Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

From entertainment on TikTok to learning on YouTube: Young people go to several social networks but for different reasons

Each social network serves its own purpose, it seems

Published: Nov 17, 2023 11:50:59 AM IST
Updated: Nov 17, 2023 12:44:35 PM IST

From entertainment on TikTok to learning on YouTube: Young people go to several social networks but for different reasonsAccording to the YPulse Social Media Monitor survey, young people prefer to go to Instagram rather than TikTok to keep up with their favorite influencers. Image: Shutterstock

On average, members of Generations Z and Y are active on six social networks. But they're not looking for the same thing on TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook. More than eight in ten young people say they go to different social networks for different reasons, according to an American report. Between the search for inspiration, the need for entertainment, and the desire to learn, what are the different reasons that drive young people to the most popular social platforms?

Each social network serves its own purpose, it seems. Young people have a multitude of social platforms at their disposal, which they use according to their needs, explains the YPulse Social Media Monitor* report, which looked at the main reasons why young users aged 13 to 39 in the USA and Canada visit Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, X (Twitter) and Pinterest.

Learning and entertainment


According to the data, young people turn first to TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook to search for entertaining content. Still, there are certain differences between Gen Z and Millennials. "From the quick, engaging videos on TikTok to the real-time updates and playful stories on Snapchat, these two are Gen Z’s more likely picks for entertainment," YPulse explains. Nevertheless, the Chinese giant is more popular with Gen Z, as it draws more than half of them for this kind of content. In comparison, two in five young people go to Snapchat for this kind of content, just ahead of Facebook. For their part, Millennials prefer Instagram for entertainment, ahead of TikTok and Facebook.

Also read: If your favorite app disappeared, how would you spend that time?

In addition to entertaining users, TikTok, Snapchat and, this time, YouTube, are the top choices for young people looking to boost their mood. Authentic, positive and touching content is popular on these platforms.

Finally, YouTube, and to a lesser extent TikTok, are also used by curious young people seeking to watch tutorials and learn something new. The success of the many beauty trends on TikTok is a reflection of this usage.

Instagram: a go-to for brands


The Pinterest platform stays true to its ethos, remaining a model of inspiration for interior design, but also for finding hobbies and travel ideas. X (formerly Twitter), despite its recent controversies, remains the number-one social platform where North Americans aged 13 to 39 keep up to date with current events. Instagram, meanwhile, is the perfect place for users looking to keep up with their favorite influencers and celebrities.

This report highlights how important it is for brands to adapt to the most popular content across platforms to better reach potential consumers, or even specific generations. While TikTok, Facebook and Instagram continue their foray into the world of online shopping, buying products is often cited among the least popular reasons for users to go to these platforms. Nevertheless, users are more interested in using social platforms for finding new products and brands. "Though it’s ranked in as the fourth main reason young people visit Instagram, nearly a third say they’re using it for finding new products / brands. This is the highest brand content ranks on any of young consumers’ reasons for visiting top platforms -- though the same number are using TikTok for this purpose," YPulse explains.

-Sabrina Alili

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