It seems like every week nowadays that some new upstart social media platform comes along, with a cocky swagger and an attitude, looking to unseat the big boys from their well-established online thrones.
In 2014 it was Ello that made its claim, but it crashed and burned shortly afterwards, despite a huge amount of media attention – it is still lurking and has received further funding, so we may not have heard the last of it yet. However, if you took a look at Twitter last Friday you may have noted a new trending social topic – Peach.
You may have skimmed past it, thinking everyone was just going potty for prunus persica, but you would be mistaken. Peach is a brand new social networking app from Don Hofmann (one of the brains behind Vine – arguably the last social network to really gain a foothold) that is seeking to insert itself into your life.
Peach on iOS
Only available on i-devices at present, Peach takes a little from Facebook and a little from Twitter to create something simple and lighthearted. Like Facebook, Peach has you make ‘friends’ with other users, with all of your connections being symmetrical, unlike the ‘follower’ format that Twitter employs.
However, much in the same way that Twitter keeps things simple, Peach limits activity to simple posts, rather than the full range of features and apps that you find on Facebook.
So far, response has been largely good with it currently sitting on a four star rating (out of 247 ratings) on the Apple store, with users praising the clean aesthetic and the simplicity of posting. The thing that really makes Peach stand out though is the amount of media attention that it’s garnered – much like Ello did. The cynics of the media would say that it’s just another opportunity to inject cash into yet another social app in the hope that it will become the next hot property to make a quick buck out of.
Getting Around the App
In the time that I spent on the app, I must admit that I quite enjoyed it. The ability to share different content formats (music, GIFs etc.) with single keywords is refreshing and there are a bunch of stickers that you can send to liven up your communications. These are a bit like Facebook’s ‘poke’ system (remember that?) but a lot more fun, and a lot less automatically innuendo laden.
There’s a light bulb icon that you can tap that provides you with inspiration on things to post, although I personally found suggestions such as ‘what talent do you wish you had?’ a little cheesy. Another thing that I found to be disappointing was the lack of a central news feed – you have to click on individual users to see what they have shared.
Also there is presently no account name verification system, so the network is already rife with celebrity impersonators such as Jeremy Corbyn and Taylor Swift, something that’s sure to be further abused in a very short space of time.
Just Another Ello?
Whilst it may be tempting to write Peach off as just another social networking wannabe that is destined to go the way of the dodo after a short flurry of interest, this is not necessarily the case.
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ may be the undeniable big boys in terms of reaching large audiences, but that popularity comes with a price. Audiences are so big on the larger networks that they can be somewhat unfocused, and it can be difficult for marketing managers to target the specific audience that their products or services are aimed at.
This is where smaller social networks can find success. By aiming for a niche audience, a network can become the place to be for people interested in a certain field.
Think of it like making a video game – there is little point in trying to make the next Call of Duty, because Call of Duty has that corner of the market locked down. Instead look for the audiences that don’t want Call of Duty and try to make something for them. It’s the basic principles of growth hacking – product-market-fit – don’t attempt to shoe-horn your marketing into a bad fit, instead find one that is perfect for your needs and that of your audience.
It’s the same with social media – instead of trying to take on Facebook and failing, look for the audience that aren’t being served by the big blue one and aim for them.
Better to have a small piece of the pie than to shoot for the whole thing and end up with none.
Marketing with Peach
Whilst I was a little disappointed by Peach’s ‘inspiration’ button, I actually think that it is the feature that gives Peach a chance to truly become a game changing social network for marketing managers.
If Peach made its application programming interface (API) available to third-party developers then just imagine the possibilities?
Instead of just offering somewhat boring and clichéd suggestions, the inspiration feature could tie into a more complex algorithm that scans what your friends are talking about and then crafts a question that best fits with the overall discussion. This would allow you to keep on top of the conversation and make sure that your posts are all on topic – all with the tap of the button.
A dream come true for those looking to post targeted marketing content.
However, even without this feature, Peach could easily become a way for marketing managers to share content in a more convenient, personal and intimate manner.
Many people are describing the app as a sort-of Swiss Army Knife of social networking and it is this, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, that gives Peach real promise as a marketing tool.
If you haven’t already, then check out Peach and jump on board. Any social platform that enjoys media attention will soon attract the big boys of marketing, so why not get in there before them and get a head start on an app that could prove popular. Sure, it’s somewhat lacking in users and features right now, but invite the team and use the Slack-esque features and before you know it, there will be other users to network and build a community with.