Gen Z & Millennials’ 15 Favorite Online Celebrities

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

As fame continues to fragment, we asked 1000 13-35-year-olds to tell us their favorite online celebrity. Find out who made the list...

In the months since we released the Ypulse Quarterly report that took a deep dive into The Influencer Effect, influencer marketing has only gotten bigger—and more amorphous. While the online-famous are making big bucks (for themselves and brands) and companies are clamoring to strike partnerships in an effort to reach the elusive ad-skipping Millennials and Gen Z, The Influencer Effect is further fragmenting another youth mainstay: celebrity. We’ve covered the redefinition of fame plenty in the past, but the lines between what constitutes a celebrity and what doesn’t are getting even blurrier. It has everything to do with social media: today’s young consumers prefer online content and prioritize an intimate connection with their idols over the top-down inaccessibility of the celebrities of yore. And while this means that an Instagram personality with a million followers is as much of a celebrity as the actor du jour in the eyes of 13-35-year-olds, it also means that those more classic celebrities—the pop icons, film starlets, and rock stars—are better received when they maintain a strong social media presence.

That’s making the question of fame even more complicated. In each of our quarterly social media tracker surveys, we ask 1000 13-35-year-olds, “Who is your favorite online celebrity?”* We clarify that this could be a blogger / vlogger, social media star on YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. and let them tell us their top pick. This time around, Millennial and Gen Z respondents listed upwards of 700 stars, the majority of which had just one vote, confirming that the days of a reigning handful of celebrities are dead and gone. But more…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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