Another Human History

Keep calm and stay classy at all times.

I:I     In late 2016 I was told about the idea of “Celebrious”, a social media meta-app. Targeting mostly younger people, who already digitized much of their social interaction, Celebrious should make users vie for reputation by chasing numbers. A score between zero and one hundred was generated by comparing all users by points they collected on social networks and within the app itself. The idea reminded me of Klout, which at that time was still relatively up-to-date.

I.II      Quite obvious that such an app would exploit the vanity and narcissism of users. Nevertheless we also wanted to create a base for reflection. Users should observe their behavior, as if looking into a reinforcing mirror.

I.III     Only two screens: a dashboard with recent updates and notifications and the personal profile page where users find their most successful content, network statistics and achievements. Both contain multiple widgets, some of which can be expanded in popups.

We wanted to build an extremely easy-to-navigate app with just a dashboard for recent updates and the personal profile page where users could find their most successful content, network statistics and achievements.

Both screens contained different widgets, some of which were expandable in popups. By dispensing with menus and tabbars, it seemed like the app had hardly any navigation depth. But that wasn’t the case since most widgets were interactive and offered access to more features. We wanted our users to navigate spontaneously, without feeling steered by a given structure. The two main views would adapt to the individual interests of a person, with additional widgets being unlocked over time.

You might be a player. But I am the game.

Fine we had our score. And the dubious goal to claim the title “Celebrious”, which would be given each week to the top ten users with the highest ranking. But we needed more to keep those dopamine-spoiled brains in the loop.  We thought up a broad gamification system with achievements, boosters and special features that could be unlocked with credits. Even the interaction between users – such as chatting, or tracking others activities – should only be possible by redeeming collected points. It was supposed to be a complex narrative, with constant surprises. The app should transform itself with prolonged use.

Most people are as happy as other people decide they should be. Rebecca McNutt

Strangely enough the app revealed a more serious potential, making it useful also for social media professionals.

Building widgets and features we noticed the app could eventually grow into a compelling network analysis tool. Users could check out statistics in different networks, discover which kind of content performs best and experience network feedback in real-time.

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