Why Fizz? Our case for a safe, authentic, and useful platform for Gen Z.

By Ashton Cofer (CTO and Co-Founder) and Teddy Solomon (COO and Co-Founder)

May 15, 2024

Since the founding of Fizz at the height of the pandemic, we firmly believe that Fizz is a force for good in communities where it exists. We started Fizz to meet the needs of our own friends and community. Now, two years later, we see how those pain points are widespread across Gen Z, and we hope that Fizz can be the answer for communities everywhere.

Gen Z is the loneliest generation

Over 70% of Gen Z (adults aged 18 - 22) report sometimes or always feeling lonely. Moreover, Gen Z also reported feeling more isolated than any other age group. What’s most troubling is that these trends are only accelerating, with a 10%+ increase between 2019 and 2020. While there is no consensus on the root causes of this issue, there’s no doubt about its prevalence: Gen Z needs connection.

Current online platforms can’t bridge the gap

As freshmen at Stanford during Covid, we felt this loneliness firsthand. The existing methods of connecting online felt insufficient. Big social platforms felt performative and curated — everyone wants to be the best version of themselves, leaving no room for authenticity. Group chats and messaging apps were helpful to keep in touch with people you already knew but couldn’t help foster new connections.

We knew we were not alone in this feeling. Within Gen Z, heavy social media users report feelings of loneliness at a rate more than 20 points higher than their peers who spend less time online. However, 96% of Gen Z still use social media daily, and these users are much more likely to highlight the potential benefits of social media compared to other generations.

Fizz aims to be a new kind of social platform

We designed Fizz to emphasize the positive aspects of social media — novel connections, more communication — while designing against the downsides. Now, over two years after our first school launch, we truly believe Fizz has made good on that mission.

Nearly all social platforms are open to the public. Fizz is unique in that it’s designed to be private. In public communities, strangers, scammers, bad actors, and outside entities lurk around every corner. At Fizz, every user must have the same school email domain to enter. You only interact with the people you trust: your real-world, immediate community. We are a platform designed to supplement rather than replace offline interactions and happenings, and to bridge the online and real-life connections within a tight-knit community. 

Additionally, most social platforms reinforce and build upon existing social hierarchies. The jocks follow the jocks, the popular girls chat with the popular girls, and the cliques in a community never cross over or interact with each other. On Fizz, everyone can be the jock, or the cheerleader, or the theater kid, or the nerd, or anything and everything in-between.

Fizz enables users to control their identity within the safe confines of a real-world community. Fizz is built around offline interactions and events. Since everyone in a Fizz community sees and experiences similar things, Fizz becomes a town hall where all voices can be equal and the online conversation is a true reflection of the feelings of the individuals behind the screens.

We’ve heard great feedback from users

After two years, we are now in 250+ communities across the country and have had the unique opportunity to connect with hundreds of thousands of Gen Z users. We see and hear firsthand the impact of Fizz at these schools, and we’re encouraged by the results. In a survey of 3,500+ users, over 90% of respondents indicated that Fizz made them feel more included in, connected to, and informed about their school and community.

While encouraging, we know there’s more to do. If 90% of our users feel Fizz is beneficial to their community, our goal is to evolve our product to meet the needs of those who don’t. Fizz is a platform for students, by students, and we want every student to feel like their voice counts in our online community.

We continue to strive to improve the safety and usefulness of our communities

Of course, we recognize the risks of any online platform. That’s why we dedicate so much of our efforts and resources into our Moderation system and policies. We have seen other social media platforms turn toxic from moderation failures, and we refuse to let our communities wither in the same way. To that end, we are constantly improving our systems and features to make Fizz a safer, more enjoyable place to be online.

From our Safety Features to new functionality like our in-app Marketplace, we see Fizz as the future of online connections. The future of social media is not broad webs of shallow connections where strangers interact with strangers or cliques remain closed off from others. Fizz will be a place where the online community mirrors and complements the real world, where people can define their own identities to connect, debate, and interact with their peers in a way that flows from the web to real-life.

What’s next?

We’ve made great progress, but we know there’s always more to do. Check back with us over the coming weeks for more updates on our product, our company, and our mission.


If you have any ideas or comments on Fizz, we want to hear from you! Email us at info@fizzsocial.app with your feedback.

For more information on our company see our FAQ.