Imagine a social media platform that allows you to pay and control multiple aspects of other people’s lives. The polling app NewNew, launched in September last year, does exactly this, like a real-life game of Sims. Although this description sounds a bit ominous, the goal is not something sinister. The app’s makers, Courtne Smith and Filip Diarra, call it the human stock market. They aim to bring creators and their followers closer together in an environment where the latter helps the former solve dilemmas.
We have already seen influencers and famous personalities using polls to make decisions on a variety of topics, ranging from outfit selection to the kind of content they should post. Typically, fans participate in such polls and help them decide by selecting from the given choices. So what’s new about NewNew? Well, it lets you make these decisions for just about anyone by paying a small fee, and you get to watch them do it as well.
The app’s website describes it as “a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people, in order to control their decisions and watch the outcome.” According to BBC’s report, NewNew’s target audience includes writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, bloggers, etc., who can use the platform to regularly reach out to fans and implement their suggestions, if and when they face any sort of dilemma. However, letting fans affect your decision making may not be a welcome practice for everyone. But the app also allows users to make some money as participants have to pay to vote.
The app can be downloaded from the App Store. Once a creator joins, they are encouraged to ask their followers and fans to vote on a specific aspect or issue—this could be an upcoming project that you want to undertake or something as simple as deciding whether to have Chinese or Italian food. The followers get an opportunity to vote for a fee, an undisclosed percentage of which goes to NewNew and the rest to the creator’s account.
Other than voting, followers can also pay a little extra ($20 onwards) to ask a NewNew creator to do something that they want them to. For instance, they can ask for a character in a book to be named after them. These are called “bids.” However, the creator is free to reject these, in which case the follower doesn’t have to part with the money.
Before NewNew, Smith was part of rapper Drake’s management team where she headed business endeavors and special projects. Smith has also co-founded the hair extension brand Tharen and a prize giveaway app, Suprize, which was transformed to become NewNew. Currently, she is one of the 20 Black female founders in tech who have built a VC-backed startup with an eight-figure valuation.
As a concept, NewNew seems pretty cool. The platform has the potential to help creators in many aspects, including connecting with and growing their following. As of now, the app is still in its nascent stage and it remains to be seen how the platform develops.