Social Media Trends Shift: Instagram Leads as Gen-Z and Millennials Drive Engagement, AI Concerns Rise

Sprout Social conducted a new Consumer Pulse Survey to find out new trends in social media usage.

According to the survey, social media usage is changing again, which will have important impacts on different brands. After surveying 2059 consumers from the US and UK, it was revealed that 65% of consumers are using Instagram while 64% of the consumers are using Facebook. This means that Instagram has surpassed Facebook in terms of usage. The consumers who were surveyed had at least one social media account and they were following at least five brands on those accounts.

The social media usage also depended on the age of consumers. When marketers want to run their brand campaigns, they need to focus on different age groups. In this survey, 517 respondents were Gen-Z, 757 were Millennials, 507 respondents were Gen-X and 218 were Baby Boomers. The survey showed that most Gen-Z use Instagram the most, followed by TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook. Millennials also use Instagram the most, followed by Facebook, TikTok and Youtube. Gen-X and Baby Boomers use Facebook the most. The second most used app by Gen-X is Instagram while Baby Boomers’ second most used app is Youtube.

Other social media trends which were observed in the survey were 83% Gen-Z’s engagement on Instagram reels, 81% engagement on Instagram stories and 78% engagement on TikTok videos. Similarly, Millennials engage with Instagram reels most frequently (77%), followed by Instagram stories (77%) and TikTok videos (68%). 76% of Gen-X’s engagements are on Facebook videos, 59% on Instagram reels and 59% on Instagram stories. Baby Boomers engage more on Facebook videos(61%), followed by Facebook live (41%), Instagram reels and stories(41%). Youtube shorts get over 70 billion daily views but it is strange that it did not appear in the stats above.

There are some formats of content that social media users find entertaining and interesting and which should be the brand’s first priority for their campaigns. 65.5% consumers like watching edutainment content, which is not only entertaining but also educates them about a product or service. 40% consumers like posts with memes, 38% like serialized content, 38% like one-off video content and 34% consumers like content that is interactive like polls and stickers.

Most consumers agree that the trend of using AI in content is going to be a big reason for the spread of misinformation on the internet. Many consumers said that brands should disclose that they are using AI for their content. Only 6% of the consumers think that there is no need to disclose AI content. 46% of the consumers who were surveyed said that they are less likely to buy from a brand that uses AI content. 83% of them said that AI content is capable of making their feed saturated while 80% agree that AI can cause misinformation on the internet.

The survey also found out that 43% of consumers unfollow brands if they find their content repetitive or unoriginal. 42% of consumers also unfollow brands if they find them collaborating with problematic or wrong influencers. 17% of Gen-Z and 10.5% overall consumers also unfollow brands if they do not post frequently while Baby Boomers (24%), Gen-X (21%) and Millennials (14%) unfollow brands if they post too much content.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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