one of the best mashups of all time: “Water Under the Body.”

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10. 3 Stats on Where Gen Z & Millennials are Getting Their News

YPulse’s news consumption behavioral report looked at the shift to social as a primary news source for Gen Z and Millennials, and how it is impacting their consumption in many ways. The reality is that where and how they prefer to consume news is drastically different from previous generations, and their world views are being shaped by these changes.

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