Trend Alert: Affinity Magazine

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.


Publishers such as Teen Vogue and Refinery29 have won praise for tackling topics not typically covered in media aimed at teenagers and young adults. American website Affinity Magazine takes the idea a step further, not just adding political and issue-driven content to the mix, but putting it front and centre. They describe the site as a “social justice platform,” with causes such as feminism, race and inequality at its heart.

Launched in 2013, Affinity Magazine isn’t the work of a media conglomerate trying to tap into the woke teen trend. It was founded by Evelyn Woodsen, aged 16 at the time, and the content is produced “by teens, for teens.” The staff is predominantly female, with contributors from a mix of cultural backgrounds, who write confidently and intelligently about issues many adults would be surprised that they know or care about.

Affinity, which now has over 60,000 Twitter followers, has resonated with a diverse generation of teens who don’t feel they have a voice in the mainstream media. 2016 research by Wunderman showed that Gen Z may feel underrepresented (77% believe that political leaders do not have their best interests in mind), but they are optimistic about the possibility of change (71% believe they can make a “big impact in the world”). Its young creative team also reflect the generation’s proactive attitude when it comes to forging a path to their dream career, and creating their own startup businesses to fulfil the tastes and needs of their peers.

The Kickstarter campaign for the company’s next project, Mycroft Mark II, proves there is demand for a voice-activated speaker that respects user data. It reached 100% funding in just 6.5 hours when it launched last month.

Currently the heaviest users of voice technology are Millennials, and over 35% of them are expected to use a virtual assistant this year. As such, AI will be one of the subjects covered in our Innovation Stream at YMS London 2018. Tech-savvy younger generations have a better understanding of how companies use their data, and ¾ of Gen Z worry about information companies collect on them. However, they still want technology to be efficient and useful. This suggests Mycroft could be a compelling option for the youth market.


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