Influence is a funny thing. One never can tell just who will sway them to try the latest shoe style, iphone case, or say, social media app. There is an easy answer of course: celebrities. Who doesn't want to rock the same styles as their favorite pop artist or movie star. But the time may be coming for celebrity influence, at least online, to yield to that of the very demographic they most historically affect - teens.
The latest in social media - Pheed (www.pheed.com) - is a powerhouse new app combining the best features of some of our favorites. Users can post videos like youtube, images like Instagram, text like Twitter. The app recently celebrated its three-month birthday in significant style - by becoming the App Store's number 1 downloaded social media app (and 16th most downloaded in all the App Store).
And while its popularity has certainly been boosted through use by big name celebs like Miley Cyrus and David Guetta, this latest surge is due to a few well-placed tweets by teens with popular - we're talking thousands of followers - Twitter and Instagram accounts. One in particular by the name of Acacia Brinley simply tweeted “@pheed sickest app,” and within minutes, thousands of users opened new Pheed channels.
This latest phenomenon is indicative of a trend we can now clearly depend on. Young people have always been the trend-setters when it comes to style, culture, even the most popular products. But what their hold on social media has shown, particularly since it is now becoming more monetized, is that their opinions are not just affecting, but influencing business. Since the advent of social media, teens with thousands of followers enjoy influence akin to that of the celebrities that have influenced them. My question is, when is Ms. Brinley getting her swag bag from Pheed? A thank-you card, at very least, is in order.
Perhaps Pheed's most interesting innovation is its take on monetization. For those of us growing bored with not making money during our social-networking time, Pheed allows users to sign up for a free subscription where they in turn share for free, or opt to pay a monthly fee where they can in turn charge other users to view their content. That's right - teens to celebs to CEO's can stretch their entrepreneurial muscle with a little motivation and the click of a mouse. The philosophy is that while current social media sites offer certain advantages of their own, we get bored with Twitter’s limiting to text, Instagram’s limiting to photos, Facebook’s noise. Pheed’s monetization feature, in theory, will inspire more quality content, albeit at a price.
And with the way tides are turning trend-wise, it will be interesting to see which teen's content Miley will pay to subscribe to first.
Do you think social media could use more quality content? Let us know in the comments section below.
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