The Social Media Generation Gap

Social Media Generation Gap

Findings from two surveys by Grid and Yahoo! Finance suggest a significant generational gap in the use of social media platforms and the trust that users place in them. 

While three-quarters of Americans have used Facebook in the last six months, 71% using YouTube, and 51% using Instagram, only 34% reported using Twitter or TikTok. Moreover, 75% of respondents view Facebook as trustworthy, while only 62% trust YouTube and Twitter. 

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When considering Generation Z, the picture changes. YouTube is the most popular platform for this younger demographic, with 83% using it regularly, followed by Instagram (74%) and TikTok (64%). This group is also more likely to trust TikTok (65% v. Gen X: 50%, Boomers: 26%) and Twitter (64% v. 52%, 29%).

Gen Z relies on algorithms rather than seeking out updates from their friends on social media. This generation is mainly presented with tailored content that the platform thinks they’ll find attractive (62%), and the majority agree that algorithms have enhanced the content they consume for entertainment (65%). 

On the other hand, Boomers and Gen X report that most of their feeds include postings from people they follow (66% and 57%, respectively).

Abbey Lunney, the co-founder of The Harris Poll Thought Leadership Practice, noted that people are using TikTok for more than just viral dances. Instead, they use the platform to increase their knowledge, form connections and promote equality. Lunney further stated that social media is transitioning from superficial ‘likes’ and heavily edited images to authentic, informative spaces.

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Annika Stepanov

Annika is passionate about personal finance and travel, pouring her extensive experience into her writing on these topics. She has a diploma in Creative English Writing and has been working in the industry since 2016.