Creativity is increasingly informed and powered by technology—setting the stage for the next era of digital platforms and creative influence. Digital tools have “activated an entirely new world” of creativity—one where “creations can transcend physical limitations,” Helena Dong, creative technologist and digital designer, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. 72% of gen Z and millennials in the US, UK and China believe that creativity today is dependent on technology, and 92% believe that technology opens up a whole new world of creation, according to Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s research for “Into the Metaverse,” conducted by Wunderman Thompson Data in July 2021.

“For generation alpha and generation Z, customization and creation is an intricate part of their gaming experience,” Keith Stuart, games editor at the Guardian, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. “For them, customization and the play element is part of the same thing—self-expression and exploration.”

Snapchat believes that creativity is the driving force propelling the future of digital engagement. As a user, “you’re not creating content that people consume, you’re creating content that people then create with,” Carolina Arguelles Navas, group product marketing manager at Snap Inc, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. “That’s really powerful. You’re putting out a piece of content that everyone personalizes and has a personal experience with.”

This momentum is spurred on by what she refers to as the snowball effect of digital creativity: “The biggest opportunity with AR is that it is a catalyst for other people to now create content with that AR experience you’ve developed; then they are sharing it with their group of friends and their group of friends are unlocking that and sharing. You’ve created a catalyst where you’re scaling creation on your behalf.”

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IMVU revolves around creativity, Daren Tsui, CEO of the social app and its parent company Together Labs, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. “There are over 200,000 creators on our platform. Over the years we’ve amassed 15 million items in our catalog,” almost all of which are user-driven, Tsui says. “We create 0.001%; everything else is done by creators.” IMVU calls creativity “the new status symbol” for the next digital era—dethroning influence and income. When users come onto the platform, “making money is not the most important thing for them. It’s about being recognized for their creations,” Tsui explains.

Online habits are evolving. As stated by The Fabricant, in the digital world “people are not passive consumers, but creative agents crafting their self-expression and curating their virtual identity.” As digital engagement and influence shifts, the stage is being set for the next era of digital platforms and creative influence.

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