Messaging has revolutionised how young people interact.
Asked which way they prefer to communicate with their mates, 80% said messaging before phone call (11%), video call (6%) and audio message (3%).
It’s no wonder then that 88% of Gen Zs message on a daily basis. So, which messaging apps are winning them over and why?
As part of our research in our What Gen Z Actually Do Online report we asked over 1000 young people aged 15 to 24 about where they regularly chat and chill. Here’s what they said.
1. Instagram – 81%
The most popular messaging app isn’t even a messaging app. First and foremost at least. But Instagram’s direct messaging feature is where 81% of young people chat online today. People can privately connect with friends and people they discover, sending texts, photos, videos and Instagram posts. Or ‘slide into DMs’ for romance.
Since late 2020, Instagram and Facebook have been rolling out a messaging integration. Today they go by “Messenger”, allowing people to reach out to others from either app. New features like short-lived messages, group-watching videos, and special visual effects will likely entice Gen Z to stick around.
2. Snapchat – 74%
A playground for the authentic and the absurd. Moving away from the ‘perfect Instagram life’ aesthetic, Snapchat is famous for its disappearing text and video messages as well as its silly, cute and artistic camera filters. Puking rainbows, animal ears, broccoli head, you name it, Snapchat has it.
3. iMessage – 62%
Think it’s just “texting”? Here’s a whole social platform. Using the iPhone’s default texting app, messages are sent as iMessage (blue bubbles) using data or SMS (green bubbles). The app is known for small, nifty details, like syncing messages between Apple devices and sending Apple Animojis that mirror facial expressions on emoji characters from poop to panda.
4. Facebook Messenger – 60%
Simply known as “Messenger”, integrating across Instagram too. Even though Messenger is partially connected to Facebook, people don’t need a Facebook account to use it. Filters, 360-degree backgrounds, colour-themed chats, stickers, games – visual mediums win over Gen Z.
5. Discord – 30%
If Slack and Reddit had a baby. Initially a platform for gamers, Discord has evolved into hash-tag-marked channels dedicated to conversations on niche topics for anyone from F1 fans to gardening enthusiasts. Gen Z also uses it for study groups, influencer engagement and family chats.
6. Whatsapp – 23%
Be ahead of the game, showed Whatsapp. In 2009, Whatsapp moved people away from expensive texts and calls – all you need is internet data. Today, people can video call and send voice messages and gifs too. Nothing groundbreaking but that’s Whatsapp’s point: simplicity. It’s end-to-end encryption has also been one of it’s standout features helping ensure security and privacy for what people are sending to each other.
Check out our reports for more unique data and insights about Gen Z.