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In January 2020, the BeReal app launched, but it wasn’t until this summer that it became a hit among Gen Z due to its focus on authenticity and in-the-moment posting. It’s on its way to dethrone TikTok and Instagram with over seven million downloads. The app sends a notification at a random time throughout the day, and once you receive it, you have two minutes to post. The app encourages people to share and keep up with their friends in real time without any editing or filters. Now, it looks like its popularity is spawning similar apps, but with a twist. A new app is in town and it's for the music lovers of the friend group: Say hello to Kiwi

In this digital age, users are tired of apps that focus on the superficial, whether that be highly edited photos or highlight reels that only showcase the good, causing them to ditch social media. This phenomenon is known as social media fatigue, and it happens mostly among Gen Z. The superficial aspects of social media have a negative impact on users and their mental well-being. These perfectly curated feeds can cause comparison, which can negatively impact self-esteem and life satisfaction, as well as increase presence of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. 

Kiwi has been trending on TikTok for its music sharing features, and TikTokers have been trying to meet friends to create a bigger group of music lovers on Kiwi. The app’s TikTok page has gotten millions of views on their videos showcasing the BeReal music twin. Kiwi is becoming a social media platform unlike the rest — here’s what you need to know about it. 

What is the Kiwi app?

Kiwi was first introduced in early June 2022, and is currently ranked number 15 on the music app charts in the Apple app store. It was produced by Wishroll Inc., which is a team of friends and young entrepreneurs. Kiwi is marketed as a song recommendation app, and allows you to connect with friends and see their music tastes. The app makes you feel like your own personal DJ because you can send song recommendations, receive song recs, and send your most recently played songs. 

It’s not hard to see the appeal of a music-sharing platform. Music brings people together, and similar to BeReal, this app connects users through in-the-moment posts without a heavily curated feed. According to Psychology Today, music releases oxytocin (the social bonding hormone) and endorphins (happiness hormone), and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone), which is why listening to music creates a positive experience. Music is nearly in every aspect of our lives from parties and weddings to movies and TV shows. Gen Z also loves to share music through curating playlists for any occasion, such as playlists based on popular TV shows or songs to listen to when you’re on a road trip, at a party — basically any time you're handed the aux. This app harps on that and creates one big listening party.  

How do I use it?

Kiwi is available for download for Apple and will be coming to Android soon — you can join a waitlist, so you will be notified when the Android version comes out. Once you download the app, you will be asked to sign up using your phone number, and then connect your Spotify account. You can add the app as a widget so when your friends share music recs, it will pop up on your home screen and also show who sent it. 

Each day, a notification is sent out and you will have two minutes to share your most recently played song from your Spotify. Whether you want to see what songs your friends are listening to or what music your friends recommend for you, Kiwi keeps track of all the songs you have received, as well as all the songs you’ve sent. 

You can add up to 100 friends, so whether your besties are Harry Styles die-hards, Swifties, BTS stans, or Frank Ocean lovers, you’ll be exposed to so many different genres and tastes of music. This app is a great way to connect with your friends on a deeper level or educate yourself on different types of music out there. Or, it can be a great laugh if your friends are listening to something you wouldn’t expect from them like the Pitch Perfect riff off soundtrack (I’m guilty of this). Kiwi’s popularity stems from the same grounds of BeReal — it’s a social media app with no pressure to be a certain way, it fosters authenticity and for people to be themselves.

Hannah is an Editorial Intern for Her Campus and a Staff Writer for HCFSU. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, or rewatching her comfort shows (Friends, The Vampire Diaries, or Gossip Girl) for 20th time!
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