Today’s teenagers think Google and Google brands are cool, research funded by Google has found.
Google published “It’s Lit: A guide to what teens think is cool”, a “magazine” compiling the results of its research into Generation Z, characterised as those aged from 13 to 17.
The Google-funded research found Generation Z relied on brands to “shape their world”, and that Google was the third-most cool. Cool was defined by the researchers as “unique, impressive, interesting, amazing, or awesome”.
YouTube, which Google owns, came out at number one ahead of Netflix. Google’s web browser Chrome placed tenth, in front of Nike.
1,100 teenagers aged 13-17 were asked to rank 122 brands by coolness and awareness.
YouTube, Google and Netflix ranked highly by both.
According to the surveyed teens, McDonalds, Yahoo and Facebook Messenger were high-profile but not cool.
Doritos and Oreo were cool.
Vice was not cool.
Overall, the least cool brands were TMZ, the Wall Street Journal, Sprint and Yahoo. Respondents were least aware of Uniqlo, Patagonia and Supreme.
But those surveyed for the Google study were united in their appreciation of Google, with Millennials describing it as “serious and functional” and Generation Z finding it more “fun and functional”.
A 17-year-old woman in suburban Florida was quoted as saying that Google was “not only a powerful search engine, but great at everything it does, from email to documents”.
“Teens love learning and knowing” was researchers’ conclusion.
The study stated that 42.2% of Generation Z respondents used its social network Google Plus, putting it ahead of Twitter (35.4%) and Pinterest (26.6%) and only a little over 10% behind Facebook.
But the finding betrays the fact that a Google Plus account comes part and parcel with use of its other services such as Gmail. An independent study in 2015suggested fewer than 1% of Google’s 2.2bn users were active on Google Plus.
Responding to the research on social media, many expressed scepticism as to its validity.
“This study is a great piece of native advertising for Google services,” tweeted one technology commentator.
Many write-ups of the report referenced Steve Buscemi’s appearance on 30 Rock, now a popular meme: “How do you do, fellow kids?”