Every Monday morning, a team of Access media mavens gathers to read the latest trends and topics covered in print media (yes, we still read print media!). The team shares these insights agency wide to ensure we’re all informed and equipped for the week ahead. Every week, we’ll share learnings from the consumer, business and tech spaces here on the Access Point.
This week, we learned about TikTok’s latest safety move, and how the rental clothing market is shifting its strategy to appeal to a new demographic.
TikTok is not the first social media platform to be on the receiving end of safety scrutiny but, right now, it may be the most important. As Gen X-ers gravitate towards the app, critics continue to poke holes at the toxic environments that live deep within its interface. Among top concerns are racial slurs, comments about other users’ hygiene and content that promotes eating disorders. As a result, the company has expanded its safety guidelines to better protect users. The new guidelines ban user threats related to immigration and gender identity and any hate group or violent extremist organization. Since the app launched in 2017, TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese conglomerate, has had a target on its back from both regulators and competitors. This shift in guidelines, for example, comes at a time when U.S. regulators are contemplating whether the app’s Chinese ownership poses a national security threat (Sarah E. Needleman, The Wall Street Journal).
Rent the Runway, the successful start-up company that arguably kicked off the rental clothing trend, has never offered men’s apparel. The assumption being, “men do not rent.” Now, companies like Rent The Runway are figuring out a way to change that mindset. The New York Times interviewed a dozen men in the U.S. and abroad about their rental clothing attitudes. The common themes: individuality, ownership and longevity. Men don’t rent because they seek these things in their fashion choices, and do not believe that rental clothing can provide the same experience. To summarize: “Man wants garment. Man saves up for garment. Man purchases garment. Man wears garment.” We’d recommend taking a look at this feature for an interesting perspective on gender norms in a “post-metrosexual” era. The reality is, gendered products are becoming less important to brands and consumers, so it will be interesting to see how mindsets continue to shift, particularly in a traditionally gendered industry: fashion (Jessica Testa and Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times).