There’s no such thing as a single Generation Z. From a survey conducted by Webboh Lab, the first permanent digital observatory completely dedicated to Gen Z and created by Webboh and the Istituto di Ricerca Sylla, on 24,000 12- to 20-year-olds studied for 48 hours, it turns out that Gen Z is not a monolith, but is composed of 5 clusters of young people who experience and perceive interaction with social media in different ways: Meme Maestro (40%), Creative Explorer (18%), Like Lover (17%), Social Soul (14%), and Digital Dreamer (11%).
More specifically, each profile exhibits a different way of using social media:
- Meme Maestro is the most interesting profile. About 40% of young users who responded to the instant social media survey sees the platforms as a form of entertainment, like memes and viral videos. This profile shares aspects of their lives and interests and connects with their peers to get inspiration for trendy products.
- Creative Explorer is the profile that uses social media as a platform to express their creativity through photos, writing, and art. They account for 18% of respondents and are young people who like to explore and deepen their interests, but also discover new topics and share information, promoting social causes and seeking help and support.
- Like Lover is the social media enthusiast profile, who seeks gratification through positive feedback, such as likes and comments. 17% of the total respondents use them as an escape from their daily routine, following and contacting their favourite idols and creators to feel part of another world.
- Social Soul is the profile for the young social media enthusiast who primarily uses the platforms to start relationships and meet new people, as well as to get advice and discover new passions. 14% percent of respondents fall into this category.
- Digital Dreamer is the profile that encompasses the aspects of all the previous profiles and represents those young people (11%) who use social media as a platform to explore and live out an online identity that’s different from their own in reality.
The results of the instant survey also debunked the belief that teenagers feel lonely without social media: on a scale from 1 (“not at all”) to 10 (“maximum”), the average score given to “fear of loneliness” was only 4.3 and is one of the lowest markers in importance among those considered. In fact, the highest scores went to “I would be bored” and “I would do more sports”.
Another interesting finding from the survey is that without social media, Gen Z would mainly miss WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, but they wouldn’t suffer without Facebook, which came last behind Twitch, Discord, and X, reflecting the strong need to stay in touch with their friends.
Through their collaboration with the Istituto di Ricerca Sylla, the Observatory gave a genuine picture of Gen Z by direct contact with the youngest generation and getting to know and examine their thoughts, opinions, expectations and interests in real time, through surveys conducted on and with the help of social media.
For all survey results, see Gen Zs: The Many Faces of Generation Z – https://webbohlab.it/
Webboh is the media hub for GEN Z. Created in April 2019, it has been part of Mondadori Media since February 2023. It currently has a fanbase of 3 million followers across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, 70% of which are under 24. The website receives 2.5 million unique monthly users (source: Audiweb Media Month 2023). It is in the top ten most influential Italian media companies on social media, as well as the first of the Generation Z generation targeting engagement and video views (source: Italian Top Media Rankings of First Communication made by Sensemakers). The topicality, authenticity and interest generated by the content is guaranteed by the bottom-up editorial model: the community is involved in every part of the creative process.
Sylla is the research institute in charge of managing the lab, research activities, membership and awards. Established in 2016 after 25 years of experience in the field by the current management team, it specialises in strategic market research, web surveys, qualitative surveys and monitoring surveys. It collaborates with the Universities of Bologna, Turin, Cattolica and Bicocca in Milan and counts foundations, institutions and some of the largest communication agencies among its clients. Its scientific director is Professor Furio Camillo, Professor of Business Statistics at the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Bologna, who is in an ongoing collaboration with the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM) in Paris and the University of Tennessee. He has authored more than 60 scientific publications, participated in more than 300 projects with Data Analyis activities applied to economic or social problems