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16/10/2012 by

Pheed: Silicon Valley’s Next Big Thing?

Pheed, the newest social media platform to have sprouted in Silicon Valley, is creating a lot of buzz around the net. Launched last August, celebrities like Miley Cyrus and David Guetta have already flocked to the medium. But what makes Pheed unique?

Pheed’s CEO and co-founder O.D. Kobo was recently interviewed by Fast Company, and stated that the Pheed team picked the best features from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Tumblr and moulded them into one new platform.

In this article you will learn more about Pheed, and why it could be Silicon Valley’s next big start-up.

What is Pheed?

Kobo says the following about Pheed’s core idea:

“There is an app evolution that has taken place in the last 18 months – ‘download this for photos,’ ‘download that for video’ – but it’s all segregated, why? I never understood that. With Pheed we want to unify the user experience under one platform: Text, Video, Photo, Audio, and Live Broadcast, with a modern day interface that’s simple and easy to use. Our hope is that on Facebook you will connect with your friends, on Twitter you will follow your interests, and on Pheed you will express yourself – in all possible digital mediums.”

Pheed consists of a web-based platform (the app will be released any day now) that can be used to “express yourself.” When going through the website, multiple familiar features catch the eye. The main feed is called a timeline, one can subscribe to other timelines, and directly post to Facebook and Twitter from the main site. You can post anything as a pheed, from text and audio to videos, on the timeline. You can comment on, like, and even dislike other people’s pheeds (“I love this.” vs. “I don’t love this.”), a feature that is still missing from Facebook, and save any pheed in your favorites list (“keepers”). Hashtags can be added to postings, and can become trending when used often.

Nothing unique so far, right?

Then what is Pheed’s unique feature?

Pheed asks its users to express themselves, and encourages them to do this through uploading creative, original content. Here’s the kicker: the user gets the option to offer their pheeds to other users for free, or upgrade to a premium account and monetize their profiles. Other users can get a paid 30-day subscription to your entire profile.

The price of this subscription is up to you. It is also possible to live broadcast an event (Pheed broadcasted a performance by Machine Gun Kelly last month), for which other users can pay. 50% of the earnings of the subscriptions and live broadcasts go to you, and can be viewed in your ‘balance,’ an earnings summary. After verifying your bank details, these earnings will be deposited into your checking account. The other 50% is used by Pheed to pay for expenses, such as payment processing and bandwidth.

Next to monetizing your feed, you can choose whether or not you want to copyright the content you are uploading for every post you make. Ticking this option will add a watermark to your photo, for example. By putting the emphasis on uploading original content and adding a copyright to everything you upload, Pheed tries to play into the Facebook privacy issues. There is also the possibility to make your channel PG, PG-13, or even R-rated, which ensures that profiles not suitable for young viewers, will not be exposed to them.

At the moment, American celebrities and musicians are dominating Pheed. While most offer content for free, David Guetta offers fans a premium subscription. It is possible, for example, that paying fans receive an exclusive listen of new material, while non-paying fans do not. This could certainly be one of the features that could make Pheed a moderately successful platform.

Will it ever reach Facebook’s status? Probably not. But the new MySpace has a serious competitor.

Do you think Pheed has found a new successful social media formula? Can it possibly be leveraged by brands? Looking forward to your comments!

About the author

Marion aan ‘t Goor is a recently graduated marketer and is a Junior Consultant at ICON&Co.

You can connect with Marion via Twitter and LinkedIn.


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