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Award-winning journalist Elaine Welteroth is no stranger to shining a spotlight on changemakers, amplifying voices of marginalized communities, and starting conversations that create a ripple effect.
So her most recent role, as Consulting Editor-at-Large for Verizon Media’s short-form video network In The Know, is perfectly fitting for Welteroth — a changemaker herself.
Today marks a celebration on two fronts: the announcement of Welteroth on the In The Know team (the platform launches monthly digital covers featuring culture-defining talent and shoppable content) and the reveal of its inaugural covers: award-winning actress and musician Mj Rodriguez (known for her role as Blanca Rodriguez in Pose), and model and artist Chella Man. The digital covers were captured by photographer and visual artist Shaniqwa Jarvis, an artist known for combining a modern fashion aesthetic with emotional portraiture (credits include photographing Barack Obama for the cover of InStyle, and campaigns for brands like Supreme and Adidas).
Mj Rodriguez and Chella Man are featured on the Pride Month covers and in candid conversation with Welteroth, on why representation in storytelling is so essential to supporting the LGBQT+ community.
I caught up with both Welteroth and Andrea Wasserman, Verizon Media, Head of Global Commerce, to get their thoughts on the news.
“I’m thrilled to join the In The Know team to continue sharing meaningful, culture-shifting stories,” Welteroth shares. “It is critical to me that we spotlight individuals who authentically reflect the diversity of voices and values that matter most to our audience.”
As a current host of CBS’s The Talk, New York Times bestselling author of More Than Enough, and groundbreaking former Editor-in-Chief at Teen Vogue, Welteroth has earned praise as the voice of a generation, inspiring thought-provoking conversations.
“Storytelling is one of the most important vehicles for implementing positive societal change,” she explains. “Amplifying marginalized voices and diverse perspectives has always been at the core of my career, no matter the job. It’s also been a key pillar of In The Know since the brand’s inception.”
Chella Man, who is also making waves as an activist and author with the release of his debut book, Continuum, and Mj Rodriguez, who garnered wide acclaim for her role in Pose alongside Billy Porter, are also featured in H&M's 2021 Pride campaign.
“Specific to the inaugural cover, Chella Man and Mj Rodriguez are both dynamic artists who are change-makers in their fields. They are role models to the next generation, and the embodiment of everything that In The Know’s digital covers are a celebration of,” Welteroth shares.
With so many publications and brands aiming to reach and tap into the Gen Z audience right now, In The Know is breaking through and making its mark: “In The Know taps into the Gen Z zeitgeist thanks to an efficient production team constantly monitoring social media channels and studying the latest trends, producing hundreds of videos per week that remain authentic to the In The Know brand,” Wasserman explains. “Since inception, In The Know has focused on meeting viewers where they are and using the platform to showcase diverse voices, brands and perspectives, with original and engaging content.”
Launched by Verizon Media in late 2019, In The Know has been making its mark among a wide variety of lifestyle and video networks.
What makes the platform stand out? Wasserman shares:
“In The Know’s original content features stories across verticals from social justice to sustainability, from kitchen hacks to parenting must-haves, and deep dives into so many different verticals we’re all obsessed with — from celeb skincare regimens to the latest sneaker drops. In The Know started as a social video experiment several years ago, when the team saw an opportunity for original short-form and snackable video created in-house that was also evergreen and not tied to a newscycle. The brand drove such huge performance off-platform on social channels, we launched InTheKnow.com last year, to bring it all together for our consumers, where users could interact with our brand and engage even deeper.”
And the proof is in the numbers, according to Wasserman:
“Over the last year InTheKnow.com’s website audience increased by +3,300%, with 24M monthly unique visitors for the month of March per comScore. Lastly, In The Know has evolved to become an influential shopping hub too. How? In The Know’s top performing videos from the start were very often featuring products. Today, from our commerce centric programs, to the live shoppable content we’re experimenting with, we know users trust our product recommendations and the numbers speak for themselves. Over the last year, In The Know has driven Gross Merchandise Value (which is our leading indicator of transactional growth) by almost 125%. The massive growth In The Know is seeing illustrates the power of combining storytelling, authenticity and entertainment in commerce, to meet new audiences. It’s a major differentiator when you look at In The Know compared to other video or lifestyle networks out there.”
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