Imagine a platform offering short form video content but with a social cause attached to them? It exists. Roar Social, a mobile app that targets 16 to 36-year-olds, lets brands flex their philanthropic muscle in the social media space by driving donations for charitable causes. Instead of giving likes or thumbs up to content, users are encouraged to “give” instead.
Backed by $10 million in seed funding, the video-driven platform aims to get brands, creators and celebrities to share their 30-second content produced on TikTok and Instagram Reels on Roar Social. People can attach the content to a specific “hero cause,” such as climate change, animal welfare or world hunger.
People using Roar Social—so-called because it revolves around people using their voices to make a positive impact—are encouraged to contribute funds, starting from 1 cent, via virtual wallets. They can also keep track of their Roar Score, an in-app scoring mechanism that rewards them for the time spent on the platform. Donations made by the users don’t affect their scores.
Social media, especially among young users, has become associated with socio-political causes from transgender surgeries and anti catcalling campaigns to BLM and Pride month. In the first quarter of 2023, Facebook removed 10.7 million pieces of toxic content from the platform, according to Statista. Meanwhile, the Center for Countering Digital Hate found slurs against gay men on Twitter rose from 2,506 a day to 3,964 a day after Elon Musk took over the platform, the New York Times reported. Now is the time for Roar, offering an alternative to the toxic environment.
Roar Social is currently inviting creators, influencers and users to join the VIP early access. Brands like Target, Starbucks and Warby Parker are expected to join the app in its early release on Apple’s App Store this month.
The idea is for these brands to use Roar Social’s tools to better spend their corporate social responsibility (CSR) dollars. In the app’s early release, brands can sponsor a single piece of content or a collection of content to reach new users for donations. Other tools, which Weiss did not share, will be available during the app’s public release in January next year.
A worry for the app is that its young audience base doesn’t have the money to support the causes it is so passionate about, especially amidst an economic crisis. “Gen Z’s appetite for aligning with charitable brands does not equal users uploading their own money into a platform and still having to watch ads,” said Haley Feazell, group media director at Mindgruve.