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“The State of Gen Z® 2018” Research Findings

New Study Finds Gen Z Creates Digital Celebrities Out of Social Influencers

Our new national study titled “The State of Gen Z® 2018,” found that Gen Z, ages 13-22, is redefining who is influential in today’s marketplace. Rather than hanging posters of TV celebrities or athletes on their bedroom wall, Gen Z is following influencers on social media, and marketers need to urgently shift their efforts accordingly. In fact, the research found that 46% of Gen Z currently follows more than 10 online influencers (and 10% of Gen Z follow 50 or more!). It’s the online words—or video posts—of these digital influencers that matter most to this mobile-only generation.

According to the study, Gen Z expects to interact with brands on social media and is doing so in greater numbers than Millennials. The research uncovered that 73% of Gen Z follow at least one brand on social media compared to 64% of Millennials, and 52% of Gen Z follow three brands or more. In addition, Gen Z prefers to interact with companies via Instagram rather than the Millennial-preferred Facebook or Twitter. The Center’s research has also found that influencer-created how-to videos on YouTube are especially effective for engaging Gen Z consumers. By aligning with the right social media influencers, brands gain immediate and powerful access to reach Gen Z through these platforms.

Jason Dorsey, President of The Center for Generational Kinetics and Gen Z expert, said “95% of Gen Z own a smartphone and over half of the generation use it more than five hours per day. This is their lifeline, and social media is their means to connect and learn about what they like and want. The ‘stars’ of this generation are not those seen on TV or at a big-time concert hall, they’re the people who Gen Z follow every day on their smartphone or tablet.”

Dr. Denise Villa, CEO, added, “Whether an online influencer’s following is ten thousand or ten million, these online personalities make an immediate impact on this generation’s brand loyalty and purchasing decisions. Companies need to embrace this approach, and leverage it as part of their marketing efforts, because Gen Z will ditch the companies that don’t keep up.”

Visit to learn more about the study’s findings and download the complete Gen Z whitepaper. Researchers Jason Dorsey and Denise Villa, Ph.D. are available for comment.

The Center for Generational Kinetics is the #1 Gen Z and Millennial research, speaking, and consulting firm. Their team of Ph.D. researchers work with more than 160 clients annually to solve generational challenges, from marketing to Gen Z and selling to Millennials or employing multiple generations. The Center helps clients through original research, consulting, and keynote presentations. The Center’s clients range from automakers and financial services to retailers, CPG, private equity, and global technology companies. The work of The Center’s co-founders to explore and bridge generations has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, from 60 Minutes and the BBC to The Washington Post and The New York Times. Learn more about us and access the new Gen Z research findings at

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