Don't say we didn't warn you. With Forbes officially crowning Pheed--the latest social media platform--"the new Twitter," it's clear that it's here to stay. Released on iOS in November 2012, the app entered Apple's Top Charts within the first month. But what exactly is Pheed?
With founder O.D. Kobo at the helm, Pheed wants to redefine content on the web, by allowing users to upload and share all types of digital content, including text, photo, video, audio and voice-note. Original content uploaded to Pheed is owned and controlled by you, and the platform is without advertising. Users can view their own subscribed channels in real time. They can express "love" or "heartache," hashtag and "pheedback," as well as share material from other channels to their own via a feature called "remix."
Sound confusing? Here, Pheed's Brand Strategy and Media Relations officer, Chrysa Olson, explains the ins-and-outs of the company and its addictive app.
Follow VIBE on Pheed.
VIBE: How has Pheed helped to evolve social media?
Chrysta Olson: We've been very blessed to have such a positive response thus far. Users seem to really be taking to Pheed, loving it and spending time on it, so we're all very humbled by our recent growth. I don't know about evolving the genre, although some in the press have suggested that Pheed is the "next generation of social media" and we all smile when we read this. I think one of the main reasons people are drawn to Pheed is simply that the social landscape has become so convoluted and diverse. You have all these different apps on your phone for sharing -- Twitter for text, Instagram for photos, Viddy or Vine for videos, Ustream for live broadcast, Soundcloud for audio... It's a headache! O.D. Kobo and the rest of the founding team initially came up with Pheed to deal with this problem. They thought, "Why not put all our favorite features from our favorite platforms into one simple and clean app?" One platform for sharing all forms of digital content.
What challenges have you experienced in actually getting people to sign up or pay fees?
It's important to clarify that Pheed is completely free to join. It's free to download the app and create a channel, and it's free to subscribe to your friends or people that interest you. Some read about Pheed's business model and misunderstand what Pheed is, because we do allow users to monetize their content if they wish to do so. But Pheed is by no means a pay-to-access platform. Users can if they wish to do so, place a paywall on their channel, or schedule live, pay-per-view videos. But the premium aspect is by no means Pheed's central feature, nor even its secondary feature.
As I mentioned, it's free to join and a great majority on Pheed choose to share for free. The idea is simply to provide users with a toolbox for content sharing, and Pheed's founders felt it was fair to give users the option to charge for their content if they wanted to. Perhaps in the long run, this toolbox will inspire and incentivize great content creation for the web.