How Generation Z Reacts to Mobile In-App Ads

The mobile development industry is expected to generate a revenue of over $400 billion globally, out of which mobile games stand at $252 billion. People around the world today are highly dependent on mobile apps. Mobile users spend 88% of their total time on mobile apps either finding leisure or availing services. With this consistent growth, mobile apps are expected to generate $935 billion in 2023.

This phenomenal growth of mobile apps and games has given birth to the need for monetization. We find numerous powerful mobile app monetization platforms that leverage revenue growth for both apps and games. Apps and game publishers today find the right mobile monetization solutions to boost their in-app revenue with ease. In-app advertising is the most commonly used mobile app monetization strategy that brings in revenue without much ado.

But not everyone is a fan of in-app ads, especially when it comes to games and service-based apps. Let’s now focus on the future. In a few years later when the world is fully comfortable relying on mobile apps, will these ads create a mess? Well, the answer is yes and no.

Yes, if intrusive ad formats are used and irrelevant ads are displayed. No, if these ads are of value and served at just the right time and right place. But wait, there is much more to it. Publishers today love to execute mobile app monetization strategies to make the most of their apps, but, they forget about their user base and audience segregation.

In-App Ads vs Consumers

The world has evolved over the years. Generations are now divided into Baby Boomers (1940 – 59), Gen X (1960 – 79), Millennials (1980 – 94) and Gen Z (1995 – 2010). The generation age range might vary slightly according to various sources, but the above generation breakdown will help us understand more about in-app ads. Publishers now largely need to focus on Gen Z and how they react to mobile in-app ads before mobile app monetization. This disclaimer is not just meant for publishers but is also important for mobile advertisers to keep in mind.

Mobile advertising is growing at a speedy pace. The global mobile ad spend is predicted to reach $341 billion by the end of 2021. Gen Z is tech-savvy and loves to engage with value content. This generation is super active on social media, is exposed to modern realities, is outspoken, realistic and focused. Gen Z does not like to repeat the mistakes made by earlier generations. These kids now entering their teens do not respond to ads like previous generations.

Here is what they tend to consider:

  • Information
  • Entertainment
  • Trustworthiness
  • Intrusiveness
  • Irritation

Let’s explore what these mean to Gen Z and how ads actually matter to them.

How Gen Z Reacts to Mobile In-App Ads?

Gen Z is the most influenced by mobile in-app ads. This young generation takes more action on sponsored content than any other. Generation Z has greater information retention abilities and can recall skippable mobile ads at ease. Over 59% of app users from Gen Z were able to recall skippable content in comparison to 57% Millennials and 47% Gen Xers. In a similar study, it was seen that 65% of app users from Gen Z love branded mobile in-app ads.

This generation loves mobile in-app ads but only ones that bring innovation. Product-based ads that promote new products are something that Gen Z enjoys the most. However, the shorter attention span of Gen Z suggests that ads should be short and crisp to be able to make an impact.

Adding to this, Gen Z hates to repeat the mistakes of their elders and are well aware of the damages already done to the world. This generation is vocal not just about its needs but also about the change that the world deserves. Thus, Gen Z reacts to in-app ads that support movements for the betterment of the world. Zoomers expect marketing campaigns that add value to society.

Another important factor that influences Gen Z’s activity around mobile ads is privacy. Generation Z is privacy-minded. This group does not like making things public. Therefore, any shady content or ads that tend to suck their data is a big no from their end. They might even end up using ad blockers to get rid of unwanted ads because of their privacy concerns. This can be an alarming situation for mobile app publishers as well as advertisers.

Factors that Add Value to Mobile In-App Ads for Gen Z

Scroll up a bit to the bullets mentioned. Yes you read them right. These are the factors that add value to mobile in-app ads for Gen Z. Let’s dig down deeper to understand what it’s all about and how these factors influence their minds.


Generation Z prefers mobile ads that add to their knowledge and enlighten them about new innovations. They do not like ads with vague and false statements. Rather they appreciate the ones with crisp data and facts explaining the potential of the product. This comes down to the fact that Gen Z likes to stay informed about what is going on in the world.


Creative campaigns that not just sell but entertain are preferred by Gen Z. The time is gone when boring static ads with limited ad copy are effective. The future is all about bringing hippie creative messages to sell and engage greater audiences.


As mentioned before, Gen Z is very particular about its privacy and what needs to be shared with the masses. Besides, the generation is highly concerned about fraud and the credibility of mobile in-app ads. Therefore, an individual from Gen Z might not click an ad right away. He, or she, will research, explore and then take action. This means, these individuals retain information, explore websites, social media, look around into communities and then take action after being super sure.

Intrusiveness and Irritation

Gen Z hates mobile in-app ads that halt user experience. Any mobile ad that stops them from performing actions in-app is a big no from their side. If ads are placed at random without considering user behaviour, it can seriously damage the user base. Generation Z may start hating their favourite brands if the ads being served are intrusive.


It’s not rocket science to make mobile in-app ads effective for Gen Z. Advertisers just need to be sure about what and how to promote in the most engaging non-intrusive way. This generation is straightforwardly concerned about its needs and particular about what they want and how. Thus, mobile publishers and advertisers must choose the ads that best align with Gen Z interests to make the most of their campaigns.