Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Teen pioneers design the world’s next gen social media networks

A group of young Digital Disruptors tasked with creating a handful of new social media networks have plumped for judgement-free, gender positive, no filter platforms to build a more positive global theme for their futures.

The 15 young digital pioneers put their heads together in a mentored brainstorm session as part of this year’s annual Digital Disruptors’ programme, a three-day event hosted by digital marketers, the Tomorrow Group. The youngsters, aged 14 to 16, all from south and south-east London, came up with fresh ideas for social media platforms which ranged from employment to fashion.

Tina Judic, co-founder and chairman of Tomorrow Group, organiser of Digital Disruptors, said: “This year’s young Digital Disruptors were utterly inspirational, inquisitive, innovative and incredibly hard-working. Their ideas for the next generation of social media networks show that they are determined for a more positive and friendly, less negative and fake view of the world than some platforms are renowned for today.

“It’s always a privilege to host this annual programme which helps young people, who may not know or believe what might be possible for them, to realise that there can be a very bright future ahead.”

Four ideas stood out for the panel of judges. The first, Itfitz, is a fashion platform designed to help people overcome their fears of purchasing online and provide a judgement-free, positive network. Next is Apply, a professional network designed to minimise the gender gap and barriers created as a result of professional competitiveness. The third idea, Interlink, is a network to educate and develop young people’s skills, reduce procrastination and enable more school aged students to have their say and build confidence through lifestyle lessons. Finally, BeWe is a no-filters, moderated network, helping young people to be who they are, in a safe but entertaining environment without the pressure of perfectionism.

Prizes from the House of Marley for standout contributions and performance were awarded by the judging panel, made up of  Tomorrow Group’s digital growth, marketing and data technology companies, Found, Disrupt, and Braidr, along with Digital Disruptor charity partners, The Hebe Foundation

Dora Moldovan, co-founder and managing director of Braidr, one of the judges, said: “I was incredibly impressed by how much the young innovators have already learnt about advertising – from influencer to pay-per-click and social. They are social media natives, so I would have expected them to default to this, but they considered real-life scenarios and they crave human interaction. 

“I’m also very proud of the Braidr team and our sister companies who took part through mentoring, delivering talks, judging and inspiring the next generation. The opportunity to give back to young people and share our enthusiasm for the digital sector was invaluable and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Credit is due to our chair and the Tomorrow Group for helping to nurture our youthful pioneers and we’re looking forward to doing it all again next year with the next generation.”

Amie Buhari, founder and CEO of The Hebe Foundation, said: “It’s been encouraging to have young people back, and face to face for Digital Disruptors, for the first time since the pandemic. 

“In a society that often stunts creativity, this project enables our young people to imagine, to dream, and to create; putting their unique stamp on the things that matter to them. The quality of learning from the Tomorrow Group inspires our young people to be positive disruptors in the spaces they inhabit.”

The overall winner of Digital Disruptors 2022 is due to be announced in the next few weeks.

London-based Braidr, part of the Tomorrow Group, launched last year and has won some big name customers. The agency acts as an outsourced ‘chief data officer’ for customers, and is the all-important bridge between non-data expert IT and marketing teams.