Around our recent blog post about Zebra IQ’s Gen Z Trends Report, we asked Zebra IQ CEO Tiffany Zhong the question, what’s the emerging social video platforms for Gen Z engagement that marketers are least likely to be aware of? She quickly identified three: Squad, Bunch, and Twitch. To help bridge the information gap, here’s a quick overview on what you need to know about those three increasingly important social media platforms.
The Squad app launched in January 2019 and enables up to six people to video chat at the same time on their phones. Critically that includes the ability to screen share. Targeting teen girls, Squad has seen a huge amount of growth since the beginning of the pandemic, for example Squad CEO Esther Crawford announced that usage of the app increased by 1,100% during the last two weeks of March. With teens using Squad to share videos from streamers like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu from their screen while they chat about what they’re watching; Squad is enabling communal watching at a time where that can only exist virtually.
The Bunch App also enables group video chatting, though in the context of playing mobile games together. By using the same party ID, users can play popular mobile games like Uno!, Mario Kart Tour and Roblox at the same time on their phones. Since the pandemic started, users are spending over 1.5 million minutes a day talking to friends on the app, with the number of daily game sessions per user growing by 75% recently. While the user base had previously skewed male, it is currently 62% female. For those looking to see each other face to face for a socially distanced game night, Bunch is an increasingly popular solution.
Founded in 2011 and now a subsidiary of Amazon, the live streaming gaming platform Twitch wasn’t exactly obscure before the pandemic, but has seen significant growth since. For example, viewership grew to 5 billion hours watched between April through June, up over 60% from those same three months in 2019. It’s also no longer just a platform for hardcore gamers; Amazon Watch Party integration means Twitch can be used for people to watch and chat about Amazon Prime movies and TV programs together in real time.
Meanwhile, the politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just played the game Among Us on Twitch, with the livestream peaking at 440,000 live viewers, the sixth highest such total on Twitch ever. By authentically embracing the fun, communal experience of livestream gaming, AOC successfully found a non-traditional way to connect with the Gen Z audience.
While video was becoming more important on social media regardless, the pandemic and social distancing has only sped audience adaptation of apps and platforms that find new ways to optimize video. By understanding which of these emerging solutions are being embraced, marketers can be ahead of the curve in promoting their brands on these apps.
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