Co-founders of youth-targeted news outlet Centennial Beauty, Jordyn Christensen and Lauren Meisner know what makes Generation Z tick.
The pair, who both have backgrounds in beauty journalism, launched their website in December 2019, after viral news "obsessed" Meisner spotted a gap in the mainstream media market.
"We noticed a massive gap in Australian media for a publication that not only spoke directly to Gen Z but took into account the viral space," Meisner tells Newshub.
Viral news tends to be a news story, video, or image spread online using social media, usually in a much faster and wider manner than other typical mainstream news stories.
Similarly, the subject of the story is more likely to be a Youtube, Instagram, or Tiktok creator.
"I felt there was nowhere in Australia catering to that demographic. Everyone saw influencers and creators as competition rather than people to be covering and collaborating with," Meisner says.
What is Centennial Beauty?
Centennial Beauty is the first beauty, pop culture and viral news website in Australia covering everything from a Youtuber's beauty routine to an influencer feud over vitamins.
Christensen says the lead-up to the launch of Centennial Beauty was a "whirlwind".
"The speed of launch for us was crucial - because if we didn't fill that gap then someone else would have," she tells Newshub.
While it may be panned or trivialised online, the co-founder says there is a "cultural significance" to the viral news social media creators generate.
"There is a larger cultural significance to these conversations and how these people [social media creators] are impacting culture, especially Gen Z - because they are their role models," she says.
"We really wanted to bring a legitimate media understanding to those topics as well."
Meisner says the pair "faked it until they made it".
"We had to tell people we were the experts in Gen Z and viral culture until eventually, people believed us," she says.
Gen Z: The 'powerful' generation
Generation Z (Gen Z) consists of people born between 1997 and 2015. They are currently between 6 and 24-years-old and are the first generation that has never known life without social media, mobile technology, and the internet.
Meisner says there are "so many reasons Gen Z are important".
"Millennials (people born from 1981-1996) grew up in an economic boom, whereas Gen Z grew up in an economic recession," she says.
"That has informed how they spend their money and has shaped their personalities, as well as how they interact with economy and culture.
"They can do their own research - they are not fooled by glossy ads and want to be the ones that are informing their own decision.
"They are so powerful because of that. They have literally had information at their fingertips from the very beginning."
Gen Z is also the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers, so they can "create change in ways millennials couldn't", Christensen tells Newshub.
"I think that's really exciting. They're holding [social media] creators accountable - I don't think that was something that was on millennials' radar," she says.
"We didn't have an open flow of communication with [social media creators] and that's something that Gen Z has changed. They expect to be replied to quite often, they can force change from a comment section."
Educated and empathetic
The pair say Gen Z is also the "most educated", "empathetic" and "politically aware" generation, as well as being the most diverse.
"They're so accepting of different groups and I think that will have a significant impact both culturally and politically," Christensen says.
"I think they are scared of the future they are inheriting but they are also willing to be active about it and actually do something to inform the changes they want to see."
Gen Z also prioritises mental health above "hustling and grinding", unlike the generations that came before them.
"Gen Z really prioritises mental health and a lifestyle they want to create for themselves rather than just grinding all day every day - I think all of that is going to lead to a much more pleasant future for everyone," Christensen says.
Meisner believes millennials were taught to be fearful of the internet and social media, whereas Gen Z embraces the mistakes they may make online, and learn from them.
"They [Gen Z] aren't afraid to use their own individual personal brands or platforms to have hard conversations, they aren't afraid of not getting a job because of it because they're like - well I wouldn't want that job anyway," she says.
The experts in Gen Z
After 18 months of growing Centennial Beauty, and engaging with "top-tier" creators like Charli and Dixie D'amelio, Madison Beer and Lili Reinhart, Meisner and Christensen now believe they can really say they are experts.
That's led to a new product.
POV Insights is a monthly subscription in the form of a multimedia newsletter for businesses, where the pair aim to "hold their hand" through this generational shift.
"The biggest thing we noticed about running a Gen Z-based media brand in the last 18 months is that brands would come to us, not to advertise, but more so for intel on Gen Z," Meisner says. "We wanted to provide a platform where we could be having in-depth conversations about Gen Z, with research and details, to create understanding on how Gen Z operates in these spaces," Christensen explains.
Centennial Beauty says they are now reaching 13 million Gen Zers worldwide.