Generation Z See Themselves as Online Content Creators

A man is sitting at a desk with a microphone and headphones, holding a white mug and smiling. The background is blue with a shelving unit holding plants, a clapperboard, and decorative items. Various electronic equipment is on the desk.

A survey conducted by YouTube has found that the majority of Gen Z — those aged 14 to 25 — view themselves as content creators.

It marks a paradigm shift from the generations of people that came before them, the majority of whom are classified as lurkers online rather than creators themselves.

YouTube’s survey found that 65 percent of Gen Z describe themselves as content creators. The responses came from 350 U.S. members of Gen Z.

The findings were part of a wider survey about how people spend time online. YouTube found that “creation is commonplace” with 82 percent of people aged 18 to 44 saying they have posted some form of video content online in the last 12 months.

Reaction Videos

One of the more common pieces of content that Gen Z posts online is reaction videos, after watching a video online, younger folk like to respond with their own videos about the topic by uploading commentary videos.

This type of fan-created content can actually go on to score more watch time than the original video, the report says.

YouTube’s global director of Culture and Trends, Kevin Allocca, tells The Washington Post that it is “exciting to witness how Gen Z is evolving fandom.”

“They’re actively moving audience behavior from passive viewing to finding and adding their voices to a unique content dialogue.”

TikTok and YouTube are among the favored platforms for Gen Z with TikTok’s duet and stitch features making it easy for them to reply to other creators’ videos. The editing tools allow them to quickly add their own music or audio to a clip. YouTube Shorts was launched in 2021, partly as a reaction to TikTok’s meteoric rise.

“Video is now the language of the internet,” Brendan Gaha, co-founder and CEO of Creator Authority, tells WaPo. “It’s the most aspirational job for Gen Z today and the barrier to entry is so low.”

The Rise of Video Photography Creators

The proliferation of video content online has not passed by photography. Despite the natural media format being still imagery, many photographers have turned themselves into content creators by getting creative with short-form videos.

Photographers such as Miles Myerscough-Harris from Expired Film Club have become hugely successful by taking viewers behind the scenes of what it’s like to shoot with antiquated and analog cameras. And Geit Eero documents his adventures in short-form video while looking for street photos on the streets of Tallinn, Estonia.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.