NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends

Four Surprising Social Media Trends On Gen Z & Millennials Feeds Right Now

Jun 09 2022

Social media is always overrun by a variety of fun and entertaining trends. Here are some that have recently taken over…


TL;DR:

  • Thanks to the proliferation of video content TikTok and Instagram are home to many, many trends that show a slice of young peoples’ lives and interests
  • Using wine glasses to cut cake, romanticizing their lives, wearing matching outfits with their besties, and butter are some of the random trends that have taken over social media of late
  • For brands, there are many opportunities to tap this sometimes unusual content, or other surprising trends, as inspiration

By now, you know the proliferation of video on TikTok and Instagram have made them a havens for a fun and quirky (sometimes, serious) trends. At YPulse, we’ve been tracking the hashtags that go viral on social media each month. But there’s always something trending and sometimes unexpected social trends have surprise staying power.

Our Social Media Deep Dive trend report found that the majority of Gen Z and Millennials who use social media enjoy engaging with viral online videos, and for brands unexpected viral trends can be used as  inspiration for campaigns, sources of user generated content, and signs of what’s appealing to young consumers right now. From using wine glasses to cut cake (yeah, really) to romanticizing their lives, here are are four surprising trends that have taken over social media:

Romanticize Your Life
YPulse’s Main Character Energy trend report found that over half of Gen Z and Millennials think of themselves as the main character—and romanticizing their lives is one way they’re putting it into action. In fact, 58% say that they romanticize their lives, and while most aren’t creating content about it, it’s absolutely flourishing on social media . On TikTok, the #romanticizeyourlife hashtag is full of thousands of videos (with millions of views) of users sharing how they’re viewing their lives through a romantic, or cinematic lens, whether it’s when they’re hanging out with their friends, on an epic trip, or running a simple errand. Specific audios, especially dramatic, soundtrack-like songs  like “Cornfield Chase” and “Je te laisseri des mots” are being used on Tiktok and Instagram as a shortcut to create romanticized content. Users are even providing the instruction to just add the audio to a simple video (or even just the last video on your roll) to instantly create magical cinematic impact. The trend has caught on like wildfire, as young consumers look to romanticize their everyday life and make themselves and their loved ones the stars of their lives. Ultimately, the trend is about appreciating small moments, and making even the mundane seem movie-worthy.


Twinning Friends
If you’ve been on Instagram Reels or the TikTok FYP in the last year, you’ve might seen a surprising number of friends dressed in the same outfit, as #twinning  has taken off across platforms. It can seem like there’s a new fashion aesthetic or #core on the horizon every week, but #twinning doesn’t pertain to any specific aesthetic or type of clothing / accessory, but appears in matching their outfits with friends. The hashtag has a whopping 1.6 billion views, while #matchingoutfits has 688.1 million views, with most featuring users standing side-by-side with a friend while they wear simulator identical outfits. Some friends have been using the #twinning challenge to show how outfits look on different body sizes. In some cases, some duos  are making accounts solely dedicated to showing off how they’re wearing the same outfit, like Denise and Lindsey, whose @plussomeinches account has over 100K followers on TikTok. The trend has become so popular that some fashion retailers and brands have started adopting it, like formal wear brand Jovani.

Cake Wine Glass
It feels like ages ago that everyone was guessing whether or not everything is cake. But cutting into fake cakes isn’t the only cake-related trend that has taken the internet by storm. Instead of cutting into objects disguised as cakes, some TikTokers began using wine glasses to cut into actual cakes. Yes, we know, it sounds like a weird thing to take off, but here we are. One of the first videos to first showcase the trend on social media is from @theroseperiod whose video generated 1.7 million views, and shows her daughter blowing her birthday cake out and scooping pieces of the cake into wine glasses with her friends. Pastry chef Duff Goldman himself referred to the cake wine glass hack as “genius” and told Bustle that the trend is “very viscerally pleasing” to watch. He added that: “Each person can come in with their own cup and get their own serving—it’s a nice communal experience where each person can interact with the cake and each other.” The #cakewineglass hashtag has 5.6 million views on TikTok and features users sharing themselves, well, cutting directly into cakes using a wine glass, so that cake is inside their glass (think of it as an updated parfait).

Butter
Cake isn’t the only thing taking over social media—and with an endless amount of food and bev trends taking over TikTok already, nothing should come as a surprise when it comes to anything edible. We told you about all the subcultures that are popular on TikTok, and butter (yes, that’s correct) has been especially popular on the app as of late. The #ButterTok hashtag has 221.1 million views—and is full of users showing off different types of butter or how they cook and use butter in their recipes and meals. But how did #ButterTok even get started? Thanks to London chef Thomas Straker, who started an “All Things Butter” series in mid-April where he posted “butter mountains and creamy, just-churned swoops” that inspired his followers to do the same. For the series, he shared several compound butters including crispy bacon, roasted chicken skin, burnt chili and anchovy, bone marrow, and shrimp. Think of it as the food version of ASMR slime content–weirdly satisfying, and also pretty delicious to watch.

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

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