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A small startup based in Los Angeles is making waves in the social media world. Pheed is a social networking alternative to Facebook and Twitter that appeals to the younger crowd. Teenagers and young adults are adopting the new site in a big way. The Pheed app had a huge spike in downloads last month, making it the number one free social networking app in the Apple Store.

Why Users are Leaving Facebook

Like Facebook, Pheed offers photo and video feeds, but that’s not all! It dedicates specific feeds to stream video clips and channels with live broadcasts. It also has an easy to access feed dedicated to music. The founders of Pheed understand these things are of critical importance to Generation Z, the target audience.

Significance of the Teen Demographic

Gen Z has only known computers and mobile devices. This is their primary form of communication. They prefer cell phones over LAN lines, and text messages over phone calls. This demographic is also going to be extremely important when it comes to being comfortable with monetary transactions online.

Monetization Potential of Pheed

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, there is serious monetization potential with Pheed, and here’s why. Among the obvious are more access to downloadable music and subscription-based streaming content. What you might not know is that Pheed has a feature where a user can monetize their own content as well. And we’re not talking about selling a photo here or there but allowing the user to set a price for a subscription to a whole feed of photos. So I’d call it a triple threat because it has the potential to replace features of Facebook, Instagram, and eBay.

Factors in the Early Adoption of Pheed

The startup launched a self-funded website and iOS app in 2012. While they received initial seed round funding of $2.5 million, they unleashed some early marketing genius. Pheed secured unpaid celebrity users like Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton and Nas who were well-known among the target audience. Teens are naturally early adopters, so it’s not a big surprise they’re the first to try it out. It will be interesting to see how Pheed evolves over time, and whether the demographic expands.

Music, Art, and Pheed

Pheed is providing a niche market to allow users to promote and sell copyrighted digital music, artwork and photography. We’re all familiar with watermarking features, which tag images and prevent unauthorized download and use. Pheed allows users another way to copyright music streams and video streams, that expands on the concept of a static watermark. Most important, the technology is easy to use, but the interface has a hip, urban look.

The Future of Pheed

Are you hungry to get some more Pheeds? The company plans to release a variety of new features in the next 6 months. Expect to see more updates related to music feeds, including audio filters, special effects and other features that resemble a personal music-mixing studio!