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Gen Z kids and teens spend radically more time on their phones. Here are their 3 favorite apps.

  • Kids and teenagers in Gen Z spend radically more time on their phones than millennials, spending almost four hours inside their favorite apps.
  • That’s according to App Annie, which found Gen Z kids and teens across different countries spend 55% more time in non-gaming apps than previous generations.
  • Their three favourite apps include Snapchat, Twitch, and Wish, all of which see a higher proportion of Gen Z users than other apps, according to App Annie.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s official: the kids spend more time on their phones now than any older generation.

New research from analytics site App Annie has found that kids and teens in Gen Z — people currently aged between seven and 22 years old — spend 55% more time in non-gaming apps than older generations.

And their taste for mobile games is waning generally. App Annie found Gen Z is generally spending less time on mobile games than older generations, with the exception of South Korea and Japan.

The report also noted that the Gen Z market is growing faster than people aged over 25 in most markets, and that this year it is due to surpass the older millennial generation as the largest cohort in the world, making up 32% of the population.

“Gen Z is the first generation to grow up on mobile. They already influence $600 billion in spend in the US alone — companies need to aim for them now or risk missing the target tomorrow,” said Ted Krantz, CEO of App Annie.

App Annie measured which apps “over-indexed” for Gen Z, measuring how much more likely Gen Z were to use these apps compared to older generations. Here are Gen Z’s top over-indexing apps for social media, entertainment, and shopping in the first half of 2019.

A caveat: App Annie didn’t detail exact time spent by Gen Z on these apps, instead indexing them by comparing the proportion of Gen Z users of an app against the overall Gen Z population using mobile internet and apps in that market. It also looked only at Android data on the apps listed below.

Social media: Snapchat

Although its reputation has taken a battering with Facebook cloning its features and attracting many hundreds of millions more users, Snapchat is apparently still pretty popular among plenty of Zoomers, topping the social media apps Gen Z is most likely to use in Japan, the UK and the US.

According to App Annie, a big triumph for Snapchat was YOLO, an anonymous Q&A app which Snapchat integrated into its Story feature in May of this year. “YOLO’s integration with Snapchat proved a savvy way to gain traction by leveraging the network effect of existing popular apps… to fuel adoption by Gen Z,” the report says.

Rival TikTok also indexes highly with Gen Z, but isn’t as popular as Snapchat in countries such as Japan and South Korea, according to App Annie.

Entertainment: Twitch

With an average of 15 million daily active users, Twitch is the world’s biggest game-streaming platform. It was there that esports superstars like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins were catapulted to fame, and now even President Donald Trump has a Twitch channel.

Ninja Tyler Blevins

Twitch made Tyler “Ninja” Blevins a superstar.

App Annie found Twitch to be the biggest over-indexing app in seven out of ten global markets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, and the US), and ascribes this largely to its esports and game-streaming content.

Netflix is another video streaming site that’s super popular with Gen Z, but according to App Annie they preferred to spend their time with Twitch streamers.

Shopping: Wish

Wish, famous for its strange and eclectic product ads, was found to be the strongest shopping app among four of the ten markets analysed: Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.

According to App Annie, this is because focuses more intensively on price than competitors like Amazon. “This could be a draw for Gen Z, as many aren’t in the workforce yet and may be willing to deal with longer delivery times in exchange for discounts,” the report says.


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