An app paying you to watch its ads and, after eight minutes on it, telling you to go and enjoy the rest of your day off your screen? We’re talking about WeAre8, a new app that quietly launched in Australia’s App Store and Google Play this week following a successful launch in the UK.
The brainchild of Australian tech entrepreneur Sue Fennessy, the app was designed to be an inspirational and hate-free alternative to existing social media apps, putting money in its users’ pockets, leaving them feeling good and helping the planet. Oh, and it’s B Corp-certified, too, meaning it’s required to report on its sustainability and ethical values.
“Technology and social media have divided us more than ever before,” says Fennessy. “Algorithms control what we see, making our world smaller and more divided. It’s not making us happier or more connected.”
The platform is the world’s only carbon-negative social media platform, with 50% of its profits going back to people’s pockets through a revolutionised ad experience, 5% going to charities and carbon offsetting and 5% to a creator fund.
“Imagine if you could change the world in just two minutes a day,” reads the app’s description. “Now you can. We make it easy and fun for you to help reverse climate change, end food poverty and support the causes that matter. Join the party and celebrate your impact with the 8 community.”
So, how does it work? Users on the platform — 8Citizens — are invited to watch eight minutes of curated content every day on the app’s feed, called the 8Stage. The all-uplifting content will share different perspectives of the world and encourage collective change.
8Citizens can follow creators from around the world or become a verified 8Creator themselves and contribute to a more mindful social media community. Users can also choose if they want to watch up to two minutes of ads in between the content — and get paid for doing so. Advertisers include Suncorp, SBS, Dove, Rexona, Omo, Virgin Australia Airlines, Nature’s Own, Coles and Telstra.
“For every ad you choose to watch, you receive small payments in your 8Wallet,” reads the press release. “Plus, a donation is also made to charities positively impacting the world.”
After you’ve spent eight minutes on the platform, WeAre8 will then tell you to get off the app and enjoy the rest of the day away from your screen.