Global – Footprint is a new mobile application for parents to create a digital timeline of their child’s life as they grow. Developed by Nolte Media with artist and baseball coach Nate Fish, the app is designed for shareting (parents sharing pictures, videos and information about their kids on social media platforms).
However, unlike other social media platforms, Footprint doesn’t allow content to be viewed publicly. Once a parent has made an account, they can invite trusted friends and family members to access and share content. However, there is no way to like or comment on posts. As their children age, the Footprint app allows parents to pass the account on to their kids – making them the owner of the digital content.
In Gen Z Parenting Market, we previously looked at how members of the young cohort born after 1996 have kids of their own, driving the parenting sector in unexpected new directions – such as safer social media platforms like Footprint.
US – Created by tech entrepreneur and GIPHY alum Cem Kozinoglu, Ghost aims to be the first messaging app merging anonymity, Chat-GPT and online safety. The platform wants to augment the group chat experience allowing friends, classmates or members of a community to share anonymous fun, awkward or cringe messages within a closed group. Open AI’s Chat-GPT will also sit as a group member, with users able to ask the chatbot questions and interact with it.
To ensure users’ safety, Ghost limits all group chats to 50 participants maximum. At the same time, their data is protected under Ghost Protocol – a system utilising zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs on the end user’s device. Similarly to blockchain privacy protection, the app will know who can access a given group chat, but the company won’t. The life expectancy of life trolls will also be limited as the app deletes any anonymous message if at least two people reported it. They could also be blocked from using the ghost messaging option and banned from the app altogether for recidivism.
Ghost joins the wave of new social media tools focusing on the core values of civility and social good we previously highlighted in Anti-Provocation Platforms.
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US – Hygiene and beauty brand Dove has launched a new campaign as part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project to raise awareness of young people’s precarious mental health. It addresses eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression and self-harm, specifically looking at the impact phones and social media have on circulating toxic beauty standards.
The video starts by telling us the story of a young girl called Mary, who behaves like an innocent child until she is gifted a phone on her twelfth birthday. We then see a distinctive shift in Mary’s life from consuming unsolicited advice on how to get a thigh gap on TikTok to journaling self-deprecating messages and making lists of her weight goals. The video then captures Mary being treated for an eating disorder in a medical clinic before showcasing other young people sharing similar struggles.
Research from Dove’s Self-Esteem Project suggests that eight in 10 mental health specialists say social media is fuelling a mental health crisis. In an op-ed, we previously looked at how runway models have returned to the 90s level of thinness while demand for weight-loss drugs such as Ozempic reiterates a fatphobic discourse fuelled by social media platforms – as if Millennials and Gen Z had suddenly entered their body hostility era.
France – LVMH–owned fashion house Patou is debuting Authentique Verify, an artificial intelligence (AI) authentication system developed by fashion tech specialist The Ordre Group. The new AI-powered tool (launched in April 2023 as part of a bag collaboration between Patou and stylist Sita Abelland) will train the system to detect imperfections found in fakes that even the naked eye couldn’t spot.
To make this possible, Patou must photograph specific parts of each item during production to create a digital fingerprint unique to each good. Customers can then use the Authentique Verify app on their phones to check if a product is legit. Authentique will ask users to photograph the same area to verify the outcome. This makes the authentication process more reliable, faster, and more cost-efficient as it removes the need to inspect products manually. Patou will also provide unique digital IDs for products that can be transferred to a customer’s phone on proof of purchase to establish digital ownership.
This concept is an evolution of Blockchain Fashion, leveraging new technological advances to help brands and resellers shield themselves from the quickly growing knockoff market.
US – Equinox Hotels is teaming up with Italian fashion house Valentino to provide The Ultimate Met Gala Beauty Experience to invitees and aspirational attendees. The hospitality arm of luxury fitness club Equinox has enlisted New York plastic surgeon Dr Lara Devgan to offer guests a complete celebrity-grade beauty and wellness stay.
The experience at the Hudson Yards Hotel in New York is priced at £9,625 ($12,000, €10,918) and will include private, full-body Pilates classes, antioxidant-infused spa therapy and lymphatic drainage massages. Guests can also choose between cryotherapy or infrared sauna sessions to supplement their workouts. For an extra £6,978 ($8,700, €7,915) guests can book a personalised treatment session with Dr Devgan that includes Botox micro-needling and laser treatment.
Valentino, in return, will provide an exclusive personal shopping experience where guests will be welcomed into the brand’s SoHo location to privately explore its inventory with help from the brand’s store director. The Maison will also provide a vanity box full of skincare goodies.
The Met Gala has been a long-standing ceremony to celebrate fashion and luxury, attended only by A-list celebrities, but Equinox and Valentino’s joint efforts tap into wealthy consumers’ desire to imitate these stars and indulge in ultra-luxury wellness, as discussed in our Guilded Luxury report.
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