The Private Side of Social Media

 

Millennials have come to be known as the oversharing generation. But after years of broadcasting their lives on Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds under profiles tied to their real names and real lives, Millennials are looking for ways to share their thoughts with fewer consequences. They’re still sharing and looking for outlets to send out their thoughts and voices, but there is a new desire for privacy, secrecy, and anonymity in social media. The Facebookers are becoming the faceless.
 
Younger Millennials, who tend to be more pragmatic than their older counterparts, are fueling the trend. Perhaps watching their older brothers and sisters pay the price for unfiltered sharing has made them more wary, or it may be their own experiences with drama and bullying on more public and large social networks that are fueling their new desire for a more sheltered way of sharing. In our conversations with them, we often hear that a major drawback of Facebook is the judgement that is attached to every action taken there. Among some teens that we have spoken to, Facebook has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation as a platform where people go to show off and instigate FOMO (fear of missing out) since posts on the network are published to a large audience. After carefully curating their public personas almost their entire lives, these Millennials are looking for a less exhausting form of communication—one that lets them share the pieces of themselves that they don’t want the entire world to see.
 
We see them being drawn to networks that make them feel less judged and more safe. Messaging apps with smaller circles of friends and more purposeful (often image based) functions are attracting them in droves, especially over the last year. Snapchat’s messages disappear after a short period of time,…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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