Pop megastar Lady Gaga might just be onto something with her new social network, Little Monsters, launching this summer. The Herald got a sneak peek at the site's beta version yesterday. The invite-only platform, with less than 100,000 users, resembles the interface of Pinterest. Users scroll through a collage of picture tiles to find what they want. Each is a link to a Little Monster's profile, akin to a more focused Facebook.
Instead of a blank canvas of "likes" and interests to fill in each profile, users are asked to answer questions about themselves. Most are Gaga-centric, like where you were when you heard your first song by "Mother Monster," as she is known. Others are probing enough to be productive, like "How do you want to change the world?"
Nifty features abound, including chat rooms that allow users to converse in different languages thanks to a built-in translator.
Little Monsters is the first product by Palo Alto startup Backplane, co-founded by Lady Gaga's manager, Troy Carter. It's staffed by an array of ex-Facebook and Google employees and backed by an impressive list of Silicon Valley investors.
Backplane aims to churn out similar communities that seek to unite like-minded individuals around shared interests, whether a celebrity or social cause.
"The goal of Little Monsters and Backplane is to unite people around affinities, interests and movements," spokeswoman Sarah Ross told me.
It's not Backplane's intention for Little Monsters (and its upcoming portals) to replace already popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. In fact, quite the opposite: Backplane builds its communities with a browser extension called Cortex, which allows you to easily share information across all your social networks.
I could envision these niche portals thriving as Facebook takes a back seat, especially among teens. Gaga's "Born This Way" mantras of self-acceptance are the perfect antidote to all the cyber-bullying that has plagued youngsters on the Internet. Instead of focusing on whether your relationship status is "single" or "complicated," Little Monsters centers on people's passions and interests.
The provocative and eccentric pop icon, with her 50 million Facebook fans and 25 million Twitter followers, is the ultimate mediator and moderator for a generation that has never known a Web-free world.
Move over, Mark Zuckerberg. Social media has a new leader.
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women