Social media platforms have become megaphones for trends, making seemingly insignificant moments go viral and creating shared digital cultures across international boundaries. To gauge what will be “in” in 2024, Instagram held a survey across the US, UK, Brazil, India and South Korea to uncover the issues and trends most important to Gen Z.
Self-improvement, development and sustainability are the key priorities in what Instagram described as “Gen Z’s growth era.” Many participants said 2024 would be the year they worked out, ate healthy and explored a new career path. In fact, one in three Gen Z respondents believe self-employment is the best way to achieve wealth.
As brands seek to capitalize on these young investors and employees, it is important to keep in mind that community is also shifting for this demographic. Romantic partnerships are less common, with 63% of respondents describing their relationship status as single, and social media is quickly becoming their predominant interactions. In fact, Pew Research stated this week that almost half (46%) of US teens ages 13-17 report “being online” almost constantly—double what teens reported a decade ago.
The youngest consumers are shifting the market landscape. They prefer sustainable shopping, opting for vintage and thrifted clothing over new; they consume responsibly (45% are interested in vegan products); and they expect the brands they do shop to be relevant. And in what Instagram called “The Top 5 Icks” across all countries surveyed, posting outdated or unfunny memes ranked number two. Companies need to be making strides now to design strategies that reflect these priorities. Those who don’t heed these trends might risk becoming a bad meme themselves.