Over the summer, I attended a panel on social media at HerConference, where one of the panelists was talking about the rise of new social media apps.
“Instagram is being eclipsed by Snapchat, and one day Snapchat will be replaced by something else,” he said.
Whether or not you believe Instagram is on its way out, he had a valid point; new apps are always coming up and, sometimes, hitting it big. Since that panel, I've been keeping an eye out for mentions of new social media apps, and one that's caught my eye recently is Nextbeat. After I heard it mentioned on YouTube a few times and had a conversation about it with someone at Vidcon, I wanted to check it out. I really like it so far, and since it's relatively new, I'm sharing a quick intro to the app here, plus how I'm using it right now!
What is Nextbeat?
Nextbeat is an app that combines live-streaming (like Periscope) with photo- and video-sharing (like Snapchat). When you join the app, you can take photos or videos and publish them to a “room” which you give a name and can tag with topics like #vlog or #myfavoriteplaces (more on that below). You can add new videos and photos to the room, and people can leave comments and interact with you in the room until it closes after a certain amount of time. There are three things I really like about it.
What I like about Nextbeat
It's easier to connect with people
I know people are nuts about Snapchat, but the “My Story” feature feels too much like a monologue to me, and the same goes for Instagram Stories. Comments are hard to follow and respond to so you just end up posting into the void, which kind of takes the ‘social' out of social media. What I like about Nextbeat is that people can comment on your videos or photos directly in the room where you shared them, so it's easier to respond and connect.
Okay, I know I'm a huge dork for how much I love organization. But one thing that I really like about Nextbeat is that you can organize your videos and photos by topic, which means that if I'm going doing multiple things in one day that I want to share, they don't all happen in the same story. For example, yesterday I shared my morning motivation videos in my “Sunrise with Sara” room, and when I went into the city in the afternoon, I could do a mini city tour under “My Favorite Places.” I was also able to tag them differently, so they appeared in different topic sections on the front page.
There are community challenges
This is without a doubt my favorite thing about Nextbeat. The creator of the app shared a challenge recently called “My Favorite Places,” where people could share their favorite spots around their city, from Cedar Rapids to Beijing, and tag it with #myfavoriteplaces to be featured at the top of the front page. What I like about this is that it encourages you to engage with people in the Nextbeat community who you might not otherwise find. I'm really looking forward to the next challenge already.
Why Join Nextbeat
I know we all already have a million social media apps and communities that we're already a part of, so there's not necessarily any reason to jump on the next one. But Nextbeat seems to be growing super quickly right now. Safiya Nygaard, who worked for Buzzfeed Video for a few years and now has her own YouTube channel, has been posting new rooms on Nextbeat twice a week, and thousands of people are tuning in each time.
It's also not too crowded yet. I was able to get the username @sara (thus finally accomplishing my goal of getting my name as a username on at least one app in my life). But I think it will be soon, so definitely join now so you can get the hang of it before it gets really popular.
How I'm Using Nextbeat
I only just joined the app about a week ago, so I'm still figuring out how I want to use it. Right now, I'm creating daily “rooms” to share motivation and inspiration for a meaningful day under the tag #sunrisewithsara.
I'm also joining in on challenges like My Favorite Places and any new ones coming up, so feel free to subscribe to be at @sara!