A look at Gen Z's preferred social platforms

Gen Zers in the US make heavy use of many social networks to create connections, consume multimedia, play games, and share content.

The social networks with the most monthly Gen Z users are Snapchat (42.0 million), TikTok (37.3 million), and Instagram (33.3 million). These remain the most popular among Gen Z over the next four years, according to our estimates.

  • This pecking order will persist through 2025, but the top three platforms will grow at different rates. TikTok will pass Instagram to claim the No. 2 spot in 2021 and continue to close the gap with Snapchat over our forecast period.
  • Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit also have relatively large followings. Their reach will continue to grow steadily as Gen Z ages out of popular teen platforms.


  • Snapchat, Instagram, Discord, and TikTok were among the most frequently used apps when iPhone users ages 18 to 25 first picked up their devices in March 2021 (Measure Protocol).

Our Take:

  • While heavy social media usage is synonymous with Gen Z, this generation’s go-to social platforms likely vary by age.
  • The Measure Protocol research captured the upper end of the Gen Z age range and reflected usage patterns one might expect, such as a preference for Snapchat and Instagram over platforms like Facebook, whose audience skews older. The study also included users ages 26 and over, and their choices were more in line with those of the general population.
  • Gen Z’s habits will evolve as its members age. Within a few years, Gen Z users who expressed a strong preference for, say, Instagram or TikTok might find themselves being frequent Facebook users.

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