Fizz is the latest social network from the USA
- Fizz was developed by students for students and is characterized primarily by private communities.
- Users can only sign up if they are actually studying. That is, if they have a university e-mail address.
- A local moderator, who is familiar with the culture of the respective university, is supposed to ensure security on the app.
Founded by two former Stanford students, the new social network Fizz is aimed primarily at students. Formerly launched under the name Buzz, Fizz offers the same basic principle that inspired Mark Zuckerberg to create Facebook back in the time: students should be able to exchange information with each other.
For those who don’t remember this very well, the feature film “The Social Network” shows how Facebook was invented. For instance, the following video shows what was fact and what was fiction in the movie.
But back to Fizz, the app that thousands of Stanford students already use as an anonymous forum for discussion and exchange. No matter what’s on users’ minds, they can share whatever they want, be it jokes, confessions, crushes or opinions on current world events. Yet, why is Fizz the star of the social media sky?
How it All Began With Fizz
The history of the new social network is not long yet. Founders Teddy Solomon and Ashton Cofer came up with the idea back in November 2020, when the two felt left out of the student community because there was no centrally organized platform that brought young people together.
So Solomon and Cofer thought about what other apps had done wrong and what they specifically wanted from a social network as college students: That’s when the idea of private communities arose.
Cofer explained to the Stanford Daily: “We originally created Buzz as a platform for our friends to have fun and to help students connect to their campus because while we were at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we all felt so disconnected from campus. To see how Buzz, now Fizz, has evolved over time to become an inclusive and uplifting platform for everyone and keep positive through content moderation has been rewarding for us.
Students were initially critical of the rebranding of the name. As of January fifth of this year, the platform removed the name “Buzz” from the app and accounts on other social networks. Solomon and Cofer decided on the rebranding as a precautionary measure, since the name was not owned by the brand. But Fizz, after all, just like Buzz, reminded them of the dynamic culture on campus. The bee logo stayed “because it applies to the Fizz name as well – it represents the app and is the core of what we created,” Solomon said.
The rebranding paved the way for the app’s expansion. Inspired by his daughter, founder and investor Rakesh Mathur invested $750,000 in Fizz and is now the company’s CEO. About a year after launch, the app already closed on $4.5b in seed capital, according to TechCrunch.
Meanwhile, Fizz, the anonymous Reddit-like app, is also available at Rice, Elon, Dartmouth, Wake Forest, Chapman and Tulane and is expected to be available for download at more than 1,000 universities by the end of next year.
Right now, Solomon, Clofer and other Fizz developers are working on improving key features for users but also back-end tools for moderators, according to Stanford Daily. Already, Solomon said, 50% to 60% of Fizz users are active daily and 95 percent of Stanford students are registered.
What Makes Fizz special?
Fizz is characterized above all by two special features: proximity and safety.
Closeness and thus exclusivity is guaranteed above all by the fact that users can only register with a valid student address. Since these are issued by the universities and are unique, it is impossible for a non-student to create one. If someone is blocked, then they are permanently banned from the app. (Even if the person just changed universities and thus got a new address). Also, you should know that the communities are just exclusive to each university as well. Harvard students can’t interact with Stanford students through Fizz.
Fizz is meant to be a safe space where students can anonymously share fears or desires, basically anything that’s on their mind. At the same time, Fizz also relies on local moderation to guarantee a cultivated interaction. For each university, fifteen moderators are to be employed who are familiar with the local culture and can therefore decide better than a machine what is appropriate and what is an insult.
At first glance, Fizz is reminiscent of YikYak, which was taken offline in 2017. In addition, the design can also make you think of the German app Jodel. Jodel was launched in 2014 and has since become one of the most popular social media networks in Europe. The idea of Fizz and Jodel is also similar: the ability to connect with the community around you and anonymously share authentic content. Unlike Fizz, however, anyone can create a profile on Jodel.
In 2022, the German startup has hyper-local communities in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, among other countries. In numbers, that means about 6m posts per day, an engagement rate of 87%, and 26% daily users.
Founder and CEO Avellan Borgmeyer himself says that despite its anonymity, Jodel is ideally suited as an advertising platform, as age, gender, profession and location can be targeted. Sixt and Netflix, for example, have already recognized Jodel’s potential. With the slogan “Drive like a Justus, pay like a Kevin,” Sixt understands the humor of the young generation and also hits their tone exactly.
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