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UK Insights

Gen Z is the generation taking a stand for privacy on social media

Marianne Tournery

Digital Marketing Project Manager

Social 22.02.2018 / 11:00


Kantar Media’s report on Social Media Trends for 2018 finds that centennials, those aged under 25 years, are the most protective of their personal data.

Research from Kantar Media finds that, of all generations, it is those in Generation Z – born between 1995 and 2012 – that express the strongest desire to protect their personal data online. According to Kantar Media TGI data, those between 18 and 24 years old are 22% more likely than the average UK adult to use ads blockers.

One of the ten trends identified in the Social Media Trends 2018 report, this phenomenon is exemplified by the aliases used to avoid detection on online searches, the ‘rinsta’ (real Instagram accounts) and ‘finsta’ (‘friendly’ or ‘fake’ Instagram accounts) they set up, and the use of apps like Vaulty to hide photos and videos.

More than 95 million of these secretive teens are also using incognito social networks like Sarahah, Anonyfish and, which allow users to express themselves anonymously. Targeted specifically at teens, the Sarahah app reached #1 in the Apple App Store in 30 countries, just two months after its release.

It would seem that the concern around digital footprints, and what you publish or ‘like’ on social networks coming back to haunt you, is making young people increasingly self-censoring, risk averse and socially rigid. Overall, our increasingly connected population is growing increasingly suspicious – the Connected Life study from Kantar TNS revealed that 43% of people (globally) completely object to connected devices monitoring their activity. Moreover, 32% of 16-24 year olds say they don't want to use mobile payments.

2018 will be a landmark year for advances in social data privacy. In May, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. And the fines for noncompliance are severe – up to 4% of annual revenue. The GDPR legislation, among others, specifically protects user-generated data such as social media posts.

What does this mean for brands? First, they should be careful about how they use social data and whether they store them in a CRM or elsewhere. Secondly, they should find alternate methods to engage the youngest social media users: for example, using messenger apps where the interactions are more private and personal (one-to-one).

Find the full Social Media Trends 2018 report here.

Source : Kantar Media, Kantar TNS

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