Generation Z is already moving away from Facebook, and 6 more industries could be next

  • We already know Facebook is losing among Generation Z, the generation after millennials that prefers Snapchat and Instagram.
  • Marketing and retail experts pinpointed six other sectors and businesses that are likely to struggle once these teens come of age.
  • “Generally, members of Generation Z are tech-savvy, pragmatic, open-minded, individualistic – but also socially responsible,” An Hodgson, an income and expenditure manager at Euromonitor International, told Business Insider.

Ishan Goel, a 19-year-old marketing strategist with the Mark Cuban Companies, said it was “not cool” for his fellow Gen Zers to be on Facebook. For today’s teens, Facebook is just a tool for group chats or keeping up with parents.

“People aren’t wanting to post stuff consistently,” Goel told Business Insider.

People in Generation Z were born between roughly 1995 and 2010. This cohort of current teens is on track to kill Facebook,Business Insider’s Mark Abadi reported earlier this year.

Only 9% of teens say Facebook is their preferred social-media platform, a survey from Piper Jaffray found last year. Gen Z prefers Snapchat and Instagram, while older millennials are the biggest chunk of Facebook’s users.

“Generally, members of Generation Z are tech-savvy, pragmatic, open-minded, individualistic – but also socially responsible,” An Hodgson, an income and expenditure manager at Euromonitor International, told Business Insider.

Hodgson added: “Because Gen Zers are individualistic and value their privacy, they prefer anonymous social media like Snapchat, Secret, and Whisper rather than Facebook.”

Millennials are said to have already killed bar soap, diamonds, and napkins. Here’s what’s on Gen Z’s hit list.

Ralph Lauren, Sperry, and other preppy brands

Refined-classic brands, like Ralph Lauren and Vineyards Vines, are at record low popularity in the teen market, according to Piper Jaffray, moving to a 5% market share among teens from an average of 14%.

Ralph Lauren is taking one of the biggest hits, Piper Jaffray found. It was in the top 10 brands for men since 2002 but lost its standing this year. Filling the gap are streetwear brands like Adidas, Vans, and Supreme.

Department stores

Bobby Calise, the director of business development at the youth-insights firm Ypulse, told Business Insider that JCPenney and Macy’s had high brand awareness among Gen Zers but that they were more likely to shop at Forever 21, American Eagle, and other youth-centric fashion brands.

“The data is clear on one thing: Neither brand is cool in the eyes of Gen Z – and cool is a pretty important form of currency if you’re in the business of selling clothes to teenagers,” Calise said.

Goel said Gen Z perceived stores like JCPenney, Sears, and Kmart as lacking quality and a voice.

“When was the last time you bragged about shopping at JCPenney?” Goel said.

Gen Zers prefer to order online from companies with strong digital branding, said Tiffany Zhong, CEO of the youth-marketing firm Zebra Intelligence. And many know how to find manufacturers online, where they can buy products directly at a lower cost.

Cable TV

Pete Souza/White House Photo via Getty Images

“No one watches cable TV anymore,” Goel said.

More than 60% of teens said they would rather watch 10 hours of videos on YouTube than 10 hours of television, a 2017 survey by AwesomenessTV found.

Gen Zers surveyed said online videos were best for learning or laughing, while they preferred cable TV for watching with family or keeping up with what’s going on in the world.

Perhaps most revealing: One-third of surveyed teens felt that cable TV was best for falling asleep.

Anything related to paper

In case you live under a rock and didn’t hear, print-media consumption is declining.

Gen Zers tend to prefer the convenience of opening their phones or e-readers to enjoy a book, Goel and Zhong said. This generation is not alone – 266 million e-books were sold last year, compared with nearly 70 million in 2010.

“I can pull out my online book at Starbucks, which beats Barnes & Noble,” Goel said.

Unlike previous generations, Gen Zers aren’t nostalgic about opening up a newspaper. Many tend to get their news from social media – mainly Twitter – instead, a study by Response Media found (via Adweek).

“We can find everything online,” Zhong told Business Insider, “and for free.”


Almost 10% of millennials say they pay for Pandora, compared with just 6% of Gen Zers, a study by the consulting firm Fluent found. Generation Z, more than any other generation, prefers subscribing to Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Red.

Traditional luxury goods

“Growing up during the global financial crisis, Gen Zers are realistic and mindful of financial issues and future career from a younger age,” Hodgson told Business Insider.

Gen Zers are more likely to opt for trends they can show off on social media, but not necessarily ones that are the most expensive.

The fashion trends that AwesomenessTV highlighted in its report tended to be ones that pop on social media, like space buns, pins and T-shirts with political sentiments, and sparkly makeup.

As Business Insider’s Mallory Schlossberg wrote in 2016, “Luxury items – the kind that you can ‘wear forever’ – do not serve as much of a purpose on social media.”

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