Can social media actually drive social good? Guess we’ll find out

Roar Social wants to turn social media into an impactful engine for good causes — and a fun one at that.

Roar Social, a new social media platform that launched in beta yesterday, says it wants to “redefine what social media can be.”

people looking at phones

Thank goodness. But also good freakin’ luck.

How’s Roar Social different?

It’s yet another video-sharing app, just like every other new social app you’ve already ignored, but this one hopes to stand out by sitting squarely between social media and philanthropy.

  • All users are prompted to follow “causes” — think climate change or animal rights — and, per Deadline, every post is attached to a cause.
  • There are no “likes.” Instead, if users want to support a video, they can tap a piggy bank icon, with each tap giving a penny to nonprofits tied to the associated cause.
  • Everyone on Roar Social has to load a “social giving wallet” with at least $5.

The platform hopes to attract creators to make exclusive content supporting their pet causes, and is also leaning on big brands to direct corporate social responsibility budgets toward matching Roar Social donations.

It wants to be the “fun” donation site — its founder specifically calls out GoFundMe as being un-fun — and leans hard on the phrase “Gamified Giving” on its website.

Where could the wheels come off?

Other than the typical challenges — an endlessly saturated social market, the costs of acquiring a sizeable user base, the uphill task of keeping users continually engaged — some very funny brand confusion could potentially pose a problem.

The top result for “Roar” in the App Store is Roar, a very, very different social app that appears to be half trucker communications and half, uh, live adult video chats.

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