Gen Z ditches social media for private community

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The Future. People are getting tired of the endless curation, projection, and pressure of the social media landscape and are now doing their regular posting on more private channels within platforms. That’s allowing users to be more authentic, build niche communities, and have healthier digital habits. As teens start to use social media more privately, digital marketing may have a harder time embedding itself in the daily communication of the average user — making these platforms a noisier, more fractured form of traditional media.

Up in the group chats
Instagram’s transformation from a digital scrapbook to a personal business platform filled with brands and influencers has led to user exhaustion, argues Insider’s Amanda Perelli and Sydney Bradley.

  • So, users, especially young ones, have scaled back how often they post on their main feeds, opting for only a handful of times a year.
  • They now spend much more time DMing, sending photos in group chats, posting on Stories, and using features like Close Friends — changes that Instagram head Adam Mosseri has even acknowledged.
  • That has shrunk users’ communities but also crafted tighter, more authentic ones, pouring more attention into relationships than engagement — a boon for new platforms like Discord and Geneva (though most are failing).

That’s not to say engagement is down. Influencers and brands post constantly, and their fans are happy to view, comment, and share that content. In that sense, most platforms have become what Perelli and Bradley call “aspirational entertainment” apps.

In the modern age of social media, most users are overwhelmingly consumers rather than creators. Having an audience just isn’t for everyone.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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