Influencers are flocking to a surprising new kind of social media (Fast Company)
- There has been an increased uptake of independent platforms for influencers/ celebrities to interact with their fans, which marks a possible movement away from apps such as Instagram.
- Escapex offers influencers their own decentralised apps (personally owned platforms, POPs), with more control over content. Fans in return have their own like-minded community and less privacy concerns as arguably is the case with other platforms like Instagram.
- Escapex provides apps to over 350 influencers, who have a combined 3.5bn followers, and the apps currently have over 20m users.
- The 20m users open the app on average 4x a day and, in the US, 12% of users who download an app pay a monthly subscription of $6.
Analysis & Comments
- While certainly an interesting development, the one main factor that drives the power of social media is its ability to scale quickly and benefit from network effects, which Escapex seems to have consciously limited through a number of measures (e.g. individual “silos” for every influencer).
- Given recent calls for more regulation of social media (e.g. the UK’s online harm White Paper) and increasing concerns regarding potentially harmful content, we also wonder if these unregulated “silos” created by Escapex can and will remain so.
- I’d argue that micro influencers will certainly find it hard to find and maintain an audience through an individual app rather than a social media platform such as Instagram, but I can see the use of such a “premium” fanclub for mega influencers/ celebrities.