Three Niche Social Platforms with Incredible Communities
As social media matures as a service, we are seeing the larger community fraction into smaller, more focused groups. This effect is being facilitated by the diversification of social media platforms, some of which quickly gain popularity. Others never become mainstream, but become essential to the communities they develop around certain interests or art forms. Here are three such platforms that are gaining relevance in small spaces.
Steller is an app for storytellers, allowing users to piece together pages of video, images, and text to create short visual narratives. Steller’s community tends to focus on Food & Drink, Places & Travel, Action & Outdoors, Creative, and Style—but what makes the community truly amazing is that many of the users are the same people we have learned to love on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Because of this, the content on the platform is very high quality, and ranges from illustration series to Lego comic books to travel blogging.
Steller is also extremely easy to use, allowing users to publish stories with pre-designed themes and a simple interface. This makes it easy for the most amateur of designers to create something that looks good, but honestly: I’m here for the lurking.
Articles about Phhhoto usually open with a line about how poorly named the app is, but I think it fits. You see, Phhhoto is an app for making gifs out of four rapid consecutive photos. It loops them forward and then backwards, creating a weird “moonwalk” effect.
Like what we’ve seen with Tumblr, Phhhoto has turned into a gallery of the strange and beautiful…
The gif is a relatively new creative medium. I’m fascinated with what artists are doing with the new art form, and Phhhoto provides a great place to explore it.
You’ve probably heard of Ello, and then quickly forgotten about it. The “ad free” social network managed to generate a huge amount of buzz in September 2014 when Facebook began to enforce its real name-policy, deleting the accounts of many San Francisco drag queens. However, since then most people have largely forgotten about the platform.
But not everyone has forgotten, and some have fully embraced the monochrome social platform. It has since evolved into an artistic platform for sharing work, possibly due to the minimalist design the platform itself has. Or maybe it’s their no ads, no selling of information, and no real-name policy. Whatever the reason, they have created an exclusive community of creative people.
The invite-only model Ello has used to grow its user base has created a space for people to post their work and know that it will only be seen by like-minded people. It has given Ello a bit of a “judgment free” feel. The art the community is posting is across all mediums and skill levels, but when scrolling through the “discover” tab you see very few selfies or pointless blabber.
The tech community is convinced that Ello has seen its day, but I’m not as certain. I think they have developed something unique and engaging, and clearly a great community has embraced it.