Pent-up demand, content monetization and copyright stamps have been instrumental in distinguishing the new social network called Pheed from the pack. It became the No.1 free social networking app in Apple's App Store for the month of February, out pacing competitors like Twitter and Facebook.
With a man's hands and neck tattooed and a catch phrase that reads: "Express Yourself," Pheed's logo definitely positions this new upstart as social media's "bad boy," willing to jump in the fray to perhaps bully around the more popular kids in the social media school yard.
Partially motivated by lack of interest in the status quo, and Facebook's updated News feed re-design, Pheed's audience definitely sees advantages for joining the new network. While G+ has allowed for larger photos from Day 1 of its inception, Facebook has just learned that this is what their followers always wanted. Pheed was also aware but added a new wrinkle. In addition to the size of the photo one can upload to one's feed, on Pheed, they can now also copyright it.
Copyrighting allows Pheed's content creators to watermark their photos and videos with their username in gray text permanently. If someone was to download these files from the site, the trademark would follow. In essence, the copyright feature serves as a declaration or 'stamp' of ownership authenticated by the content creator, similar to what "StockPhoto" or "GettyImages" has been doing with their images for years.
This feature is most appealing to a younger demographic. Musicians, songwriters, celebrities, photographers, teenagers and young twenty-somethings are very interested in being able to photograph and feature their work knowing that they can identify it as their own. When this was coupled with the site enacting a "lock-down" of registrations and app downloads from December to February 1, pent-up demand grew by an exponential 450%. Today, eighty-four percent of Pheed's users range between the ages of 15-24.
While the "feeding frenzy" continues, it's unclear how many users are actually using the new network, since they haven't released any user stats just yet.
O.D. KoboAccording to co-founder O.D. Kobo, he appears to want his network to slow down its growth somewhat so he can experiment with the monetization features of the site. Presently, users can put their content behind a paywall if they choose. They can charge $1.99 to $34.99 per view, or $1.99 to $34.99 per month, and split the proceeds with Pheed.
"On the Web, sometimes the faster you rise, the faster you fall...We had a milestone to reach after year one and we reached it after two months, so we got scared. We started looking at how we could focus more and protect this community," says Kobo.
Unlike Twitter, the site allows for up to 420 characters in length. Restrictions on media uploads are extremely loose, as you can upload high-resolution photos of any size without cropping, and can record or upload videos running as long as four hours, twenty minutes.
Differing from the techie world that brought us Google, Facebook and Twitter. Pheed is based out of a Los Angeles mansion turned office. Kobo himself works out of London. When it comes to competing with Facebook and Twitter, Kobo admits, "I've never been to Silicon Valley in my life," - distinguishing it yet still from all those other social networking dinosaurs that all of our grandmothers have gravitated towards.