Digital, be a human being

More than 5.34 billion of the world’s 8 billion population are unique smartphone users in 2022. 5 billion people use the Internet, and 4.7 billion are active on social media.


In the huge and overloaded Digital market, it is increasingly more difficult to stand out and reach the user, not only at the product level, but also at the branding level. It seems that familiar media, apps, and online retail are already at their limits. However, there is a demand to “humanize” social networks, work software, and platforms for purchasing goods and services in the digital environment. Technology is everywhere, but is it possible to differentiate yourself in digital? Let`s analyze the cases where digital products offer new forms of interaction and develop other brands of their applications and platforms.

Conscious social networks

Today, social media algorithms “encourage” short forms of content and its quick change – so the user “kills” more time in one application, easily switching from topic to topic. This increases attention deficit and reinforces the habit of not focusing on a post for longer than a few seconds. However, the demand for more conscious content creation and consumption is paradoxically growing as well.


Substack offers to give up content snacking – users write lengthy, detailed texts that require deep study of the topic. No clickbaits and sensationalism – each author gathers his own community of readers who subscribe to the author’s materials for a small donation (3-4$ per month). Interaction with the audience becomes more direct, and the financial component motivates writers to maintain the quality of content.


BeReal social network gives you just two minutes to share with your friends what you are doing right now. All users can upload photos strictly without filters once a day and react to posts with their real faces. BeReal is the answer to the cult of Influencers and professional content that is boring audiences on other well-known platforms.


Another application, gaining popularity among “zoomers”, is Poparazzi. Only other users can upload an image of a person – the profile is filled with photos taken by your “paparazzi” friends. Similar to BeReal, content can’t be edited or filters applied. Poparazzi promotes the idea of “anti selfies,” offering a format for creating content that depends on interacting with others rather than competing with them.

Corporate tactics

A significant part of work time and corporate communications has inevitably moved online. After two years since the height of the pandemic, this has become commonplace, but today’s employees and managers have more demands for digital B2B products.


Around from MiroLabs is an alternative to Zoom, with cleaner sound technology. In a conference, participants’ voices remain isolated from background noise (even if employees are in the same room), and the interface allows group and equal participation in discussions – participants’ icons are arranged in a circle.


The MeetButter platform is another interactive solution for virtual workshops and meetings that allows the moderator to engage with every attendee. Sessions provide an intuitive and friendly interface – setting meeting agendas, voting, emotional reactions. This is how the platform differentiates itself from competitors and allows “remote workers” to avoid burnout and managers to motivate teams more effectively.

Polywork is a new corporate platform that has the potential to compete with LinkedIn through greater user engagement. This network suggests not focusing on a person’s work experience and positions, but turns a career route more into a set of personal achievements and growth. In addition, people can be found on Polywork for consulting, idea storming, and product testing in a wide variety of industries. Each user can specify for what types of collaborations they are open to.

We to We

Any service can be ordered in the Internet. Yet, can familiar services find added value online? Peer-to-peer platforms are experimenting with such offers.


US-based platform Neighbor offers to rent storage space for large items as well as cars and boats from neighbors. “Give your couch a home, not a storage unit,” says the site’s homepage. With the service, you can not only find an affordable garage for your stuff, but you can also post your own space for rent. And, of course, meet and help your neighbors nearby!


As an independent segment, Internet banking is opposed to classical financial services institutions. Digital space gives more freedom in financial management: in recent years, digital banking products such as Revolut, Chime, N26 have been actively developed. However, the SoLo platform took a different path and was created as a community of users from whom you can borrow a small amount of money. “Borrower” posts an ad showing the amount needed, purpose and repayment period. “Lender” responds to the application and helps a stranger who can give the debt with a “tip” as a gratitude. The service helps young people build their way to financial independence without using the services of banks, which often rely only on the client’s credit rating.


Apps for mindfulness, meditation, and quitting bad habits are one form of mental health care. But sometimes a person is not morally ready to seek professional help, and then the “golden mean” is P2P platforms, such as Lived, an app where you can find practical advice and stories from real people about quitting alcohol. In Lived you can set personal goals, read succinct content and get support from the community.

Tailored retail

Modern consumers are spoiled with online shopping and large marketplaces that can deliver millions of products literally the next day. Product selection, recommendation algorithms, and discounts are no longer an argument in choosing an online retailer – this is the point of parity that is common among almost all platforms. Another thing is becoming relevant – the value that a particular store provides, the experience of interaction, and the visual digital image.


British retailer of refurbished equipment BackMarket appeals not only to the rational part of the question (refurbished equipment, of course, is cheaper), but to the emotional one – the brand tells about the company’s model of work transparently, emphasizing it with charismatic graphics and jaunty copywriting. “Great tech doesn’t have to cost us the planet” – BackMarket declares, showing real experts in restoring phones, computers and other gadgets.

Another marketplace promoting the idea of a second life for old things is the American Kaiyo. On the platform you can buy furniture and decor or sell unneeded interior items. Specialists select things, and the company takes care of delivery from the seller to the buyer. Bright and modern branding eliminates the barriers and prejudices associated with buying used furniture – as with Kaiyo it is easy not to support over-consumption and to update the interior for little money.

The development of niche online stores is the result of the inevitable segmentation of fashion retail. Millions of people buy popular luxury on Farfetch or Net-a-porter, while buyers of small retailers form a range according to values or even mood.


For example, British Gather&See divides the collection “by philosophy”: in the assortment you can find things of small sale production, eco-friendly or heritage (traditional methods of sewing and decorating are used in production). CultMia specializes in unusual closet items that will definitely become a reason for conversation and make you feel like a “protagonist”: the curators select extraordinary and bright items and support small brands around the world.

A lot for thought

Although the digital environment is saturated with “artificial” snacking content, it meets the demand for a deeper and more sincere experience of interaction with authors and subscribers. A corporate world that has just “recovered” from the pandemic is not ready to accept the cold virtual space of Internet conferences and demands new, more human tools for work and business communications.


Despite a variety of financial solutions and resources to find any service, we see the dawn of peer-to-peer services that give users a sense of belonging. The community model differentiates digital products and adds value to services we are already familiar with.


Giants like Amazon or Farfetch don’t make customers feel like they’re doing something right or making a special choice – on the contrary, the big retail is accelerating excessive consumerism and standardizing shopping preferences. A wave of smaller, but value-oriented and segmented online retail, pushing for moderate consumption and the purchase of more authentic items, is ahead.

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