What's new in the world of social media?

Emma Maciaszek

Emma Maciaszek

Another ‘unprecedented event’ for 2023 … a recent study has found that Baby Boomers are the fastest growing demographic on TikTok.

Some might still type with one finger, but Boomers sure are leading the charge on TikTok – the world’s fastest growing social media platform.

The latest report from a specialist New Zealand social media agency, Culture, explains the current trends and behaviours of New Zealanders on social media. Splitting their demographic research up into generational age groups, the data covers Gen Z (aged 16-24), Millennial (age 25-38), Gen X (aged 39-57) and Baby boomers (aged 58-64).

Data gathered by GWI Core from Q1 2019 to Q4 2022 shows that social media has surpassed daily users of linear television, with at least 70% of users spending more than 30 minutes per day on social media – a statistic that has remained at this level since the pandemic.

The most surprising post-pandemic statistic is that Baby Boomers have increased their TikTok usage by 400% since 2020. Now their second platform of choice behind Facebook, users aged 58-64 are swarming to TikTok to share their epic dancing, gardening tips and advice for the younger generations.

Table taken from Culture’s The Social Media Landscape in New Zealand April 2023 report.

Reflective in this data is the overall sense of importance of short-form video. Each generation that was surveyed favoured short-form video content above any other form of video or audio content, beating radio shows, audio books and sporting event highlights.

Short-form video is classed as content less than 10 minutes long and ideally around 15 seconds to 1 minute in length. Its addictive formula consists of loopable videos set to trending audio sounds or music.

The rise in the popularity of this content, has seen major social media platforms scramble to remain competitive and update their software to feature short-form video.

Global technology company Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, has been fighting an uphill battle against TikTok, leaving users (especially content creators who rely on the platforms to make money or sell products) in dismay when it comes to understanding the new algorithms.

In a scramble to keep up with TikTok in late 2020, Instagram regularly updated their user-interface to push short-form video in a user’s feed before any static image posts, including altering the layout of the app to make Reels (their version of short-form video content) full screen. After global pushback, Instagram backtracked on this update but has made major algorithm adjustments over recent years to favour Reels and support users with trending audio and video templates to use.

Convergence has consistently advised clients that short-form video is the proven way to efficiently reach the targeted audience. Whether selling products or services, raising brand awareness or improving internal communications, it is the most effective and engaging way to share information in 2023.

This piece is based on information taken from Culture’s ‘The Social Media Landscape in New Zealand April 2023’ report. You can find the report to download here.

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