Adaptr Blog
The Curation Generation: Why Gen Z Loves These Top 7 Apps
Posted by Adaptr Team
October 4, 2022

Gen Z's technical preferences show a desire for personalized experiences. We've dubbed them the “curation generation.” Here is a short list of the apps that they love.


As Generation Z  —those from approximate age 9 to 24 — continue to age and obtain buying power in the economy, companies of all shapes and sizes should be paying more attention to their technological preferences. These differ in some ways from Millennials and significantly in comparison to Gen X and earlier generations.

This is because Gen Z (also known as the “Zoomer” generation) differentiates itself as the first generation to grow up in a world where the internet permeates nearly every aspect of everyday life. From school to shopping to entertainment, to even dating, these “digital natives” practically do it all online, and usually through the use of apps. All of this translates to more time spent on smartphones and comparable devices. Take a recent report cited in Forbes, for example, which says Gen Z spends an average of nine hours a day in front of a screen. In other words, that’s nearly 2/3 of their waking lives.

And their deep connection to technology and lifelong ability to access the internet shows through their behavior and preferences. At Feed Media Group, we have observed that teens and young adults prefer specialized messages to those aimed at mass audiences. As we mentioned in an earlier blog, this huge demographic also places great value on anonymity and privacy, freedom of self-expression, experiences over material ownership, and the ability to send specific messages to specific groups. This desire for more personalized experiences is why we have dubbed them the “curation generation.”

Some other notable differentiators about Gen Z include:

  • They want to feel authentically connected. According to Sasha Lazimi, founder of the app Yubo, a major takeaway from last year’s pandemic lockdown is that teens are looking for more authentic communication and connection, and especially real-time experiences. She says that “everything needs to be genuine, because these generations can spot inauthentic behavior by brands and platforms.”

  • Games are the “golden goose” if you want to reach younger generations. A recent Deloitte survey purports that the next wave of disruption may lie with Gen Z, which prefers to play video games, stream music, and engage on social media, rather than just watch TV or movies. According to the survey, 87% of Generation Z, 83% of Millennials, and 79% of Generation X said they play video games on devices such as smartphones, gaming consoles, or computers at least weekly.

  • Gen Z users spend more time on average in non-gaming apps than older generations. While Gen Z loves games, they similarly spend more time on average in non-gaming apps. In fact, they spend 4.1+ hours more per month in top non-gaming apps, or 10% more in comparison to other generations.

With all this in mind, what are the top 7 apps used by Generation Z? The digital landscape is constantly evolving, but here is our latest roundup:

  1. TikTok – Having initially gained global notoriety for its viral dance videos, this Chinese-owned juggernaut has grown into one of the most popular social media apps in the world, with an exceedingly diverse range of content. From day one, music has always been integral to TikTok’s success and continues to be a key way it engages users.

  2. Snapchat – Like TikTok, the app initially known for its “disappearing” messages has evolved significantly since it came onto the scene in 2011. The app’s highly customizable messages, which include options to add music and special effects (an overlapping theme present in many popular social media apps), and anonymity-friendly features keep Gen Z engaged with the platform. 

  3. YouTube – Since launching in 2005, Google’s signature video sharing platform has revolutionized online entertainment and is one of Gen Z’s most used platforms. According to Google’s own user statistics, Gen Z says YouTube is the “number one platform they turn to when they want to relax or cheer up.” And unlike TikTok and Instagram (see below), YouTube offers a way to consume more longform content like podcasts, documentaries and full-length music videos with equal ease. 

  4. Instagram – Used widely among almost all generations, Instagram is also incredibly popular with the “Zoomers” for its intuitive interface, endless customization and privacy options for user profiles and messages. The app’s story feature is one of its main attractions, which allows for customization with rights-cleared music tracks and other effects. Being an image-centered platform also appeals to Gen Z, which has a shorter average attention span (about 8 seconds) than even Millennials.

  5. Twitter – Now considered a classic among social media sites used by all generations, Twitter continues to hold its own among Gen Z users, who utilize the platform to follow the latest news and trends (although Instagram and YouTube are winning out in this area), and to voice their own opinions. In these ways, Generation Z uses Twitter as the modern equivalent to the public square. The app offers greater immediacy than some other platforms, which meshes well with the generation’s reduced attention span.

  6. Spotify – Along with YouTube, this music streaming platform is where Gen Z goes to discover new music. Spotify’s curation algorithm allows users to choose the songs they want to play, when they want to play them. And like previous generations, music is important to them, with 69% of American Gen Zs reportedly feeling “more centered and generally happier” when listening to their favorite music regularly.

  7. Reddit - Another platform popular across many generations, much of Gen Z favors the messageboard-style Reddit to consume and share a seemingly endless variety of information...while also, interacting with others users. While Reddit does not have the same level of music sharing functionality of other apps, this doesn't stop users from sharing links to the tracks and videos they want to discuss with each other.

While all of these apps differ in design and functionality, nearly all encompass music integration, which is our expertise at Feed Media Group. Our team of top-notch engineers and curators, launched Adaptr to bring the magic of personalized music to startups worldwide. As such, we are closely attuned to these tech habits of Gen Z, while keeping an eye out for the next in line, Generation Alpha



Are you a developer looking to launch Gen Z’s new favorite app? 

Integrate hit music with Adaptr, the only all-in-one solution giving startups direct access to stream major label popular music in apps – in a simple, legal, cost-friendly way.

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