More Than Selfies: How One Platform Is Helping Do Good On Social Media
Over the last few years we’ve all seen, and probably taken part in, one of the many viral social campaigns that have flooded our social feeds. From the Kony videos that sprung up on timelines in 2012, to 2014’s #bringbackourgirls campaign, social media users’ eyes were opened to travesties taking place across the world. Individuals could use social media to contribute positively to the situation by instantly sharing these campaigns, and raising awareness about these injustices. This trend continued with the #icebucketchallenge that raised millions for ALS research, fun challenges, and also current calls for social change like #blacklivesmatter.
Viewly is a new startup that aims to give all these different social campaigns taking place across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine, a central home on the internet. The company’s goal is to make it easy for anyone to take part in, or create their own meaningful social campaign. Available on the web and on mobile, Viewly caters to those interested in building and running social campaigns with data analysis and amalgamating tools, as well as offering interesting engagement features aimed at increasing participant-involved in the campaigns.
The platform provides a space where users can search through hundreds of campaigns to connect to, and if they do not find one to their liking, they can create their own. The latter process requires a few clicks, uploading of a picture or video, and choosing a cause to raise funds or awareness for. People interested in making their own social campaign can use the platform to spread their new campaign across social media channels, and track its effectiveness. The platform displays how many people are donating to your campaign as well as sharing it – a useful tool for nonprofits or charities trying to expand and understand their reach.
On the participant side, users can look up #hashtagged campaigns, have an overview of how popular the campaign is on different social media platforms, as well participate in the campaigns. From campaigns like the #GlutenFree (for Celiac Disease Awareness Month), with tens of thousands of participants, to the Viewly-created #PowerOfPuppies, Viewly enables users to join different causes by posting an image (their gluten free products or puppies in these two cases) with the campaign’s hashtag, and share them online, to raise awareness for the cause.
Viewly has a gamification feature giving campaign participants a metascore measuring their “social impact.” This is derived from the individuals donations and their efforts to increase awareness of campaigns through shares, likes, repins, and retweets. The score also takes into account participants’ friends and followers participation. In theory, this can lead to friends, and even celebrities, competing amongst themselves to contribute to different social causes on Viewly to increase their metascore.
“We saw how the #IceBucketChallenge campaign was a phenomenal trend, involving millions of people who cared about the cause and saw themselves influenced by participating in the challenge,” said Viewly CEO Alon Lewin.
“However the data regarding #IceBucketChallenge was very scattered, and while you could find campaign participation figures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, people didn’t have one place that arranged all the data in one place. We wanted to build a platform that transforms users online activities into something meaningful.”
While online charity accounts for 8% of the total donation market, it is forecasted to double in the next few years. It remains to be seen if Viewly will be able to capitalize on this trend by gaining enough socially conscious millennials to become viable.