SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 4 ― Have you heard of “Supernova”? No, we're not talking astronomy here but rather about a rather unique social network. This new platform wants to bring together good deeds and the internet by surfing on the positive. Looking to give a knockout punch to online hate, “Supernova” even intends to give the majority of its advertising revenues to charitable causes. Will it be enough to win over generation Z?
Could this be the beginning of a new era on social networks? While a growing number of voices are calling out online hate and demanding action, a new platform called “Supernova” aims to offer an “ethical alternative,” TechCrunch revealed. In the face of behemoths like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which have been widely criticized, particularly by younger generations, for their lack of moderation, Supernova CEO and founder Dominic O'Meara aims to appeal to Generation Z by putting charities at the center and attract advertising revenue that benefits them. “Our technology and accessibility make it possible for the world to genuinely help each other using social media and the power of advertising. And to see transparently exactly how and where their actions are helping at all times,” he told TechCrunch.
To achieve this, “Supernova” wants to tackle the problems that plague social networks: online hate, toxic language, racism, homophobia, to name a few. While Instagram has been accused of fostering complexes in young girls, “Supernova” describes itself as the “positive” alternative, a place where users will be able to feel “safe, secure and encouraged to have positive, inspiring, life-affirming interaction with their friends... without having to witness and endure hate, racism, homophobia and extreme politics.” According to the app's charter, moderation will, for the time being, only rely on human beings and not artificial intelligence, with the exception of their own Ted bot whose function has not yet been clearly explained.
Millions of potential donations
The new platform plans to go even further by intending to donate 60 per cent of its ad revenue to charities fighting climate change, helping the homeless, animal welfare, mental health, ocean cleanup and other urgent causes. “[O]n Supernova, likes earn money for charity. Each like you get sends a little more money to your cause of choice, and each like you give does the same for someone else's cause,” Supernova explains on their site. According to the new social network, if they manage to capture 1 per cent or more of the global market for advertising on social networks, that's £600 million (RM3.38 billion) that could be donated to associations per year. Supernova has also chosen to call “Likes” by the term “Thanks” for more positivity. Users will also be able to get “Supernovas,” “likes” equivalent to ten times the value of a normal “Like,” by using the application more.
The application, which resembles a mix between Instagram and TikTok, allows users to post photos and videos, comment on content and have access to private messaging. Users can create groups, subscribe or block users, make their account private and access a tab to discover other content across various themes on the platform. While such tools are already widely offered on other social networks, Supernova stands out especially by giving users the opportunity to select a charity that they want to support with the money earned on the platform.
Is the ‘feel good’ trend a lucrative new opportunity?
If the concept could win over generation Z, concerned with charitable causes, will the brands get on board? The CEO is optimistic: “Being part of a ‘new era' social media that is doing the right thing is great for their brands (PR) as opposed to being part of an old toxic order that potentially harms their brands. Deloitte tells us that 80 per cent of millennials only want to buy from brands that put others' interests above their own. Large advertisers are fed up with the social media status quo: I met one ... with a global budget in excess of US$10 billion who told me exactly that,” Dominic O'Meara told TechCrunch. Recently, beauty company Lush announced that it was leaving certain social networks like Facebook and Instagram for the sake of their consumers' well-being and in the face of platform inaction to combat negativity. ― ETX Studio