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Connected Consumer Q3 2023
Phong Do

Gen Z wants to disconnect

In an age where the digital landscape is ever-expanding and social media platforms are increasing, Vietnam's Generation Z is showing a trend of unplugging from social media by leaving at least one social media app behind. 

Almost eight out of ten (76%) of Gen Z want to quit at least one social media platform, according to the latest Connected Consumer report by Decision Lab. This report provides insights into the digital behaviour of Vietnamese consumers and its implications for brands looking to engage with them effectively.

The full report is available for free on Decision Lab’s website.

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The digital native paradox

Despite a desire to reduce social media usage, Generation Z is still very connected. For those born between 1997 and 2009, the internet has always been essential to their lives. On average, a member of this generation uses five different social media platforms, which is one more than previous generations.

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They are also quick to adopt new platforms. 4.9% of Gen Z use Threads, Meta’s brand-new social media platform. This number doubles Generation Y (1.9%) and even triples Generation X (1.0%).

Their wish to disconnect suggests a need to regain control over their time and mental space from the networks they have heavily populated.

However, disengaging from social media is challenging as it has become such an integral part of daily life. On average, individuals claim they cannot live without at least two social media apps.

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For Gen Z, platforms such as Facebook and TikTok serve as essential hubs for interaction. The preference for TikTok among Gen Z is particularly noteworthy. Their dependence on this platform is threefold that of Gen X and shows no signs of waning. Friends and peers often communicate and share experiences through these platforms, making them an important part of their social fabric.

“Be” becoming the second most favourite ride-hailing app

In addition to Gen Z's trend of using social networks, Decision Lab's Connected Consumer report also shows the remarkable strides of Be, the local super app, in the ride-hailing market.

Be has surpassed Mai Linh Taxi and Gojek with a user preference rate of 10%, securing the second spot. Although Be's penetration rate still lags behind Gojek's by one percentage point, there is speculation about whether this homegrown app will take over the Indonesian unicorn’s position in the upcoming quarter.

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Be is increasingly winning the hearts of Gen Z. Their preference for Be has steadily increased quarter by quarter this year. Moreover, Gen X now prefers Be over traditional taxi bikes and taxis like VinaSun, which suggests that the shift of Gen X towards Be could be a reason for the decline in traditional ride-hailing services.

The full report is available for free on Decision Lab’s website.

Commenting on the data, Mr Thue Quist Thomasen, CEO of Decision Lab, said:

"Generation Z's desire to disconnect implies a need for brands to rethink their digital marketing strategies. It's no longer just about having a presence and reaching out to people. Now, it's about engaging in a meaningful way and creating value that appeals to this discerning audience.

Authenticity, relevance, and responsible digital engagement will be the cornerstones of future brand strategies. As Gen Z paves the way for more mindful social media consumption, brands that align with these values and offer experiences beyond the digital realm will likely stand out.”