2 Jun 2023Read of the weekRead of the week: Gen Z ‘soft launch’ relationships

Gone are the days when younger generations flooded the internet with pictures of their romantic relationships immediately after getting together. Instead, Gen Zers are opting to post subtle hints of their significant others on social media while they test the waters with their partners in private.

J’Nae PhillipsJ'Nae Phillips is an Insights Editor at Canvas8. After an early career working in fashion and media, her passion for culture and journalism grew and she made the transition to writing and editing full-time. She specialises in fashion, trends, cultural shifts and all of the good stuff that gets people talking.

Once upon a time in the social media days of old, loved-up couples would flock to Facebook to update their statuses to ‘in a relationship’ mere hours after getting into one. But the tide has turned in today's romance landscape, and Gen Zers are ‘soft launching’ their relationships online through low-key hints such as obscured faces, empty plates at a dinner for two, with no other guest in sight, or a zoomed-in Instagram story of intertwined hands.

Research from Tinder found out that one in four 18- to 34-year-olds in the UK say they would gradually share their new match online, while just 8% would do so in a big reveal. Women are also more likely to wait until they are confident in their new relationship before posting about it on social media.

In a hyper-digital age, digitally savvy audiences are growing increasingly wary of what information they share online. The concept of a soft launch aligns with Gen Zers' shifting mindsets towards online identities and by leaning into the power of mystery and wonder, the soft launch addresses privacy concerns and takes a more measured approach to posting online.