Imzy Really Can Work...So Long as it Doesn't Succeed
Diverse, welcoming, generous, playful, opinionated, curious, tough and goofy. These are just a few of the adjectives you’ll encounter revolving around in a soft multicolour when you open up the welcome page for Imzy.com, a brand new social network launched in the past week by a group of recently-departed Reddit employees. Whether or not these prove as autobiographical (or indeed as biographical) as they claim to be (honestly, I'm not that tough), they certainly are a mission statement. The central goal of Imzy is to be 'a well-functioning community.' No trolls, no abuse. If we're honest, a push in that direction can't come soon enough, what with ravenous Donalds running riot and a new report from the Angus Reid Institute which claims that one in four Canadians have been harassed online. But does this new site really have the gumption to do what Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr.... pretty much everyone, has thus far failed to achieve, and actually keep things civil? The answer might be yes. So long as it doesn't really succeed...
There are potential pitfalls already in play. For starters, Imzy claims it will support posting under all manner of identities: pseudonyms, real names and even complete anonymity. That's troll-friendly right there. Moreover, they're not running with ads just yet: which means they need to prove their potential as a website. However whilst investors generally take 'potential' as part and parcel of user growth, it really seems that, in Imzy's case, the best way to prove its viability as an alternative to Facebook, Reddit or Twitter is to... be unsuccessful. That is to say, it needs to stay small in order to stay relevant.
Being non-massive has three massive benefits. Firstly, your moderators don't get overloaded - something which Facebook says landed them in hot water recently (or, at least, that's what they said the problem was). Secondly, moderators don't develop the scope needed to interpret the rules in ways that clash with popular opinion. And finally, if it doesn't branch-out too far from its core support, the community itself is more likely to have a more homogenised point-of-view. There are various other networks similar to Imzy - Ello, for example - which launched with the same project, but are today only relatively small. Still, Ello has endured, as have others. We'll have to wait and see whether Imzy really has what it takes to give us a friendly social network. But it's promising to see Dan McComas, Imzy CEO (and Reddit's old product chief), claim in an interview with The Verge yesterday: 'We're not a media company. Your eyeballs are not what we're trying to monetize here.' Let's just hope that message isn't lost in the user growth.
|"Succeed" man, you know.... in the parlance of our times. (image: DenOfGeek)|
James has a Bachelor’s degree in History and wrote his dissertation on beef and protest. His heroes list ranges from Adele to Noam Chomsky: inspirations he’ll be invoking next year when he begins a Master’s degree in London. Follow him @Songbird_James
Imzy Really Can Work...So Long as it Doesn't Succeed Reviewed by James Stannard on Tuesday, November 01, 2016 Rating: