Just like the original version of the book, the Chinese language edition offers a comprehensive guide for any youth brand or organization trying to reach Gen Z.
"Many books talk about Gen Z, but this is a definitive playbook for modern marketers and business people to authentically engage an emerging generation."
-Stefan Heinrich, Head of Global Marketing, ByteDance (TikTok)
The book covers content creation, connecting with youth culture, online community and content engagement strategies, and tactics such as social media, experiential, emerging technologies (like AR and VR), kids' privacy law, building online communities, embracing youth culture, and much more.
Today my book ‘The GenZ Frequency’, co-written with Gregg L. Witt, was officially published in the UK and the rest of the world by Kogan Page! The book will be published in the US on September 28th!
If I’ve learned anything during the process of writing this book, it’s that Gen Z is going to change the world. Thank you to all the young people who were willing to talk to me during the writing of this book and helping me to tune into the Gen Z frequency.
'The Gen Z Frequency' offers a comprehensive youth marketing guide for any brand or organization trying to reach this demographic, covering fundamental truths, content creation, connecting with youth culture, engagement strategies and tactics such as social media, experiential, emerging technologies (like AR and VR), kids privacy law, building online communities, edtech and much more.
As the number one social network for Gen Z teens, Instagram has been increasingly proactive in developing both technology and wellbeing programs that improve the lives of the teens. In addition, the new comment filter is focusing on protecting teen celebrities and influencers who are often the recipients of brutal attacks in the comment section on their social feeds.
We first got a sneak peek at this new filtering technology last summer when Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom sat down with CBS News to talk about how the social network is betting that limiting hate speech will encourage more expression on the platform.
"Is it free speech just to be mean to someone?" - Kevin Systrom, CEO Instagram
According to Instagram, "This new filter hides comments containing attacks on a person's appearance or character, as well as threats to a person's well-being or health. The bullying filter is on for our global community and can be disabled in the Comment Controls center in the app.”
On social platforms, they embrace memes, visual narratives, GIFs and emoji to create fan art and provide their visual interpretations of shared cultural experiences and project their own emotions into their social media feeds. The visual narrative content posted on these platforms can largely be employed, remixed, and re-appropriated across one another and be reused for multiple purposes across multiple moments in time.
This creates a form of unity in social narratives, situating visual materials as both conversational and archival, across the platforms while also positing disunity and the breakdown of platform exclusive vernaculars.
This episode of the Australian podcast, Future Tense, host Antony Funnell talks to digital researchers and linguists about the ways that people are using GIFs, emoji, selfies and other visual communication tools as narratives to express their ideas, emotions or as visual expressions and celebrations of shared cultural moments.
Instagram has launched an initiative called "Instagram Together" to showcase their continued commitment to developing tools that address bullying, mental health, and other topics impacting tweens, teens and young adults.
As part of Mental Health Awareness month, Instagram announced a hashtag campaign called #HereForYou, which highlights how the social network has helped support its community members struggling with mental health issues.
Reporting Self-Harm on Instagram
Members of the community can also anonymously report others who they feel may be in need of mental health support.
The Self Harm Reporting feature allows users to report a mental health concern to Instagram and send the user a message with mental health resources in their country.
These resources also display when someone visits a hashtag for a sensitive topic, like hashtags associated with self-harm, eating disorders, and suicide.
Motivate — the leading specialized insights and media partner for reaching Multicultural, Youth and LGBTQ segments — announced today its acquisition ofImmersive Youth, an insights-driven agency that connects brands with tweens, teens, and young adults.
The acquisition supports Motivate’s strategy for aggressive expansion into its targeted growth markets: Multicultural, Youth and LGBTQ.
By adding Immersive Youth’s expertise, and dynamic team and leadership, Motivate reinforces its culturally-focused service to world-class brands and agency partners. Post-acquisition, Immersive Youth will be rebranded as Motivate Youth.
“Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history, being 47 percent multicultural,” said Trevor Hansen, CEO of Motivate. “Bringing on Immersive Youth is in response to the demand from brands to reach the largest demographic group today.
Immersive Youth’s approach to connecting brands with Gen Z is rooted in firsthand audience dialogue and analytic decisions that inform not only the strategies, but also the visuals, messaging and activation experience.
The team’s rigorous insights-to-activation process comprises a set of guiding principles that are proven to drive results. We are excited about the possibilities that will arise from this union.”
I'm a big fan of Branden Harvey. He first popped up on my radar during the early days of Snapchat, er, Snap Inc! At that time he was a crazy kid from Portland with a awesome hair cut and unbridled good energy and positive vibes.
Then he traveled to Africa, using Snapchat and Instagram to share his adventures. And what adventures did he have! It was then I saw that Snapchat really was a powerful *storytelling* tool. Branden is a talented storyteller who combines his infectious brand of optimism, digital skills and social media presence to spread good in the world!
At a time when there's so much negativity and, frankly bullying on social media, it's so refreshing to have someone like Branden use his storytelling gift, passion for social media and photography to lift spirits and challenge us to look for the silver lining and good in other people, places and things.
The “Kids of Today and Tomorrow Truly Global Exploration” study focused on what VIMN valls “last wavers,” or the youngest Millennials, born between 2003 and 2008. The findings point to several key traits that shape these kids’ world views and make them distinct from older members of this generational cohort.
Kids of today and tomorrow are more “we” than “me.”
The youngest Millennials extend their positive spirit to also include a commitment to community and the wider world around them.
88% believe it’s important to help people in the community, with 61% having taken part in an effort to raise money for charity in the past year.
94% believe it’s people’s responsibility to protect the environment.
Advances in digital media play a large part in broadening horizons and inspiring kids to use the power they have at their fingertips in a positive manner:
85% agree “my age group has the potential to change the world for the better.”
71% agree “having access to the internet changes the way I think about the world.”
However, they don’t see this as anything out of the ordinary or think of themselves as “techy”:
2 out of 3 kids think that being connected is as much a part of everyday life as eating and sleeping – it’s simply how life is today. As a consequence of being constantly connected in a fast-moving world, it is natural for them to constantly adapt and be open-minded. They are resilient and life-ready.
To reach these confident kids, it is important to communicate with them with a tone of positivity, smart but not cynical humor; and a playful approach, in line with the fun and happiness they seek in life.
Kids respond best to authentic brand messages: they recognize when someone is trying to sell them, so be honest.
It’s important to be both globally and locally relevant.
Kids of today and tomorrow are grounded.
Authenticity is a key value for kids today and they live with their feet firmly on the ground.
94% report wanting to be true to the close circle around them and 93% to be true to themselves. When it comes to the people who inspire them or the people they trust most, it’s all about close family and friends. They might feel inspired by celebrities and sports stars, but they know not to trust them.
49% of the youngest Millennials name a family member as their #1 best friend– rising as high as 90% in Morocco and 87% in Brazil.
Kids of today and tomorrow are confident.
Today’s youngest Millennials are overwhelmingly happy and optimistic.
88% consider themselves very happy, with happiness levels in this age group increasing over last six years.
Spending time with family and friends is the top factor generating happiness in most countries. Young Millennials enjoy doing activities together as a family.
Humor is important to young Millennials, who use it strategically to navigate life: 64% agree “I use humor to help me get my way.”
Happiness outweighs stress by a factor of 3 to 1: while almost 9 in 10 young Millennials describe themselves as very happy, only 24% report high levels of stress, with stress levels falling since 2006.
Kids today are re-calibrating their sense of what it is to be stressed as well as happy: they have grown up in a world of constant change and global economic crisis – for them, this is the norm.
Even in Greece, where the economic crisis is particularly acute, stress levels are only 36%. The highest stress levels among 9-14s are actually in Singapore and China (41% and 39%) – caused almost certainly by the highly pressured education systems in those countries.
In general, the youngest Millennials are characterized by an optimism with which they approach challenges: 90% agree “I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough” and 89% agree “I always try to be positive.”
At the global level, these high levels of happiness, low stress and growing positivity are combining to form a “virtuous circle” of mutual support that helps kids create an overall sense of confidence.
Belief in themselves: 65% believe not only that they are smart but also that they are smarter than other people.
Belief in their future: Despite everything, a large majority (84%) believe they will earn more than their parents
Belief in their generation: This is the winning generation … the expression “#winning” suits them perfectly and is acknowledged by many more 9-14s than by older Millennials (77% vs. 66% of 15-30s)
Belief in their creativity: 89% believe their creativity will help them to keep on winning in a fast-paced world.
Kids of today and tomorrow are simultaneously more and less sheltered.
The difference is very clearly defined: in the real world, they are much more sheltered than in the past, with parents restricting and controlling their interactions with everything. However, given advances in technology and access to a wide range of devices, there is often relatively little protection – kids have unprecedented exposure to global ideas and images.
43% own their own computer/laptop and 28% own a smartphone.
61% have a social media account (and 11 years is the average age for having a first account – despite being below the age threshold set by many social platforms’ Terms & Conditions).
9-14s have 39 online “friends” they have never met (up from five since 2006).
Kids of today and tomorrow are proud to be.
The youngest Millennials are increasingly expressing a sense of affinity with their country. Their sense of national pride is growing stronger and they are more likely than six years ago to believe it’s important to maintain their country’s traditions.
87% agree that they are “proud to be [their ethnicity]” up from 81% in 2006.
79% agree “it’s important to maintain my country’s traditions,” up from 60% in 2006.
At the same time, they are tolerant of other cultures: 74% think it’s great to have people from other countries living in the kid’s country.
This VIMN study is based on 6,200 interviews with the 9-14 age group (at the time of research, born 1998-2003, which we have defined as “last wavers” within the Millennial generation) across 32 countries (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, US, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Hungary, Poland, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa).
Video is also available in the following languages:
The rise of China as a world power has been well documented and is nothing short of amazing.
While most people focus their attention and analysis on the political and economic changes taking place in China, very few have taken a look at the generation driving this economic transformation.
Enter Mary Bergstrom, principal of The Bergstrom Group, an insights consultancy that helps companies to leverage trends, develop new products and localize international brands for the Chinese consumer market.
China's youth population is composed of 500 million under the age of 30 and is poised to play an even bigger role in shaping the global economy and impacting youth culture.
The 'new China' is being shaped by a generation that loves exploring new identities online, playing video games and staying connected via social networks. A generation who, at times, also struggles to reconcile the generational values of 'new China' with those held by their parents and grandparents.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of All Eyes East, looked at the way Chinese youth use technology, online communities and social networking.
In many ways Chinese youth use of technology mirrors the experience of youth around the world. But as Mary points out, there are some very interesting and uniquely Chinese uses of technology.
Some of the key insights on Chinese youth, technology & virtual communities:
BlogCN, launched in 2002, became the first free blog service that allowed Chinese youth with a risk-free platform to explore new identities
Blogging and social networking has allowed Chinese youth to challenge notions about sex, gender and socially acceptable behaviors
In China, anonymity has led to safe and highly creative collaboration among youth. One key example of this is a meme sparked by Xiao Pang who had his identity borrowed and then reincarnated online where it sparked millions of clicks
In the 90s, Chinese youth developed a new cyber Martian language that allowed them to self-select who is 'in' and who is 'out'
Young Chinese mothers aren't waiting for a product to define or help them manage motherhood. Instead these digitally savvy moms are networking online, protesting brands that abuse their trust and forming parenting groups on social networking site QQ
It is very popular and common for Chinese youth to create profiles on different social networking sites based on pursing specific interests and testing new identities
Renren, a popular social networking site, allows couples to create and manage profiles, allowing them to present themselves with others as a team
Popular poses for profile photos include: two fingers n a "V" gesture, puckering for a kiss and making a heart with their hands. Doing so helps Chinese girls distinguish themselves from the singularity of the masses
Mary has compiled an impressive and unprecedented body of research on doing business in China, its burgeoning youth culture and has provided companies and organizations who want to reach this influential market with a clear roadmap to success.
All Eyes East is a must read for anyone--CEOs, corporate marketing teams and MBA students alike--who wants to do business in China.
Have you ever wondered what technology do Russian kids use and when? How parents in Russia view the digital media impact on the child’s development? What role does media play for shared parent-child activity? And how all of this vary with different incomes and city sizes?
Digital trend consultancy Anketki Research has released a new study that looks to answer some of these questions (and more) as well as the current state of rapidly expanded digital media practices among Russian families.
The report provides a wealth of information, stats, facts and insight, associated with children, their parents, Internet and digital devices in Russia. The study was prepared on the basis of the initial survey conducted in March, 2012.
Significant numbers of children are breaking the rules by setting up their own profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook, finds a new EU Kids Online study.
The report, Social Networking, Age and Privacy, found that 38 per cent of 9-12-year-olds use social networking sites, with one in five of the age group having a profile on Facebook, even though the network sets a minimum age of 13 to join.
"Since children often lie about their age to join 'forbidden' sites it would be more practical to identify younger users and to target them with easy-to-use protective measures."
Researchers who carried out the EU Kids Online survey of 25,000 young people across Europe say it shows that age restrictions are only partially effective and that a growing number of children are taking online risks.
A quarter of children on social networking sites have their profile set to ‘public’. One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.
Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics and Political Science, who directs the project, said: ‘It seems clear that children are moving to Facebook – this is now the most popular site in 17 of the 25 countries we surveyed. Many providers try to restrict their users to 13-year-olds and above but we can see that this is not effective.’
Especially younger children are less likely to use privacy options and to understand the safety features that are available. According to the report, across the 25 European countries surveyed, 57 per cent of children (aged 9 to 16) use Facebook as their sole or main social networking site. This ranges from 98 per cent in Cyprus, to only two per cent in Poland.
Need for better protective measures
The findings raise the possibility that removing age restrictions from social network sites might be the most effective way of improving online safety as the rules have the consequence of driving kids’ social networking underground.
Among other findings, the survey shows that almost one in six 9-12-year-olds, and one in three 13-16s, have 100 or more online contacts. Around a quarter of SMS users communicate online with people who have no connection to their offline lives, including one fifth of 9-12 year olds across all SMS (and one quarter of younger Facebook users).
Key findings of the report:
Social networking sites (SNS) are popular among European children: 38% of 9-12 year olds and 77% of 13-16 year olds have a profile. Facebook is used by one third of 9-16 year old internet users.
One in five 9-12 year olds have a Facebook profile, rising to over 4 in 10 in some countries.
Age restrictions are only partially effective, although there are many differences by country and SNS.
Younger children are more likely than older to have their profile ‘public’. A quarter of 9-12 year old SNS users have their profile ‘set to public’.
Parental rules for SMS use, when applied, are partly effective, especially for younger children.
One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.
The features designed to protect children from other users if needed are not easily understood, by many younger and some older children.
Once we reach our goal of 100,000 submissions, the cranes will be woven into an art installation - a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.
Cranes are sacred creatures in Japanese culture. According to legend, anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish by a crane.
While anyone can contribute to the virtual mosaic on Facebook, our goal is to collect 100,000 origami cranes from young people to represent 100 wishes of support and healing for Japan. A list of wishes will begin to appear when we receive the first 1,000 cranes by mail.