Is Pheed the new Twitter? Many of us asked that a few months ago when it first launched, and lo and behold, today the popular new social media platform climbed Apple’s charts of top free apps, to #1 in social, above Twitter and Facebook and #5 overall, out of all free apps.
As we all know, the social sphere is quite crowded — one can hardly keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Vine. This fact makes Pheed’s recent growth all the more interesting, as it’s an industry many feel is not open to disruption.
Since Pheed launched their iPhone app in mid-November the platform has been growing steadily, entering into Apple’s Top Charts within weeks, as well as the top 100 apps in over 30 countries. With well over a million users, the app has become popular among creatives – artists, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, actors, and — as of 48 hours ago — seemingly also among teens.
Teens were, in fact, largely responsible for the new surge in growth that pushed Pheed to #1. Apparently, a few popular teens with large Twitter and Instagram followings discovered the app, tweeting about it late Monday night and yesterday morning, and spawning teens from all over the US to open Pheed channels. Among these, the instigator was a girl by the name of Acacia Brinley, who tweeted ‘@Pheed sickest app’ sending thousands of teens to open Pheed channels within minutes.
When I asked Pheed’s CEO and Co-Founder OD Kobo for a comment, he chuckled, just shaking his head in bewilderment: “I feel like the only metaphor that describes accurately how I feel is the little engine that could, as it’s against all odds… we’re this self funded startup with no VC funding… while our competitors raise tens of millions, we’re just this small team of people, and Pheed is being accepted by the community. All I can say is we are happy that people are being so accepting. It means a great deal!”
With all the attention Tumblr has gotten for teens driving their growth, it seems this is another great indication of how powerful the youth sector can be in fueling a startup’s growth. In a world where teens are perhaps not taken seriously, but where Justin Bieber has a larger Twitter following than the president of the United States, it’s clear this is a crowd that should be given more attention. What perhaps is even more clear, is that Pheed is no longer some ‘phad’ (chuckle). It’s here to stay.