The 6 Best Trending Mobile Apps With Gen Z, According To 50 Of Them
- gZ users are less interested in social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
- Photo-sharing apps, such as BeReal and Locket, help them connect with close friends.
- They use astrology apps, such as Co—Star and The Pattern, to find new communities.
Generation Z is the first generation to come of age with a smartphone in hand.
Researchers have broadly defined this generation as those born between 1992 and 2012. They are often called digital natives because they have never experienced life without the internet. The insider’s Hilary Holloway says they’ve finally swept millennials out of the limelight. Now they’re the “it” generation, and VCs are taking notice.
The habits of Gen Z have a reputation for leading to the next big trend in consumer tech.
They transformed Depop, a clothing resale app, into a popular marketplace for Y2K jeans, baguette bags and vintage bombers. Once e-commerce giant Etsy caught wind of the stock in 2021, it acquired the startup for $1.6 billion. Over the past few years, video app TikTok has become the amphitheater of Generation Z. It’s the most downloaded app in the world, CNET reported, with more than 175 million downloads since the start of 2022. Nearly 60% of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24, Wallaroo Media said. It’s clear that Gen Z maneuvers through the virtual world like no generation before them.
Still, the pandemic has forced many of them to reconsider the apps they were using.
Susanna, a 25-year-old who lives in Portland, Oregon, has been less busy with her social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook. “It really reduced the appeal for me to the point where I was finally able to get rid of the cold turkey,” she said. “I find that I have a lot fewer superficial friendships. I stay really close to those around me.”
Rex Woodbury, a partner at Index Ventures, thought it was part of a larger phenomenon he called “social bifurcation.” In his Substack newsletter, “Digital Native”, he illustrated our social networks through a set of four concentric circles. The first ring consists of close family and friends. The second is for regular friends. The third is for acquaintances and the fourth is for strangers.
“The next wave of
will also be built to service rings 1 and 4,” he wrote.
The idea is for Gen Z to retreat to platforms that strengthen their most intimate relationships, such as BeReal, Locket, and Snapchat. These photo sharing apps encourage users to communicate through unfiltered snapshots. The kind of photos they would only send to friends who know them like the back of their hand.
At the same time, they turn to apps that help them answer general questions. Astrology apps, such as Co-Star and The Pattern, have become an outlet for Gen Z users to sort through questions of identity and purpose with like-minded communities they might not otherwise have. – not be encountered otherwise.
“There has been a loss of geographically rooted or religious identity, which has led to an increase in mobile and fluid chosen identities,” said Paige Doherty, founding partner of Behind Genius Ventures. It’s one of the reasons why she thinks astrology apps have not only grown in popularity, but also endured.
We asked 50 Gen Zers and a handful of Gen Z VCs to weigh in on the apps they download.
Here are the best ones they mentioned.