The Screenshot: Week of September 14
TL;DR: Your TikTok lowdown, Fortnite’s virtual shows with superstars, What is TFTI, Kaepernick is back, A tale of Toxic Vegan Activism, Bye to KUWTK, It’s
Dr. Daddy Phil now, Triller is representing, and is Reels reely winning?
1) Triller adds 12 female execs to board but how much of their Gen Z audience is female?
2) Fortnite brining live popstar performances to their virtual worlds with this Gen Z idol…
3) Does Colin Kaepernick’s return to video game Madden 21 indicate he’s back on a team?
4) Reality show staple Gen Z came of age with no longer keeping up in 2021
5) Even Dr. Phil can’t figure out why Gen Z is projecting their DADDY issues
6) Gen Z says veganism has gone too far with The Vegan Teacher. (The Who?)
Scroll for answers
Your A to Gen Z
TFTI / Gen Z lingo /
1. Short Form for Thanks For The Invite… sounds pretty harmless, right? No, it’s only meant sarcastically. When your invite was lost in the mail and you’re getting a serious case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), you just wanna let the host know that they’ve clearly made a mistake.
2. Alternatively, taken to mean Thanks For The Information. Again, not a heartfelt thanks, but something that didn’t need pointing out like… TFTI.
When the TikTok ban was announced, an alarm at Instagram HQ went off—the time for its developing Reels product had come. Having had a test drive in Brazil last November, the new feature was ready to go. But after Facebook shut down its own TikTok rival, Lasso, many were unsure as to whether Reels would be a hit.
But after over a month with the product, what do Gen Z think of it? We’re still mixed. Many have used it and felt that Reels isn’t particularly unique, but others still are not sure about how intuitive or different it is. Bekah A. says it’s just a place for “reposted TikToks,” as there isn’t any stand-out content that gives the platform life. Our POV? The stat may say 61%, but from ALL our conversations with Gen Zers…we don’t think Reels is really winning with any of us any time soon. Also news alert: TikTok may not even be shutting down—more about this in the Group Chat!
TL;DR: WTF is happening with TikTok?
TikTok has been on a rollercoaster over the last few months, hasn’t it? Greatest hits include: hitting a global audience rivaling Facebook, being the Gen Z platform associated with disrupting Trump’s comeback rally, hit with a revenge ban from Trump, CEO resignation after mere months and taking the government to court. Now, the end is here for TikTok in its current form. So, what’s happened?
After Trump announced the ban on the last day of July, TikTok owner ByteDance offered to divest its stake in the platform to maintain presence. Multiple US companies offered to take control of domestic operations: Microsoft, Twitter, Oracle, and even Walmart. And if that wasn’t enough, Triller claimed they’d be best placed to take over US ops. A spanner came in the form of the Chinese government hitting back with legislation to prevent TikTok’s hyper-personalised algorithm being sold to a foreign company, which would blunt one of the app’s key features. (Boo!)
And now we have confirmation that TikTok has chosen (drum roll please!)… Oracle to take over US operations. We also have confirmation that it’s not a full sale, but rather a restructuring. But it’s not over—there is still a lot of wrangling to do and many questions to be answered. Will Oracle be able to keep TikTok’s All Powerful algorithm, recreate their own, or just have to make do without? Stay tuned… (We sure will.)
We want to shout out a CHAMPION this week! Naomi Osaka, a 22-year-old athlete with hot Gen Z credentials, won the US Open this week. And if winning a league against heavyweights like Serena Williams wasn’t enough, she’s out here advocating for racial justice by wearing face coverings with seven different names of Black victims of police violence in the U.S. to each of her seven matches.
Her deep-felt commitment to speaking up about these issues has given heart to a cause that is still needing to be heard. We’re fully rooting for this champ. Follow her on Instagram: @naomiosaka.
Answers to Trending
1) 70%. Triller’s audience heavily skews female, and this board will push Triller ahead in trends. For context, the leadership team is currently mostly made up of men. Welcome move!
2) Fortnite hosted a record-setting event with Travis Scott earlier this year. Now, the gaming sensation is doubling down by bringing Dominic Fike to our screens. Love it.
3) Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been drafted onto a new team, but American Football video game Madden 21 worked with Kaepernick to feature him for the first time since 2016. BRB buying it now.
5) Dr. Phil keeps getting called every variety of “Daddy” under the sun. Nobody knows where it came from, but we’re pretending it’s because he’s seen as a father figure rather than any other meaning…
6) That Vegan Teacher is preaching insufferably about veganism and has used issues like Black Lives Matter to promote the cause. While Gen Z is eager to cut down on meat intake, this gets a BIG thumbs down. Try again, Karen.
talk to us, not about us.
Jawwad Mustafa is the Director of The Screenshot Newsletter. He’s always got a drink in hand - either peppermint tea, peach iced tea or a vanilla latte. If you see him with anything else, you’ll really need to vote for him as The Imposter. You can find his creativity on Instagram at @JawwadTheCreator.