Instagram! Snapchat! Tiktok! Why are these sites so popular with younger generations? While the majority of American individuals of all ages report using social media at least once a week, surveys show that millennials and Gen Z users tend to frequent sites that contain mostly visual content, while older generations prefer sites that contain more text-based content. It seems that young people are tired of the ranting posts that have come to dominate individual Facebook and Twitter feeds. Sites which feature more visual content are simple for users to navigate and allow them to easily follow stories which they care about.  This shift to visual-based content is likely to continue growing, as Forbes estimates that in the next year, Gen Z users will “make up 40% of all consumers.”

Looking the Part – It’s All About Presentation:

With the shift to visual content, branding has become an even more critical factor in appealing to Gen Z users. Even on a personal level, they feel the need to “look the part” and “establish a ‘brand’ by the time they’re out of their teens”. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they prefer all content to appear perfect. In fact, according to The Atlantic, “younger users are beginning to ‘reject the notion of a curated feed in favor of a messier and more unfiltered vibe.” This idea of creative imperfection has become more mainstream, manifesting itself in the posts of influencers such as Emma Chamberlain and Jazzy Anne, to the music videos of artists such as Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and John Mayer. While personal preferences vary, intriguing visual aesthetic is essential if you want consumers to interact with your content.

Lights, Camera, Action – The Sovereignty of Video Content:

Whether or not you decide to follow the recent trend of the “unfiltered vibe”, one thing is clear: in today’s content-saturated world, video is king. According to recent surveys, “the majority of EVERY generation checks YouTube once a week” – from 52% of Baby Boomers to 85% of teens – “making it the only platform with that kind of reach.” Videos are becoming the primary vessel for messaging, with the majority of consumers using YouTube to “gain knowledge or learn skills.” Some experts estimate that by 2022, 82% of global internet traffic will consist of video content. If you want to continue to thrive on social media, it’s time to take off your creative caption hat and put on your visionary videographer one – because the future is film.