Skip links

The rise and fall of online platforms

TikTok Australia, a phase

TikTok has big hype and a small following. While the app has made headlines recently, Australians’ prefer spending most of their time on Google (24%), Facebook (22%) and YouTube (19%). Only 3% of Australians are spending most of their time on TikTok.

Younger generations to ‘unfriend’ the popular online platform, Facebook

For many years Facebook has been one of the largest social platforms, however, the next generation may not follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before. When it comes to where Australians are spending most of their time older generations are twice as likely to spend most of their time on Facebook than younger generations (25% Builders, 23% Baby Boomers, 26% Gen X, 23% Gen Y cf. 10% Gen Z).

Older Australians are also most likely to use Facebook to connect with friends (45% Builders, 50% Baby Boomers, 51% Gen X cf. 35% Gen Y, 23% Gen Z) while younger generations, are most likely to use Instagram (24% Gen Z, 15% Gen Y cf. 7% Gen X, 3% Baby Boomers, 0% Builders).

If you really want to know where Gen Z are spending their time, however, there is one place to look and that is YouTube. Gen Z are four times more likely than Baby Boomers to spend most of their time on YouTube (37% cf. 26% Gen Y, 17% Gen X, 8% Baby Boomers, 5% Builders).

“The new generations are not just digital and mobile, but global and visual. That is why the go-to social channels for them are Instagram and YouTube. They are more likely to watch it than read it. For them, social media is not just a means of connecting with friends but staying current with what is happening. The upside is that they are globally aware and instantaneously updated, but the downside is that they are most exposed to misinformation”, said social researcher Mark McCrindle.

Australians are concerned for the next generation growing up on screens

Considering screen time has negative impacts, Australians’ concern for Generation Alpha (aged 11 and under) is understandable. Overall Australians believe that screens cause more harm than good (53%). This is especially true when it comes to children, with more than four in five Australians (83%) agreeing that for children aged 11 and under, the use of screens causes more harm than good.

“We have conducted much research into the epidemic of loneliness in Australia. But as this data shows, screens alone are not the solution. Indeed, as we have all experienced during COVID-19, connecting digitally does not fill the human need for connecting relationally”, said Dr McMillan.