The teenage marketplace for apps is a troublesome nut to crack and keep related in. Simply ask Snapchat. Equally, teenagers are going by way of a stage in life the place virtually each social interplay appears to hold portent of some form of different. This might clarify partially why apps like SendIt, NGL, and Nocapp (some are Snapchat related instruments) took off as methods for teenagers to anonymously touch upon one another. And AskFM would in all probability like us all to neglect the assorted suicides that occurred when it was launched in its preliminary type, again within the day. (And also you thought Instagram is dangerous for psychological well being…).
In the meantime, someway (someway!?) a brand new startup has appeared with the concept that yet one more app goes to assist this dumpster fireplace of social interactions, however let’s hear them out earlier than leaping to conclusions.
“Slay” payments itself as a “optimistic social media community for youngsters”. The rationale we’re speaking about it immediately is that it’s grown like a weed after launching final yr in Germany, the place it reached #1 on the German iOS App Retailer 4 days after launch. It’s now claiming to have over 250,000 registered customers and claims its gaining traction in different nations together with the UK, the place it just lately launched.
So what’s the attraction right here? When customers open the app it exhibits customers 12 questions which the consumer can solely reply by selecting one other consumer (from their faculty, class or peer group) to pay an nameless praise to (or “slay”). For instance, the app could ask a consumer “Who conjures up me to do my finest?”. They will then select from 4 different customers from their faculty to pay this ‘slay’ to. They will then view compliments from different youngsters, offered they reply the 12 questions when logging on. The identification of those that despatched the praise stays hidden.
This jogs my memory of BeReal’s mechanic, the place you may solely see different folks’s BeReal pictures by importing your personal.
And Slay can be not dissimilar to Gasoline, the messaging platform standard amongst teenagers for its optimistic spin on social media, acquired by Discord yesterday. On Gasoline, nameless polling is meant to spice up customers’ confidence.
The opposite purpose Slay has popped onto the TC radar, is that its development has attracted the curiosity of VCs.
It’s now raised a $2.63m (€2.5m) pre-seed funding spherical led by Accel. Additionally taking part was 20VC. Extra traders together with Supercell Co-Founder and CEO Ilkka Paananen, Behance founder Scott Belsky, soccer star Mario Götze, Kevin Weil (Scribble Ventures) and musician Alex Pall (The Chainsmokers).
Slay says it’s aiming to reset the teenager relationship with social apps by re-balancing issues away from the destructive sentiments on social platforms, by normalising the giving of compliments. It additionally says it’s been designed with security, content material moderation and teenage psychological wellbeing inbuilt. We will see…
Digging into the app, one can see that it’s been constructed very merely as a ‘praise app’. Whether or not that’s going to be sufficient to maintain customers coming again is tough to say. Teenager behaviour is tough to second guess. Getting zero may also ship a ‘sign’, as an example.
Suffice it to say, Slay claims it should “by no means promote or share private knowledge with third events.” Given the historical past of social apps, let’s see how lengthy this lasts.
There may be additionally no direct messaging facility, though customers will be capable of add hyperlinks to social media profiles, so clearly they are going to be ready message one another finally, off-app.
Adults are supposedly not allowed to ‘be part of’ colleges, and approximate location is requested for to recommend close by colleges. Any questions and interactions are requested by the app, not by customers themselves.
SLAY was based in 2022 by a staff of three 23-year previous, Berlin-based co-founders: Fabian Kamberi, Jannis Ringwald and Stefan Quernhorst. The concept was Kamberi’s, who had been constructing shopper apps since he was an adolescent, and says he was impressed by the experiences of his siblings struggled with the negativity of social media apps through the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO and Co-founder Kamberi, informed me through e mail: “We see Slay sooner or later not solely as an nameless polling app [referring to the aforementioned Gas], however because the go-to spot for teenagers to rediscover social interactions in numerous play modes.”
“Our app is much like Gasoline, and their acquisition exhibits an excellent proof of what we have now constructed and what’s in retailer for the long run in our house. Nonetheless, apps that rely solely on nameless Q&A, for instance, carry a excessive cyberbullying danger, which – against this – we stop by way of our rigorous content material moderation in addition to specifically designed gamemodes,” he added.
However the query is, why does he assume a social app can enhance psychological well being when so many social apps haven’t?
“Now we have obtained hundreds of suggestions messages from customers thanking us for making them really feel valued in instances of fast paced, destructive social media interactions,” he informed me.
He mentioned the startup might nicely ship new options which could create extra engagement however on the similar time it’d carry a danger for negativity: “So we focus very a lot on the person expertise that every consumer has, aiming to make it as optimistic as potential.” He mentioned the startup’s job is “content material security.”
So what’s Slay’s enterprise mannequin? How will it make cash? Kamberi says it should seemingly be premium options, providers or instruments which customers pay for: “We’re at the moment constructing a number of unique, paid play modes in addition to add ons, which we are going to launch by way of suggestions cycles with customers and supported by knowledge.”
SLAY is accessible in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.
Julien Bek, Principal at Accel, added through an announcement: “We’re extraordinarily impressed by the SLAY app, each in its rapid recognition amongst youngsters and the staff’s optimistic aim of bettering teenage psychological well being within the digital world. Already, the SLAY staff has seen virtually half its energetic customers use it each faculty day.”