Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Gen Z prefers Instagram over TikTok for DMs

More than half of respondents said they use social platforms for messaging, making it one of the most popular activities. When it comes to Instagram and TikTok, however, the former has a more mature offering that’s been around longer, giving it a firm lead for now. 

Instagram is the clear winner. Nearly three-quarters of respondents who’ve sent DMs in the past month did so on Instagram. Over a third said it is their go-to platform for DMs.

Few consider TikTok a go-to for DMs. Only 3.7% described TikTok as their go-to, though almost half have used it to send DMs in the past month. Respondents were more likely to choose Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, or Discord as their go-to.

There are age disparities. Snapchat is the No. 2 most popular platform for DMs among Gen Z. Compared with almost 25% of adults (ages 18 to 26), more than 40% of teens (ages 15 to 17) said Snapchat is their go-to for DMs, according to our survey. Meanwhile, Gen Z adults (22.5%) are more likely to say Facebook Messenger is their go-to compared with teens (2.6%).

DMs are getting more attention from platforms. Instagram and TikTok don’t run ads within DMs, though brands can use this feature organically. Still, both platforms seem to be focused on messaging. Over the past few years, Instagram has rolled out a slew of DM-specific features, like Notes, and TikTok recently posted several messaging-focused job positions. 

Meta is bullish on messaging. It has signaled that messaging, specifically on WhatsApp, will become a crucial part of its business moving forward. Meta’s click-to-message ads that send users into conversations with brands on Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp reached a $10 billion revenue run rate in 2023, per Meta. 

Key Takeaway

  • Continued investments across platforms could lead even more Gen Zers to use social for DMs. A recent survey conducted by Instagram found that DMs are one of Gen Z’s top ways to get closer to someone on the platform. And as for brands, aside from click-to-message ads, they can use DMs organically to answer customer service questions or engage with users.