KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE
Specialized social apps help people connect with close friends instead of the masses
Young people feel that social media is moving in a retrograde motion; 70% in the UK and two-thirds in the U.S. feel that social media is making people less social these days. No longer predominantly a space to catch up with friends or make new ones, it more closely resembles a traditional media network dominated by content and ads. They feel the balance of voices on such platforms has tipped in favor of brands and mega-influencers, but these platforms are working to create a more pure experience that harkens back to social media's early days.
New social app Vero has seen a rise as avid social media users are feeling nostalgic for the days of chronological posts and advertisement-free feeds. In many ways, Vero is your standard social sharing app: users can post text, share images and videos etc. to their newsfeed for followers to enjoy. What's different is that the app allows users to assign those they connect with one of four relationships: acquaintance, friend, close friend, or follower to be used to choose who can view their post to help streamline sharing. The app promises to post content chronologically and without unwanted advertisements busying the feed. In order to achieve this ad free space, users will be charged a small annual fee, the price of reliving the early and pure days of social media.
For people who want to unleash their inner culinary critic on friends, restaurant recommendation app, Truffle has personalized the food sharing space. Truffle allows users to curate lists of their favorite restaurants to share with their close friends and followers, avoiding the pitfalls of platforms like Yelp. The app saves users’ favorites to one convenient page and also groups them by city to help organize a search or make suggestions to friends who are traveling. If there’s overlap in a restaurant between a user and their friend, the app will create an alert and suggest going together. The app is also located in iMessage so users can access their recommendations while messaging without needing to leave the conversation.
Recommendation app Rex allows users to share all their favorite forms of media and activities with their followers. From music, movies, and books to restaurants, bars, and weekend excursions, Rex helps organize favorites and create a newsfeed that enables users to share and find potential new faves. Not only does the platform allow for sharing, it also uses shows users where they can access the recommended song or TV show, adding links to Spotify, iTunes, Netflix and other platforms that provide easy access to the recommendation. Full-time staffers go through users’ recommendations and feature a few on the main feed as well. Users can filter recommendations by content and location to make their search for the perfect long car ride read or Friday night plan easier.