Gen Z and Social Media: It’s complicated
● For Gen Z, Instagram is the top source of inspiration when deciding on a vacation destination
● 39% of Gen Z trust the recommendations of those they don’t know in person such as influencers and celebrities
● Almost a quarter (19%) of ‘snap happy’ Gen Zers take over 50 pics a day while on vacation and love to share their pics publicly, with 40% sharing on social media
● However, almost half of Gen Z (48%) think that too much emphasis is placed on social media when traveling
There’s much speculation about Gen Z and their use of social media. Are they tiring of it? Are they still sharing content? Are they really all that reliant on influencers? New research from Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travelers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, a range of must-do travel experiences and seamless transport options, reveals that while Gen Z travelers are visual vacationers and social snappers, their motivations aren’t limited to a 108px frame.
Seeing is Staying
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and for Gen Z, those words must include ‘#travel’ and ‘#inspo.' Almost half of Gen Z (46%) like to see travel posts and pictures on social, and when it comes to deciding which destinations to visit, Gen Z head straight to their social feeds, with 29% listing it as their top travel inspiration source.
Gen Z women are even more likely to be visualizing their next vacation while scrolling (53%). This reliance on Instagram is far higher than the US average (21%) and even Millennials (26%). When it comes to selecting new destinations to visit, 2 in 5 Gen Z say that they are influenced by social media influencers (41%) and 39% say they generally trust influencers when it comes to travel recommendations.
Inspiration for Gen Z isn’t just coming from smartphone screens though, with 33% of respondents influenced by destinations they see in films and TV shows then wanting to see the locations in person. Travel recommendations still come from their social interactions offline too though, with 27% looking to their friends for intel.
From influencers’ feeds to their own, 39% of Gen Zer’s say they’re interested in traveling somewhere that’ll look good in pictures. Two in five (40%) Gen Z say that when they travel they always upload pictures from their trips on social media–more so than any other age demographic (40% v 35% of all travelers).
During their last vacation, 27% of Gen Z took between 10 and 30 pics each day with a particularly snap happy one in five (19%) taking more than 50 pics each day. Being the first generation who grew up as Digital Natives, it’s no surprise that Gen Z is a generation who do not desire a life unplugged, with 53% valuing Wi-Fi the most during a stay, higher than any other demographic and their top favored accommodation amenity.
(Not) just doing it for the ‘gram
Instagram isn’t their only motivator though. Gen Z is aware of the importance of holiday experiences with over half (53%) saying they prefer to focus on what is in front of them and enjoy the moment, rather than spending time taking photos for social media, suggesting pics for the feed are a bonus to their trip. And for this experience focused generation, they’d prefer to live life offline, with 48% saying they believe that too much emphasis is spent on social media when traveling, so while there’s no denying that Gen Z “like” social media, scrolling isn’t going to come between their real-life travel experiences any time soon.