Most new apps, services, and platforms that come with a social touch to them have some things in common:
This is more commonly getting known as social+.
One theory of why this is happening is that consumers are tired of mindless scrolling. The prime time of cat videos and fail compilations is over. Also, startups want to own and control their platform and data, rather than be controlled by the big players.
Even consumers are becoming more and more aware and critical of how their data is handled and traded. People ultimately seem to want more intimate rooms for their own interests, and are more picky about their screen time. Not only for entertainment, but for true value.
This is also where generation Z comes in. They have grown up in a digital age, and have other user habits than older generations.
One great example is the Minc Tourism Accelerator participant, Shinner. A fresh out of the box app that maps out the world of skateboard. It is first and foremost a guide to skate spots, from concrete parks to a railing and a set of stairs in an alley somewhere. And they tick all the boxes mentioned.
They have built their own social features, which the app is built around and designed for. All users are able to add new spots, local brands or skate shops, and upload videos of their tricks to a spot. This means that the app will only have content relevant to the user. And above all - it will encourage other users to get out and skate, and contribute to the culture in all kinds of ways. All things skate in one place.
The founders have pro skater backgrounds, which gives them a great privilege of having a broad social network. Now they want to make it more accessible for everyone. Whether you are a tourist or a local, you will have the best and most gnarly skate spots at the tip of your fingers.
Swedish app Fishbrain is doing the same thing, but for fishing. Users share spots, log catches, and share content. Apart from the social platform, it also has its' own shop. There are around 50 million anglers around the world. The app has 12 million users and millions of logged catches. Both fishing entusiasts and investors seem to love it. In fact, they recently raised $31M in funding.
The exclusiveness is key. And along with community building - it is sparkling magic. There is still a lot yet to be discovered, and lots of social+ products to be designed. One model is the 80-20 principle. This means that the creator pockets 80% of the revenue, and the service takes 20%.
It could for instance be a service for the tourism industry. A place for like-minded locals to give guided tours of their parts of the city. Visitors get an exclusive and valuable tour of a city they just arrived to, depending on their own personal preferences.
Take a look at Airbnb. Being a host does not only mean renting out rooms and houses. They also do guided tours and adventures. There are even online experiences; explore Kenyan culture and traditions, learn how to make authentic tacos, or take a virtual Harry Potter tour in London.
But why pay to reach your audience, rather than get paid through ads? Why not show up where they already are? Well, you might have the answer right there. People are tired of skating between ads they are not interested in and generic feeds on the bigger platforms.
The consumer is more and more ready, and willing, to pay to get well produced and exclusive content they choose for themselves. Build a platform around your product, instead of layering it on an existing one. Put well produced and sought after content for a specific audience, and they will come to you.
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