Originally published on Oct 13, 2020
Who runs the world? Girls.
Who has created every mainstream social media platform thus far? Men. All men.
Myspace? Tom Anderson.
Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg.
Instagram? Kevin Systrom.
Twitter? Jack Dorsey.
Linkedin? Reid Hoffman.
Sure, they invite women to interact. But just allowing our existence isn’t enough. The social experience of women was left out of the creation of social media. The lack of consideration for how nearly half of the world socializes while designing a SOCIAL network is one hell of a design flaw.
Media has always used women as their favorite marketing resource. If it isn’t the sexualization of our bodies, they market to our insecurities. If it isn’t our insecurities, it’s an attempt to fuel our competition against one another. Social media takes the toxicity of mainstream media and amplifies it by voices that sound a lot like our own.
These days, that isn’t the move.
We aren’t about it.
The world can be a little crazy. (Maybe a lot of crazy these days.)
But that is why women realize we must love, care, and nurture one another. Women empower women.
Where is the social media platform that allows women to thrive? To interact? To encourage? To create a space free of intimidation, photoshop, and the race to being the best?
The creators of the “Herd” app asked themselves these same questions.
What is Herd?
What happens when girls decide to make a change? Things change.
Herd is the first social media platform created by women for women. Though Herd is not limited to only women, it was designed to foster the community of women in a place separate from mainstream media’s toxicity. Herd is a place for encouragement.
Founder, Mady Dewey, explained how she is giving women a new kind of social environment to thrive.
“We want women to feel empowered by Herd. A large portion of this idea came from the advice my co-founder and I have heard time and time again as women: ‘Stop using social media in the morning, it ruins your day.’ We asked ourselves: ‘Why does it have to be that way? Can’t there be an app that I can open first thing in the morning that makes me feel good?’ Herd will do just that.”
Though originally conceptualized as a woman-focused platform, the goal of Herd is now to create an experience for everyone that is free from social media toxicity.
“Women are stronger when they come together. However, we are all stronger when we come together and stand up for what is right, which is toxic-free social media,” says Mady.
At the end of the day, Herd is a social media platform re-imagined by the female experience, a much-needed addition to today’s social media landscape.
Herd: No Filters? No problem.
“My biggest hope is that Herd allows us to get back to the real & the raw. Social media was intended to connect, but in my opinion, algorithms focused on engagement alone divide us. By focusing on other metrics, we are creating incentives for individual creators and brands to be honest and express themselves unfiltered,” says Mady.
Forget the filters. Forget the pressure to feel like you need to look a certain way. Forget the idea that you have anyone to impress. Herd was created to allow users to be a little weird, a little vulnerable, a lot loved, and to embrace the fun in life without considering how worthy one’s moments are to others.
Herd is social media re-imagined by the female experience.
When is Herd set to launch?
Over the past few months, we have been closely watching the progress Herd founders, Mady & Ali, have made on the app. We have seen slight branding changes, expected more solid timelines, and even heard some new end-goals come into play.
As of today, Herd is set to begin Beta testing in late February 2021 for Android and iOS. There will be ten thousand (yes, ten thousand) beta testers who will get to experience the first version of the Herd app and provide valuable feedback to the Herd team, allowing Herd to launch the most optimal experience at the full launch, currently set for the end of April 2021 for both Android and iOS.
How does Herd plan on fostering a positive social community?
Mady and Ali’s goals for Herd have always been to create a space that is both safe, customizable, and free from advertisement to encourage the growth of people and provide a safe place for online socialization. Comfort has always been the key, and Mady and Ali are doing everything in their power to ensure that.
According to Mady, the safety measures Herd is putting in place will be strictly enforced. The idea is to create the safest environment for people to express themselves, and part of that is keeping negativity and hatefulness as far away as possible.
How Herd Will Work
Every users’ profile on Herd will be private. What this mostly means is no one can see how many likes you have received or how many friends you have.
