Mark Cuban Just Explained Why Gen Z Still Uses Facebook
I’ve often wondered if we’re all wrong on Facebook.
I’m not talking about the part where we question data security practices, because we’re definitely right about that. Or when we question a business model of showing us ads instead of creating a truly compelling product.
Conversations about water coolers about platform users are often misguided. We like to think Gen Z and other age groups have moved on to TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube. I’ve heard readers and even colleagues say that Facebook is a dinosaur.
Most of the reports I’ve seen on user demographics on Facebook tell a different story. A report from last summer suggests that all age groups use Facebook in roughly the same way. Globally, the age distribution tends to skew younger, dominated by people between the ages of around 18 and 24. What we may be seeing is that older age groups have embraced Facebook over other apps as their preferred platform, even though young adults continue to use it.
And then there’s this quick, throwaway comment from Mark Cuban in a recent podcast. The entrepreneur and host of Shark Tank mentioned in passing how he was surprised at the number of young adults using Facebook groups. It’s a brilliant observation, and one that matches not only the statistics above, but also my own experiences with this age group.
Generation Z likes to accumulate knowledge. Some of them are smart and they are extremely adept at using their phones. They see phones as a portal to the unknown. Ask any question or strike up a conversation with Gen Z, and they’re more likely to quickly search their phones for the answer than those in other age groups. They are seekers of truth. In mentoring college students, I’ve found that they’re much less likely to accept something at face value or follow a hunch or assumption, which doesn’t make sense when you can google it .
Facebook groups fit perfectly into this same thought process. When you can’t find the answer on Google, it makes sense to ask a real human instead, especially when you have a topic that isn’t exactly well phrased or lacks context.
Although Gen Z doesn’t post or check their News Feed as often, they communicate in groups almost like a constant chat session. They also know that members of Groups receive a notification when there is a new question. Gen Z likes to see results and doesn’t want to wait for answers. They use Groups because they know they’re likely to find an answer to something quickly.
Cuban went on to praise Gen Z for a related reason, which is also surprising. Young adults tend to research and analyze things to a greater degree than older generations. Anyone 25 or younger has grown up with easy access to the internet and social media. They know how to Google questions and use discussion forums like Facebook groups to help with homework, life questions, job disputes and everything in between. Cubans even called them “the greatest generation” for this reason. They don’t like to assume anything.
Oddly enough, most people I know in the Gen Z age group don’t like to admit they use Facebook. Cuban nailed it, though. They use Facebook, but in a very different way than the rest of us.