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News Article

Google: Gen Z is Reshaping Consumption

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Thu, 05/12/2022 - 13:15

Generation Z, the first true digital natives, is reconstructing the way that people connect, interact and consume on the internet. Understanding their driving incentives and behavior in this digital landscape will be quintessential to the formation of business strategies, according to Julian Coulter, Country Director México, Google.

“Of the 84.1 million internet users in Mexico, 49.9 percent belong to Gen Z. They are the ones who will determine the future of the internet,” said Coulter.

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z only represents 32 percent of the global population. Nevertheless, they influence 91 percent of household decisions. This generation represents one of the most relevant business opportunities because it is the first to grow hand in hand with the internet and digital platforms, said Coulter. Furthermore, while they represent over 40 percent of the global labor force, they are mainly concentrated in Asia and Latin America, according to the World Bank. From within these markets, they have played an important role in the development and adoption of electronic commerce. 

Their connectivity represents over half of Mexico’s internet activity, with 84 million daily users according to a study by the Internet Association Mexico. As such, they will play a significant role in the internet and digital platforms of the future. Pinning down this generation has not been straightforward as it is one of the most diverse in history. Nevertheless, they are predominantly characterized by values related to inclusivity, driven by a sense of accountability to contemporary issues and live to be creative, according to a consumer report by GWI.

Gen Z is preoccupied with sociopolitical issues ranging from inclusivity to climate change, with 46 percent affirming their concern for these ongoing issues, more than any other generation. They consider gender fluidity to be the standard and are constantly challenging stereotypes as means of dismantling institutional disparities. They also value mental health and creativity, with 51 percent engaging in at least one creative daily activity, of which they have chosen video content as their favorite medium. A joint study by Google and YouTube found that 80 percent of Gen Z published at least one video online during the last year, thereby making them authentic content creators.

Gen Z is using casual content creation to push their cultural relevance and values. In the last year, 54 percent of Gen Z respondents tried a new camera filter while filming, 52 percent participated in at least one social media challenge per month and 34 percent created at least one meme in the last year. One of their favorite digital platforms is YouTube, which they have deferred to both express their creativity and learn.  From this library of video content, 80 percent of Gen Z respondents have expanded their knowledge base and 68 percent refined and or developed new skills for the future, according to the same study.

In Mexico, YouTube plays an important role in the daily life of over 56 million daily users above the age of 18, according to a study by Comscore. According to a Google Topshop study, 76 percent of Mexicans say that YouTube makes them happier, 78 percent recognize the added value that the platform provides and 87 percent claim they have learned something new on the platform. These incentives have allowed YouTube to achieve the greatest market penetration among Gen Z in Mexico and Latin America, according to Reuters.

Gen Z has been linked to three main passions: music, gaming and sports. Music is in their DNA, said Coulter, as the generation consumes on average 18.4 hours of music a week, as they consider it to be fundamental to their emotional wellbeing. Furthermore, through gaming, one in three Gen Z respondents discovered new music while playing video games.

Video games also play an important role in the daily life of Gen Zs, who consider gaming more than a hobby and have used these spaces to create digital communities. This is a market on the rise in Latin America, as reflected in the more than 800 billion videos of video games, 90 million hours of streaming and 250 million content videos on the topic of gaming. Video streaming of sporting events is helping people connect to live experiences from afar, a market with significant potential as reflected on a growing consumer preference.

Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst