Welcome to the Herd Blog!
Updated: Feb 25, 2021
Welcome to the Herd Blog! Articles posted here will explore everything relating to social media, technology, and society. Whether you enjoyed watching the recent Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma,” want to learn more about how social media has changed our daily routines, or are just curious about how Herd is specially designed to help you live a happier and healthier life, this blog has you covered! Topics will range from combating misinformation online, to understanding how social media affects body image, to fully exploring the motivations behind specific features on Herd. Future articles will include interviews with both community members and industry experts so you can become a better-informed digital consumer!
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably at least slightly familiar with the Herd app. But if not, here’s a refresher about the app and the big problems it is designed to solve. Herd was first conceptualized during the COVID-19 pandemic by its co-founders, Mady Dewey and Ali Howard, as a solution to the comparison and negativity experienced by millions of social media users. Herd is specifically designed to encourage and empower its users, flipping the script of how we’ve come to expect social media to make us feel. Herd prioritizes transparency, consent, and emotional wellbeing over the “popularity contest” of traditional social media that has consistently been linked to higher risks of depression, anxiety, and lower self-esteem. Herd also intentionally does not display advertisements, as advertisements on all major social media platforms maximize their relevance to individual users by tracking Internet behavior and location. Herd knows that you should be in control of your data privacy and how it is used!
The majority of today’s social media users are women, despite the fact that all of the major global social media platforms were founded by all-male boards. In addition, female startup founders only receive about 2% of the billions of dollars in venture capital funding. Women know firsthand the unique struggles of having a digital presence and all the societal expectations that go along with that. That’s why Herd was designed by Mady and Ali as a safe space for all gender identities, with many of their design choices stemming from a base desire for empowerment and autonomy in the digital space.
Herd is stepping in at a crucial time in the digital world. In October 2020, a 400-page report was released from the House Judiciary Committee known as the “Big Tech Antitrust Report.” The report, resulting from a 15-month investigation, came to the conclusion that the power of digital culture is in the hands of too few corporations. Apple, Amazon, and Facebook often operate by acquiring smaller companies, stifling competition and market innovation. Operating as monopolies, the motivations of these entities begin to shift from supporting to instead monetizing the consumer. Herd emerged from the frustrations of consumers who distinctly feel the mounting problems of their digital footprint becoming monetized, from battling misinformation to declining emotional well-being. Herd’s founders have committed fully to protecting their users and not to sell out to these monopoly powers in tech. However, the only way to grow a healthier social media environment for all is to show your support. Beta testing of Herd launches this April, with a full nationwide release in May 2021. Sign up for our newsletter and follow Herd’s journey on Instagram and TikTok (@herd.app) to stay informed about upcoming events and release dates!
View more of Rachel's work here.