Publishers Get Behind New Social App to Fund Good Causes

WeAre8 is a different kind of social media platform making its U.S. debut a year after launching in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The socially conscious mobile app prohibits hate speech and pays its users to watch ads. Earned funds can be withdrawn or directed to causes like Save the Children, Feeding America and The app prohibits tobacco, big oil and gambling interests from advertising. Backed by publishers including The Independent, Warner Bros. Discovery and LADbible Group, WeAre8 hopes to attract 80 million users in two years.

That translates to 1 percent of people on Earth. Of the planet’s 8 billion, two billion “are living in a world of social technology that connects us, but also isolates us, fuels the mental health crisis and climate crisis and undermines democracy at a time when people and society need to come together to support each other and our precious planet,” WeAre8 Founder and CEO Sue Fennessy said in news announcement.

WeAre8 “generates revenue via ads but shares 50 percent of it with people via micropayments, 5 percent with charity and climate change solutions, and 5 percent with its creator and publishers,” writes Adweek, noting that the platform’s ads are, in theory, more effective for brands “because people can cherry-pick the content they like.”

Research by ad-tracking platform Lumen found that WeAre8 ads were about 10x more effective in terms of attention than that of its nearest competitor, TikTok, and 26x more impactful than an Instagram in-feed video, according to Adweek.

WeAre8 users are presented with two content feeds, both free of algorithms and ads. The first, 8Stage, spotlights eight pieces of content daily from publishers and creators, while a second feed allows people to see content from friends.

“Once a user opts in, a small button on the right lets them see ads ranging from 15 seconds to 2 minutes, followed by a series of questions about the experience,” Adweek explains, noting that “every time someone completes watching a brand ad, they receive a share of the ad money as a micropayment in their 8Wallet on the app.”

“The social app’s debut in the U.S. is being marketed via Warner Bros. Discovery, running TV ads across its channels, including CNN, Discovery and Animal Planet,” reports Adweek. “Content related to earth and animals performs well on the platform.”

Brands including Audi, Budweiser, Dove, eBay, L’Oréal, McDonald’s, Nike and Toyota are among the advertisers supporting the platform.

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