Channel Factory research uncovers generational social media differences

Research reveals YouTube as the preferred social media platform in the UK

Channel Factory, the global video technology partner leader in brand suitability solutions, conducted an extensive research on how UK consumers have been engaging with the main social media platforms since the pandemic began.

The research surveyed 2000 people across 5 markets (US, UK, Italy, Australia and Singapore) across three generations, Gen Z (18-29), Millenials (30-44) and Gen X (45-60) to understand how people are using social media platforms, namely YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Meta (Facebook, Instagram), with the results showing that consumers across all generations and markets come to social platforms to “unwind and watch entertaining content”.

In the UK, YouTube came in first as the most used platform with 88% of respondents using it since 2020. 73% of respondents stated they use Meta, followed by TikTok (54%) and Snapchat (51%).

The research found that consumers use YouTube to “relax, boost their mood and watch informational videos”. Meta platforms are used for “learning something new,” whereas Snapchat is used “to find out information about a product or brand” and TikTok to discover a “variety of interesting content.”

Sharing ads

The research found that consumers tend to share videos based on interest, with 52% saying that they they would share an ad if they thought it would interest their family or friends, or if the ad is funny. 30% of Millenials and Gen X share ads from brands that they would buy from, linking their sharing habits to their personal identity. Gen Z are more inclined to share ads that they find funny, creative or cool. In the UK, the research revealed that across generations, consumers are more inclined to share ads that they find funny, signalling an appreciation for humour.

Social media shopping

Turning to interesting shopping trends, the research revealed that 26% of consumers utilise social video platforms to learn more about producs and 22% have shopped using social video ads in the last 3 years. When asked about the shopping experience, respondents stated Meta as the easiest platform to shop on, followed by YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat.

Channel Factory’s UK Managing Director Rob Blake stated: “Our research makes clear that there are significant differences in how users, particularly across the different generations, engage with a shop on the various social channels. It is crucial for advertisers to stay on top of these trends in order to deliver impactful campaigns that will convert.”

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