Gen Z isn’t happy with the social media they grew up with, in order that they’re constructing the apps that they wish to use. A “social branding” app for artistic teenagers and twenty-somethings, Tagg is asserting a $2 million seed spherical right this moment from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Fb’s former VP of Worldwide Development Ed Baker, TripAdvisor founder Stephen Kaufer, Pillar VC and extra.
Based by current alumni of Brown College and the neighboring Rhode Island College of Design, Tagg remains to be in personal beta with 1000’s of customers, and 1000’s extra on a waitlist. It’s like a link-in-bio service, however with a social ingredient that encourages younger creatives to attach, collaborate and develop friendships.
“Within the digital world, the extra genuine your model, the extra real your connections. Present social platforms fall quick as they weren’t constructed for this evolving intersection of branding and connecting,” the corporate explains. “Tagg is constructing and rising an atmosphere permitting for full artistic expression of oneself — no restrictions, no stigma.”
Relying on what you wish to use your profile for (you may want a social profile, otherwise you would possibly wish to promote your artwork and community), you may select from 5 profile skins whenever you onboard into the app. From there, you may customise your web page, then comply with folks and submit content material such as you would on some other app. However on Tagg, there’s no like rely on posts, which is an intentional design selection.
“We don’t have likes — simply feedback, sharing and views — as a result of we would like our creatives centered on being their favourite selves with no stigma,” co-founder Victor Loolo instructed FiratNews.
Particularly among the many Gen Z viewers that Tagg is constructed for, customers don’t all the time need like counts, since they know it may well encourage them to check themselves to friends in a superficial means. Even U.S. Senators like Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have launched laws that might ban like counts for social media customers youthful than 16, as a result of it’d hurt teenagers’ psychological well being.
Tagg’s “social branding” advertising might sound counter-intuitive at first look — the idea of branding would possibly sound such as you’re placing your self in a field. However by design, Tagg encourages its customers to develop out of their consolation zones. Although customers construct their profile via utilizing preset skins, these are solely options — if customers wish to construct their profiles from a clean slate and create their very own classes to prepare their content material with, they will try this.
“Profiles can appear like something, that’s the great thing about it. We needed to maneuver away from the standard, restrictive, cookie-cutter profiles that every one social apps have, as a result of as Gen Z-ers, we worth freedom of expression and uniqueness lots,” Loolo defined. “We needed to discover a joyful, user-friendly medium between a conventional profile and a clean web page, which might be difficult for lots of people, so we went with profile skins.”
Tagg was impressed by Loolo’s personal expertise as a soccer participant at Brown, the place he felt that it was troublesome to outline himself exterior of his id as a pupil athlete. That’s what impressed him to construct Tagg, alongside co-founders Blessing Ubani and Sophie Chen.
“Persons are form of put right into a field. Let’s say I’m a man who does cooking movies on TikTok — I’m the cooking video man. However I would get pleasure from video video games and different stuff,” Loolo instructed FiratNews. “We needed to interrupt away from that and permit for these creatives to curate extra holistic photos of themselves.”
Tagg customers presently earn factors by partaking with the platform — whereas these factors are presently only a self-importance function, Loolo sees this as a possible future for the app.
“Though Tagg shouldn’t be presently decentralized or tokenized, the ideas of our platform mirror web3’s values,” Loolo mentioned. “One in all our targets is to assist our creatives perceive that being immediately rewarded for his or her content material sharing and group participation is the answer to the problems of creator financial system, versus underpaying creator funds and inconsistent model offers.”
Sooner or later, Tagg might transfer towards permitting customers to earn a coin or token with worth. However for now, Tagg is concentrated on onboarding extra customers from its waitlist and buying extra customers.
After graduating from faculty in 2020, the staff moved to the Bay Space, the place they’ve continued to work on the app. With its current funding, the app is hiring to develop its staff. Not too long ago, Steven Fang joined Tagg as a CTO and co-founder, bringing 15 years of engineering expertise.