Curator Kids

type - trends
category - generation z
sector - media & technology
sector - youth
As young people navigate an age of information overload, they are revolting against the relentless creation of content – and choosing to curate it instead

Peak creation

Generation Z are burnt out. In a world in which more than 50m people consider themselves digital creators, according to SignalFire, the influencer market and the incessant cycle of newness it creates are finally reaching breaking point.

'This push for everyone to be a creator seems disingenuous,’ Jack Innanen, a 22-year-old TikToker from Toronto recently told The New York Times. ‘It makes me feel very disposable, which maybe I am.’ And it’s not just everyday Gen Zs who are fatigued by the saturation of the market. Even TikTok veteran Charli D’Amelio announced she’d ‘lost the passion’ for the video app.

But with the creator bubble about to burst, a new paradigm offers a solution to our excessive content problem – the curator economy, first identified by investor Gaby Goldberg, who predicted the business model of good taste back in August 2020. ‘When it’s impossible to absorb everything from the flood of information, the best we can do is pick and choose what matters to us most – or, better yet, find the people who can do the curating for us,’ she writes.

While digital curation has until recently focused on newsletter and podcast bundles such as ReadBase and Shuffle, platforms are now recognising the power of Gen Z as aesthetic connoisseurs. With Gen Z already comprising 48% of its users, Tumblr is reprising its reputation as an early 2010s moodboard platform, launching Tumblr Post+ to allow bloggers to charge followers a monthly fee.

Published by:

27 September 2021

Author: Holly Friend

Image: Digital album artwork on Sleevenote by Tom Vek


Somewhere Good


New platforms are being built to help consumers sift through the information age, organising ideas instead of producing them in a collective attempt to streamline the internet.

Built on the concept that manual human curation is under-rated, Startupy is a new platform by design strategist Sari Azout. She’s creating a digital playground for people to better navigate the start-up marketplace, which is becoming more saturated by the day. People can use the database to flow between start-ups, content, people and topics with the same fluidity as their mind. As Azout describes it: ‘Startupy is Roam-style organisation, with Substack-like content, Tumblr-like aesthetics, StumbleUpon serendipity and Wikipedia-like collective vibes.’

While Startupy takes the youthful energy of Alternet Economies and applies it to the start-up sector, other platforms are explicitly targeting the next generation of information-seekers. One of these is Somewhere Good, which will also act as a digital playground for next-gen internet users when it is launched in autumn 2021.

The inspiration from the platform – which allows people to curate their own ‘worlds’ based around their passions – came from founder Naj Austin’s first venture, Ethel’s Club, a Brooklyn-based community for people of colour. Austin discovered that members were asking their peers for more recommendations, from cooking clubs to therapists, essentially becoming ‘a de facto Google for members’, and so Somewhere Good translates this concept into the virtual world.

Curator careers

With creators legitimising themselves with Accredited Influencer initiatives and brands expediting the creator economy with tools to help them take control of their finances, it’s only a matter of time before young people establish full-time careers as curators.

Part of the move to monetise curators’ good taste will require new platforms that seamlessly turn influencers into retailers without piling on additional workloads. With the tagline of ‘make money while you sleep’, US-based platform Emcee is letting young people earn a passive income by curating online storefronts that feature their favourite products from the web. If a browser clicks to buy a brand’s product, that curator – known as an Emcee – will receive a commission for fuelling the sale.

‘With Startupy, you flow between start-ups, content, people, and topics based on their connections, just like your mind works’
Sari Azout, founder, Startupy

Want to learn more about the youth of tomorrow?

Join our Youth & Media Futures online event on 2 December for a packed programme of practical insights, exclusive debates and discussions, and an executive summary of our latest macrotrend.

Alternatively, sign up to one of our membership package and get unlimited access to a hive of insights - from microtrends and macro trends to market reports, daily news, research across eight industry sectors as well as our Youth series.


Already a member? Click here to login