Australia has a new social media app, WeAre8, because we definitely need more social media apps.
WeAre8 quietly launched this week, and it bills itself as being “revolutionary” and that it’s “set to turn how Aussies use social media on its head”.
What is WeAre8?
The company behind WeAre8 says the app is the world’s first sustainable social platform that pays people every time they watch an advert. WeAre8 also claims to donate money to charities.
Watching an ad is opt-in, but yes, you’ll get paid for it and be confronted with the moral dilemma of keeping it or passing the cash onto a charity. There’s a lot to unpack, particularly that nothing is ever really free.
“It’s for anyone sick of losing days spiralling down a social media black hole where you’re served random suggested posts instead of things you actually want to see AND/OR anyone who’d rather feel valued, inspired, connected and like you’re literally helping to save the planet,” WeAre8 said in a press release.
That still doesn’t really answer the question, so I took one for the team and used up some app real estate on my already bloated phone.
Upon opening the app, you need to provide your full name, set a username, enter your email address and opt-in to communication (you can’t get paid without that last bit). After setting a password (and selecting ‘consent’ to WeAre8 collecting your ISP and IP address so that the app can “give you the most relevant paid brand ads and highlight 8Citizen programs in your community”), you’re good to go. Now, you just have to ‘become an 8Citizen’. The data collection continues, with date of birth, gender and phone number all required to progress.
I truly don’t even know what’s going on. I’m scrolling under the ‘8Stage’ tab and it’s a bunch of wellbeing and personal growth-esque short videos (similar scrolling/vibe to TikTok because of course no social media app can go a day without trying to be TikTok).
To get paid, you need to add your PayPal account.
WeAre8 was created by Sue Fennessy (an Aussie entrepreneur who is also a Monash Fellow). In Australia, 10 advertisers have already come on board, including Suncorp, SBS, Dove, Rexona, Omo, Virgin Australia Airlines, Nature’s Own, Coles and Telstra. WeAre8 considers itself the world‘s only carbon-negative social media platform, with 50 per cent of profits going back to people’s pockets, 5 per cent to charities and carbon offsetting and 5 per cent to a creator fund.
Every app you allow onto your device is pulling your data like there’s no tomorrow, and it’s important to realise WeAre8 is no different. You never get something for free, and your data is well and truly gold.