Users can choose what to share on the public, chronological feed (which is temporary). Users will also be able to choose what they wish to see more of on their feed. (Rumor has it, there will be more than one type of feed.)
Connection and Communication
Users can create their own “Herd” by adding people they would like to connect with. However, no messaging between parties can take place until after both users have consented to the contact. At Herd, you are always in control of your experience.
Herd’s algorithm is set to be emotion-based over number-based, meaning you’ll get to see more content YOU want to see. Herd is not a popularity contest, and the algorithm reflects that.
Another safety measure Herd has implemented is category identification of posts, encouraging users to tag the subject matter of their posts so other users can minimize their exposure to potentially sensitive content.
Herd aims to get rid of the idea of influencers. However, Herd would like to keep it possible for brands to share their life, laughter, and good vibes on Herd while allowing users to potentially partner with brands to share what they genuinely love.
Mady said one of her favorite parts about Herd is that “anyone can monetize.” This rings especially true with the removal of a popularity-based experience.
Possible Long-Term Goals for Herd
Though not anticipated in the initial launch, Herd would love to launch a marketplace, a place to share music, and even more features that create a well-rounded social experience. As Mady and Ali receive feedback during the beta testing process, we expect to see changes tailored to user-experience.
The Future of Herd
Herd is taking what we know about social media and evolving that understanding to encompass more positivity and more authenticity. Herd is not just creating a platform for people to thrive, they’re redefining the social media experience, thus reshaping how we look at social media, and ultimately, how we look at one another.
Who’s Behind Herd?
Mady Dewey and Ali Howard are the masterminds behind Herd. After realizing that there was not a space dedicated to the encouragement and growth of women, Mady and Ali decided they needed to develop a solution.
Mady realized during the big tech trials that she was defending Instagram and Facebook in a conversation with her older brother.
She said, “I think people just like having just a few places to go, places where everyone is.”
At that moment, Mady realized that for so long, she was just accepting the social media landscape for what it was: a place full of misinformation, comparison, and unattainable beauty standards for women.
Mady and Ali put their plan into action and started re-imagining the digital world we live in. They decided to scrap the original design of social media and the negativity attached. They decided to slow the pace and help people place their values in the parts of life that matter most.
We don’t have to choose between social media and confidence. We don’t have to subscribe to the idea of “picture perfect.” We don’t have to subscribe to anything. With Herd, it isn’t about the following. It’s about authenticity and encouragement.
It’s about us.
Loving us. Encouraging us. Being us.
How Do You Navigate Herd?
“Boards” are for your goals. The “feed” is designed to show you positive messages first. There’s a positive community of people to chat with free of judgment. There’s a place to post and be your authentic self without having to worry about what others will say. We all have the freedom to express our individual personalities, which are complex and layered.
A lot of woman love fun, “girly” things, but we also love books and hardcore music. We love math and science. We love space and nature. We love retro video games and camping and fires and getting dirty. Whoever said that women can’t be multifaceted and excel at a million different things doesn’t know what women are capable of.
We are individuals, friends, mothers & daughters, lovers, caregivers, behind the scenes workers, front and center CEOs (yep, GJ’s CEO is one stellar woman), entertainers, bookworms, welders, doctors, software developers, givers, takers, and innovators. “Molds” are simply not a part of our vocabulary.
We are badass women who deserve a place to be just that. We are women without boundaries, and we deserve to exist in a space that encourages just that.
Why We Think Herd Matters
As a digital marketing firm, we know just how calculated social media posts can be. We are a society focused on aesthetics. Our feed portrays something about us, something we want others to think. We are constantly marketing ourselves to fit within society’s definition and making calculated efforts to prove we are “enough.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be a chemical engineer whose winged eyeliner is on point every day. You can be an interior designer with a gothic aesthetic. You can be whatever the hell you want to be.
Now imagine a group of people supporting your authentic self?