'VSCO Girls' Are 'Activists' According to the App's CEO

December 17, 2019
What is a VSCO girl? That's what everyone wants to know. VSCO CEO and co-founder Joel Flory told Cheddar the topic "really shot up" this year as Google recently revealed the eponymous term was the second most popular "What is…" search of 2019.
There is no official definition, but a quick search seems to reveal a VSCO girl as a teen or tween who takes selfies of herself decked out in trendy gear (think oversized T-shirts and Hydro Flask water bottles). But according to Flory, to its users, the term means more.
"It's a young woman that you'll see in the Google search that is an 'activist'," said Flory. The company's new survey of more than 1,000 Gen Zer's ages 14 to 23 found that "activist" is a label many are happy to hold..
"They're proud and thankful about how social media helps them really label themselves and figure out who they are in their identity," he added.
But, according to VSCO's survey, while 46 percent of Gen Z take pride in being "activists," 37 percent feel they have to hide their political beliefs around family members during the holidays. "Coming into the holidays, they're really anxious to how their family views them and 45 percent say they feel judged by their family for their social media posts," Flory said.
He also discussed VSCO's acquisition of Rylo, the camera and video-editing app company. VSCO sold off the brand's hardware to Best Buy and will be focusing on ways to utilize the software.
"We were able to see an early prototype and beta version of their new consumer mobile app that actually helped people be more expressive with all these great video tools and loved it so much that we really wanted to bring it into the VSCO suite," Flory said regarding Rylo.
As smartphones continue to come with better camera and video editing features already built into the hardware, an app like VSCO is focused on how to leverage the technology smartphones already provide.
"I view it less as a competition and actually more as an accelerant, and so if we think about creativity, it used to just be for those who self-identified as creative. The advancement of the hardware of these devices is really making creativity a global language," Flory said.
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