Neither my teen or tween have any interest in joining Facebook. They tell me Facebook is the network for parents. Kids are moving to a host of different apps depending on their interests — Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Kik and Vine. Now, a social network is emerging to try and capture all these divergent interests – Pheed.
If you took every social app and smushed them together, you would have Pheed. On Pheed, users can share everything – text, pictures, videos, audio, and live broadcasts. According to Pheed, 81% of its user base is 14-25 years old. (Users must be over 13.) Scrolling through Pheed, you notice people aren’t using it in lieu of other apps. Pheed timelines are full of Vine videos, Instagram pictures and posts from other networks. This is the place where people bring it all together.
Pheed is a free app. Teens can sign up using their Twitter or Facebook account or an email address. Once in, Pheed walks them through setting up a profile containing their name, username and bio.
One feature I like is users can choose to hide the number of subscribers to their channel. Instead of displaying how many subscribers, it just says “Ghost”. I noticed many channels hide this number. Hopefully, this reduces the pressure to share questionable material just to attract subscribers.
Although Pheed is free, users can set up a paid channel.Anyone can choose to charge a monthly fee to subscribe to their channel or charge for one-off live events.Most channels are still free.Pheed makes it clear that all content on Pheed is owned by the creator. Users can easily add a copyright symbol to their content and most do.
Pheed has private and public channels. Teens can set their channel to private. On a private channel, they must approve all subscribers and only subscribers can see their channel. If they keep their channel public, anyone can see their posts and subscribe to their channel. On a public channel, they will quickly accumulate subscribers. I instantly had 4 subscribers without ever posting.
Even if they choose not to have a private channel, teens can still block subscribers. Blocked channels are unable to view your content, Pheedback (repost) your content, or mention you in a Pheed or Pheedback.
One of the challenges for a social network is how to deal with inappropriate content. Most, including Pheed, rely on users to designate their content as “not safe for work”. Pheed has channel ratings. Users rate their own channels based on movie ratings – G, PG, PG-13 and R. It is up to them to decide their channel rating and they can change it any time.
Pheed does make it clear from the beginning it is not interested in X rated material. When first signing up for Pheed, users can select X rated. If they do, they will see this message…
In its community guidelines, it states it doesn’t allow pornography or sexually explicit material. I play with a lot with different apps and social networks. I am usually just a few clicks away from seeing porn. On Pheed, I clicked around and did my usual searching. Nothing. It may be lurking somewhere but your teen is unlikely to accidentally stumble upon an X rated post or channel.
Besides pornography, Pheed also doesn’t allow “threatening, embarrassing, hateful, racially or ethnically insulting, libelous, defaming, or otherwise inappropriate content.” Teens can flag content that is inappropriate. If Pheed receive multiple flags about a channel, they will send a warning or delete the channel. According to user reviews, this does happen.
If you have a teen who wants to join Pheed, parents need to remind them this is a public place. On Pheed, there is a lot of sharing across other platforms. Teens should be aware that something shared on Pheed could quickly make its way to Instagram or Vine and vice- versa. Pheed is a fun place to share lots of interests but teens need to remember to share smart.
For more information on Pheed:
- Pheed Support Center
- Pheed: The Next Social Craze for Teens?
- The Social Network That’s Winning Over Teens from Facebook and Twitter