Twitter rival Pheed banks on celebrity channels
Pheed, a new social network similar to Twitter and Tumblr, has attracted lots of celebrity support in its first week on the web.
Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown and Slash are using the new service, which allows members to charge for access to their 'channels', either on a subscription basis or a pay-per-view basis.
Launching her Pheed channel, which already has almost 2,000 subscribers, Paris Hilton wrote: "Hey guys! Im about 2 go on a pheeding phrenzy."
Miley Cyrus, with 20,000 subscribers, posted: "My fans have officially taken over Pheed!"
Pheed lets members post text updates, as well as photos, video and audio clips. Channels can even host live broadcast events.
O.D. Kobo, the company's co-founder, said: "That whole model where people pay x amount for a video or song is a bit outdated. What social media is today is about selling bits and pieces of peoples' lives. It’s not necessarily selling that one song, it’s selling access to me."
The channel owner keeps half the fees their feed generates, with the other half going to cover bandwidth and other overheads, as well as Pheed's profits.
He told Fast Company that he felt that the evolution of social networks had stopped with Instagram. He said: "In the past five years I haven’t seen anyone do anything as masterful as them.
"But after two years I kept thinking, Why can’t I do more? Why didn’t they introduce video? Why can’t I upload an album? Wouldn't it be interesting if Instagram offered text? Would Twitter have been shaking in their boots a little bit? Maybe it was necessary for other platforms to come about."
Pheed's mobile app will go live next week and Kobo expects the site's traffic to grow significantly from the current level of 350,000 unique visitors. The celebrity line-up should draw in some users but it remains to be seen whether they will pay for those who choose to run a subscription channel, having followed celebrities free on Twitter.
Shane Richmond, Telegraph.co.uk