Much Ado About Pheed 25


This is a guest post by Nate Towne. Follow him on Twitter at @Fancy_Lad.

You may be seeing a lot of buzz regarding Pheed, the new “Twitter Killer” that launched on October 1st – it looks and acts a lot like Twitter, but gives users (a.k.a. Pheeders) the option to share content for free or at a premium, either by applying a monthly subscription fee to their channel or setting up a pay-per-view live broadcast event. Users can charge anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 per view, or $1.99 to $34.99 per month. The platform offers standard sharing features such as text, photos and videos, but also incorporates “stuff” (its word, not mine) like voice-notes, audio clips and live-broadcasting.

Not only is Pheed is going for that premium-content-gotta-have-it feel, it’s also positioning itself as the edgy new social startup, featuring the backside of what looks like Adam Levine’s head from Maroon 5 on its homepage. (But sadly, it is not.) This in itself should scare many older, more conservative users away right off the bat, leaving us fresh young things with that MySpace experience we’ve been missing since that platform bombed many moons ago. (Though Justin Timberlake is doing his darnedest to revive it. Maybe. The jury’s still out on that one.)

So who cares about Pheed? Well, if you’re a celebrity trying to cash in on premium content, you just might – the site seems to be a magnet for hip hop moguls and mogulettes. Same if you’re an Instant YouTube Star like these guys – you might want to start up your own pheed feed to try to monetize your videos. Some brands, like record labels and other content-and-taste makers could also benefit. Case in point it looks like everyone’s trying to figure out the value; the “big names” of celebrity content producers like Slash and Chris Brown are on Pheed, but have activity levels just south of minimal. BUT, and here’s the big but, they’ll only stay on Pheed if YOU go there and start buying.

Otherwise you might as well just Pheed your time into the ol’ toilet because you just wasted precious resources on the next big social thing that never happened. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last.

But you’re probably here for deeper insights, so here goes:

PROS:

  • You can make money – if Pheed attracts users who will open their wallets to digital content.
  • Pheed has more bells and whistles than Twitter.
  • You can position yourself as cooler-than-cool by eschewing Twitter for this new social channel, being the first on your block to start a Pheed.
  • You can easily share Pheed content on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
  • Like any social network, you can gain insights into things.
  • The content is entertaining, though dubious.
  • Pheeds are rated for content and measured for level of activity, meaning users know what they’re getting into before they sign up for a pheed.

CONS:

  • It’s an unknown and could become a big time suck if nobody is there to help you monetize your content.
  • Pheed is a ghost town compared to Twitter. Only 1 million users on Pheed vs. more than 500 million on Twitter.
  • There’s no ability to easily share content with Instagram or Tumblr – for now.
  • The content is dubious, though entertaining.
  • Not primetime ready for main stream brands.
  • Like any social network, you can gain insight into things. Mostly Paris Hilton’s things. *shudder*

Only time will tell if Pheed will get off the ground. With quality content producers including Big Sean, who has produced nothing, Spammers (that didn’t take long), and paparazzi’s putting up premium channels so they can get paid more for stalking your favorite celebs,  you can count me out for now. When the Muppets start a Pheed, then I’ll consider joining. (I’d best not hold my breath.)


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