I’ve written before about who social media has created an era of unprecedented social transparency and reactions to all this information people have started to act like brands to stand out from the crowd. They use the tools in their devices to create their own brand voice on channels like Twitter, their own brand image through photos or selfies, their own brand values with every piece of content they post and they do it all to create a highlight controlled and curated version of themselves.
As a response to this trend YouTube sensation Casey Neistat has created a social network that strips away the pretense of all the filters and overly curated images that pervade social media platforms to create an alternative to the “highly sculpted, calculated, calibrated” version of ourselves. The resulting work is a new social network called Beme where instead of picking out the perfect picture to post the network only allows you to post 4 second video clips that are created in a way where you can’t see exactly what you are recording. When you want to record a video you hold their phone against something like your chest or a wall and it will record four seconds of video which keeps yo from being able to frame or fuss over the recording. It uses a smartphone’s proximity sensor to know when it is against an object to start recording. Once the video is posted anyone in your network can only view the video once and instead of being able to ‘like’ the video you touch the screen and the app will take a selfie as your appreciation of the clip. It’s a very different way to go about reacting to a piece of digital content but the idea is that you will be able to see the viewers actual face and reaction to what you created.
I think this is a refreshing change from pretty much all new social networks that seem to just want to rely on new technological innovations as their core concept like the live video streaming of Periscope or the 3D image interactions of Fuse. The interesting thing will be to see if the experience created by Beme really does provide real authenticity or if it will just feel like a really good concept that creates bad content no one cares about because we have all become so accustomed to everything being so curated.
The Beme app is not immediately available to everyone as someone must first invite you to be able to use it. I have not yet been able to get an invite so if anyone has one feel free to send it my way because I would like to check it out in person. Until then you can go and reserve you username for when the network does go public. You can download the Beme on iOS app here.