With a new year comes a laundry list of new innovations and shiny predictions about the future. With so much change in the air, it was only a matter of time before the next social network arose to take a stab at the Iron Throne of the digital realm. Say “hello” to Peach.
Though other blogs and media outlets may be quick to decry Peach as the next big thing (or the next big flop), predicting which new apps and channels will join Facebook and Twitter on the varsity squad is a fool's errand. Rather than speculating around whether or not Peach will emerge as a key player, let's take a look at what we know for sure. How is the user experience? Who is Peach for? What does Peach offer to brands, if anything?
Wondering what this delectable new messaging app is all about? Wait for it… Magic. Words. Yeah, this isn’t a Disney special, folks. Select keywords will allow you to post various types of rich content. For a full list, check out this handy guide.
A few HZers tested out Peach, and the result was surprisingly sweet. In function, the app works sort of like a Snapchat story.
You can’t directly send content to someone, you just publish it to your personal feed.
Your friends receive notifications of new content from you, and can heart or reply. However, Magic Words are only usable in original posts, not in replies.
What struck us as bizarre: When you click “share” on a piece of content, it is sent as a text rather than a DM within the app. Interesting move on Peach’s behalf to integrate with texting rather than trying to be all-inclusive.
What’s all the fuzz about?
From a user’s perspective, Peach allows for quick and somewhat dynamic messaging with friends. Users are able to share quick status tidbits, such as what they’re watching or listening to, where they are, how they rate their friend’s outfit choices for the evening, and so on. This begs the question: Why not just text, or use one of the hundreds of other messaging apps?
Peach’s developers have gone to great lengths to encourage people to test the keyword functions (the differentiating factor for Peach among more traditional messaging apps). Prompts appear at the bottom of the input screen with a question to answer or a statement to respond to—a bit hokey, but the need to engage users is understandable at this stage of the app.
Parents could keep an eye on the whereabouts of their adventurous children through the magic word “here.” A GIF-only conversation with your friends could be carried out seamlessly with “gif.” As new terms are added, Peach could prove to be a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family.
Who’s taking a bite?
Today’s youth (wow, I actually said that...) are increasingly engaging with messaging apps rather than traditional texting and social media. Take a look at the changes this past year to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and soon-to-be Twitter. The industry is taking notice of where the market is moving and attempting to retain the next generation of social users. Peach just might be poised to capitalize on this trend as a fresh contender in the messaging/social space.
Okay, but what about brands?
Peach’s current interface doesn’t seem to lend itself to brands in the traditional sense. That is to say, I don’t foresee Coca-Cola creating a Peach social strategy in the next few months, and rightfully so. The Peach community needs to grow, become ingrained in the app, and begin to form micro-cultures, as has happened with every other successful social channel. Tumblr has fandoms. Twitter has Twitter Chats. Instagram has multiple communities based around aesthetics and hashtags. Facebook has… Farmville? What follows is the inevitable API emergence—allowing for targeted ads and a line of brands waiting to empty their pockets. Social channels need to make money too!
The biggest opportunity here, at least at the outset, is to leverage influencers. Ask a brand ambassador to send bits of content to their blossoming cross-channel Peach friends, utilizing the magic words in a dynamic way. The entertainment industry could benefit from live-event coverage through Peach with the time stamps, gifs and ratings—tapping into a younger audience with a fresh perspective by evolving how in-the-moment is covered on social. Possibilities abound. The question is: Who will be the first to dive into this juicy new world?
How would you rate Peach? Let’s discuss further @HZDG!