Recently, the surging of daily active users in Soul App has brought changes to the market of social apps. Although half of the market is still occupied by mainstream social networking platforms, their dominance is threatened by a loss of younger users. On the other side of the story, apps led by Soul App are rising. Zhang Lu, Soul App CEO revealed in one interview that maintaining the natural attraction of social networking is the key for Soul App to capture young users. According to Zhang Lu, a sense of authenticity and reality is what Soul App endeavors to develop for its users.
The nature of social networking has determined that a social networking app is more than a tool for communication. Some recognize their identities on social platforms as portrait pictures require meticulous decoration. In the universe of social networking, individual behavior is driven by the desire to create a persona that they dream of. They may post refined selfies, upload videos of their pets, or share their opinions on recent events. These behaviors ultimately determine how they will be perceived. Simultaneously, people instinctively make constant comparisons between themselves and others. Social psychologist Festinger suggested in his Social Comparison Theory that people generally have the tendency to compare their own conceptions and capacities with those of others in order to evaluate and make judgments about themselves. This behavior of comparison is intensively magnified in the prosperous and instantaneous cyber world.
The wide dissemination of the Internet and social networking has rendered it possible for every individual to embrace the chance of receiving attention. Meanwhile, attention assigned to a single individual is consequently restricted. This has led individuals to invest their time and energy to decorate their social profiles and increase their social charm. Authenticity, which is the foundation of social networking is consequently concealed by heavy social make-up. Over time, social platforms, whose original mission is to record life, are filled with highly distorted images and beautified languages. Tired of wearing endless social make-up, individuals, especially those from a younger generation, grow increasingly rebellious. They no longer chase after personal influence. What they call for from the depth of their hearts is emotional resonance through authentic communication and the freedom to express their true self.
Once the general environment of the Internet undergoes changes, the value code of social products will be simultaneously refreshed. Developers start to realize that a sense of authenticity is the essence of social platforms. Retaining the true colors of social life is a critical proposition that must be solved. The mission of social networking is to connect every individual soul, to allow an exchange of ideas, emotions, and affections. A new social playground is necessary to release people from the burden of beautified self-images and to allow them to establish real connections. This sense of authenticity will ultimately transform into a sense of identity and belonging. Zhang Lu, CEO of Soul App, has noticed these unsatisfied needs and endeavored to create a little planet for every user to unveil their true self.
Soul App abandoned the tradition of socializing with acquaintances. Instead of importing contacts from existing lists, Soul App will automatically recommend like-minded users, also known as soulers, for every user. Before creating an account in Soul App, every user must finish a series of questions, which are designed to generate an interest profile for them. They will be subsequently led to a small planet based on their interest profiles, where they can post their daily life or communicate with other users. Socializing in Soul App no longer lays its basis on external labels such as appearance, age, and vocation. Users are even not allowed to upload real-person avatars, which enables them to remove the mask of disguise. Thus they are guaranteed a safe corner to demonstrate their true self and release their inner feelings, restoring the original sense of ease and intimacy in social relationships.
The uprising of Soul App has rung an alarm bell over the market. Social platforms should maintain the natural attraction of social networking, which is necessarily established on the basis of authenticity and reality. Unpretentious content is more likely to trigger empathy and arouse a stronger desire for expression. Meanwhile, psychological security and a sense of belonging are what connect every individual. It is no coincidence that this is also the path of development along which Zhang Lu founded Soul. Zhang Lu believes that a social platform should seize the most underlying user needs. Soul Apps will hold on to this belief and continue to explore the new possibilities of social networking.