Kid-targeted short video app Zigazoo is launching a TikTok competitor for Gen Z

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Zigazoo, the startup known for its TikTok-like video-sharing app for kids, is launching a separate app aimed at Gen Z users.

The new app takes on the flagship name and is aimed at ages 13 and up, while the original kid-focused app is for Generation Alpha (3-12) and has been rebranded as “Zigazoo Kids”. Previous users in the younger age category are automatically transferred to Zigazoo Kids.

Zigazoo is invite-only and launches on Saturday, March 25.

Like Zigazoo Kids, the new Gen Z-focused app is a video thread-like platform that does not allow users to type comments on posts. Instead, users can only interact with each other through short videos, which the company says reduces negative comments and trolls. Users can also answer video prompts such as “What are your favorite sports?” or “What are you thinking about?”

Image Credits: Zigazoo

In addition to banning negativity on the platform, the app includes other security measures such as optional private accounts, human-in-the-loop moderation and an algorithm that promotes positivity, the company said.

However, unlike Zigazoo Kids, the Gen Z product does not require parental consent and has a direct messaging feature, which uses automatic moderation software. Meanwhile, TikTok has disabled direct messaging for users under the age of 16. However, as far as we understand, TikTok only moderates posts reported by users.

Other new features available in the Gen Z app include searchable music and popular sounds, and allow all users to create a “Vibe”, a video that users can comment on. On Zigazoo Kids, only verified creators and brands can create a Vibe video.

For starters, there will be a select group of creators on Zigazoo, including the cast of the Netflix reboot That ’90s Show, an array of popular TikTokers like Hype House member Jack Wright, Alana Clements, and Nick Bencinvengo, as well as several Gen Z actors. such as “Girl Meets World” actress Ava Kolker and “Walker” star Kale Culley.

The content ranges from dance and music to fashion, gaming, memes and more.

In addition, Zigazoo will launch entertainment channels where creators will lead the content. For example, TikTok creator Hannah Kosh, known for her pop culture and celebrity gossip videos, will have a channel dedicated to entertainment news. Wright is also getting a channel, as is Callie Haverda, who plays Leia Forman on That ’90s Show.

“I was drawn to Zigazoo because they create a positive community,” Haverda said in a statement. “I like the idea of ​​adding organic content to a platform whose ultimate focus is to create a safe space for my generation. A big goal for me is to have fun and create entertaining art without fear of negative comments or trolls, and Zigazoo offers just that! I’m so excited to be a part of the first launch and can’t wait for you to see all the fun we’re having!”

Image Credits: Zigazoo

Zigazoo claims to provide a “non-toxic” environment for Gen Z consumers, as many users are put off by other social media platforms where toxicity thrives, tainted with unrealistic beauty standards, cyberbullying, and content that may not be age appropriate.

According to a survey by consumer and business insights research group ORIGIN, 48% of Gen Z participants said social media makes them anxious, sad or depressed. Sixty-one percent of respondents admitted to doing a social media detox.

So the launch of a Gen Z-focused app in the current climate, especially given yesterday’s TikTok Congressional hearing, is certainly noteworthy. While TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew tried to reassure representatives about the app’s impact on minors, citing various features such as the ineffective Screen Time controls, Chew was also clear about his stance that parents are largely responsible for how their children use the app .

Zigazoo co-founder Zak Ringelstein told AapkaDost, “We view this moment as a major social media reset, obviously banning TikTok, but Snapchat and Meta are also suffering major losses. I think there is a lot coming into view for everyone that should perhaps be looked at more critically [around social media], and there should be a place where people can go to feel good about themselves… We want to see better social media, less toxic social media, and I think the time is really right for this moment. So we are very excited about our launch.”

Ringelstein added that another reason Zigazoo saw an opening for the Gen Z app was that there are already tons of 12- to 14-year-olds (and older) on Zigazoo Kids, accounting for about 31% of users.

“We decided to launch this new platform after seeing so many Gen Zers, looking for a more positive and authentic social media environment, had already organically migrated to Zigazoo. We wanted to create a social media oasis tailored specifically for this audience,” he said.

Zigazoo launched in 2020 as a “healthier” social media platform where kids can browse or create 30-second videos based on challenges or educational cues like, “Can you find something that’s symmetrical?” or “Can you teach us how to do your favorite sport or physical activity?”

An adult must sign up for his or her child at Zigazoo Kids with a Facebook, Google or Apple account. Parents decide whether they want their children’s videos to be published publicly or set to private. It is also worth noting that Zigazoo Kids kidSAFE is COPPA certified.

The company has raised a total of $20 million from major investors such as Jimmy Kimmel, Serena Williams, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, the NBA, as well as founder Chris M. Williams, MasterClass head of talent Matthew Rutler and more. It is also endorsed by celebrities like Christina Aguilera, LeBron James, Matt Damon and Dolly Parton.

The app currently has over 3 million installs and over 250 verified creators and brands, including Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Paramount, Amazon, Apple TV+, Netflix, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), and Mattel.

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