Here comes Gen-Z
It’s a known phenomena that younger generations will look backwards for cultural inspiration, usually peering 20 to 30 decades into the past. Gen-Z are of course no different, and it’s been well-documented how the 90s and‘00s are influencing them. And now, it seems, even the 10s are starting to make their mark.
Tumblr sits on the precipice of this. It was launched in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2011-13 that it reached its peak of cultural importance. Spawning countless internet jokes, memes, and concepts, the online world would be a different place without it.
According to reporting in the Financial Times, Gen-Z are making Tumblr their home as they seek out to quench a nostalgia for a time they never experienced.
That means we have a few aspects feeding into each other:
- Tumblr already being popular for Furby posts
- A growing faux-nostalgic interest in Tumblr amongst Gen-Z
- Furbys, having releases in 1998, 2005, and 2021, also making them ripe for faux-nostalgia
This will all be contributing to the sustained online Furby conversation, but it also lays the groundwork for a full blown, irony-fed Furby renaissance. And really, who among us can’t say they were tempted by the begemmed Furby of Uncut Gems fame? Maybe it’s only a matter of time before Gen-Z makes Furby accessories the norm.
But beyond all this, Furbys are staking out another, somehow far more unexpected, place online.
The Furbinfluencer lifestyle
While rummaging around in our data we noticed that Furby-posting is far more popular in Japan than anywhere else. In 2022, for every million people, the country posted 147 times about Furbys. For the US this number is just 97, in Spain it’s 87, and Canada saw 79.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reasons for this, it could be any number of reasons, but for the most part the Japanese post about Furbys in the same way as the rest of the world.
But there’s one way that seems to have especially caught on in Japan. And that’s classic Instagram lifestyle influencer content, except with Furbies.
Enter the Furbinfluencer.