One behaviour that separates my generation from others is the increasing ease to create content. Whether you are a professional influencer with half a million followers or a full time student or office worker with less than a 1,000 followers, the ease to open an iPhone camera and film a ‘get ready with me’ feels more and more natural for the most part.
Our native ability to do so also produces less cringe content. Most of us speak to the camera as if we were on FaceTime with a friend (FaceTime, Skype and its competitors have been present in our lives since infancy). For us, it’s no big deal to act like advertisers, without the secondhand embarrassment that can accompany selling items door-to-door or delivering multi level marketing pitches.
Brands are struggling to break into our generation. More than 70 percent of 18- to 29-year-old women on social media follow influencers or content creators, and half of them have purchased something after seeing an influencer’s posts, according to a Pew Research survey from last year.
“You might have 12 followers and you’re selling swag,” Vickie Segar, the founder of Village Marketing, an influencer agency said to the New York Times. “The macro movement of everyone being a creator, and the idea that creators should monetize themselves in every avenue they can, is just trickling down to the everyday person.”
What’s more is that creators of all sizes are increasingly presenting as more professional, adding business links, emails and shoppable site links to their home pages. Linktree is particularly popular. In a way, social platforms are now acting as a form of LinkedIn for creators.
“What Gmail is to email, Linktree is to ‘link in bio,’” said Benoit Vatere, the chief executive of Mammoth Media, a marketing firm that connects TikTok creators with brands. “It’s a status marker for the Gen Zs.”
The norms are different for many millennials and older generations, who might be bothered to see a social media friend suddenly pitching products into their phone cameras.