Meta is betting on India’s ‘Gen Z’ Instagram users to drive trends in 2024 - Hindustan Times

Meta is betting on India’s ‘Gen Z’ Instagram users to drive trends in 2024

Dec 05, 2023 10:45 AM IST

Content shared by Instagram’s Indian user contingent is expected to spark conversations around careers, sports, gaming and fashion. No surprise that, since India leads Instagram’s global user base share

Tech giant Meta is expectantly looking forward to 2024 and expects Indian ‘Gen Z’ users to dictate global trends on Instagram. ‘Gen Z’ is broadly defined as the demographic of people born between 1996 and 2010. Considering their age now, they’re expected to be ardent social media users. Meta’s Instagram is betting big on this demographic.

For representational purposes only. (Reuters Photo)
For representational purposes only. (Reuters Photo)

This expectation for setting trends and driving conversation should come as no surprise. India is Instagram’s biggest market, by far. Numbers for earlier this year by research firm Statista indicate almost 230 million (and counting) daily active users are from India, with the US (143.35 million), Brazil (113.5 million) and Indonesia (89.15 million), countries that follow in the data charts.

“Indian Gen Z’s upbeat and entrepreneurial spirit stands out as they eagerly explore new interests and trends across different domains. Their dedication to chosen fandoms and commitment to self-improvement shine through distinctly in these insights. And, while in many aspects Indian Gen Z’s are similar to their global peers, these trends also show specific areas where they are different and unique,” says Paras Sharma, director of Content and Community Partnerships for Meta in India, in a statement.

Instagram’s Trend Talk survey indicates 43% of the responded hope that 2024 will mark some stage in their self-improvement era, a year when they will invest in their personal growth and development. More than other countries, Indian Gen Z social media users hold on to the belief that starting and running their own business is the best route to earning.

Meta expects Indian users to drive the trend of “more content with – life advice, more everyday ‘day-in-the-life-of’ content and content about their professions”. This has something to do with relatability with celebrities, athletes or even fellow creators.

India’s Gen Z sets the trend on social media, much beyond career choices too. It is the relatability aspect that also drives the sentiment of feeling themselves as part of a “fandom”. Meta says India has the highest percentage of sports superfans, as compared to Gen Z from other countries, with cricket and football, countries, clubs and franchises included, taking the major share of conversation.

Meta points to the Indian Cricket Team, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Chennai Super Kings as the most popular, something they expect would continue in 2024. Some sporting highlights that await include the next edition of the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament, the ICC T20 cricket world cup and football’s African Cup of Nations.

Beyond cricket, football and sports in general, Meta’s data indicates BTS army, Swifties, AR Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal, and Anirudh figure extensively. As do Minecraft, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Roblox gaming enthusiasts.

In other trends that are expected to catch tailwinds in 2024, a third of India’s Gen Z Instagram users are turned off by what’s largely categorised as a “bad taste in memes”, almost half are interested in do-it-yourself (DIY) fashion and there is a general interest towards trying new food and ingredients.

This understanding, Meta says, comes from a survey of around 5000 respondents conducted by trend forecasting firm WGSN along with Instagram, in the US, UK, Brazil, India, and South Korea. The coverage of questions included Gen Z perception of work, relationships, fashion, beauty, food and social media, in the context of the upcoming year.

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