Canopy is a social discovery app aimed at a very niche audience: content creators. It’s a platform that is attempting to bring voices in the the content creation industry into the same place to discuss the trials and tribulations of a such a career. Users are encouraged to share insights, advice, and ask all kinds of questions. The main way it encourages this discussion, is providing a suite of anonymity features. Users can talk openly about the behind the scene process without fear of hampering their careers.
The platform has been set up by Ayomi Samaraweera, a former employee at TikTok and a content creator herself on Instagram. Aymoni describes how being a content creator can be a lonely isolating experience, without work colleagues, and without people to share advice, or ask silly or complicated questions to. She says on the Canopy website:
“The hardest part about leaving my 9-5 job to become a Creator was not having a support system. I missed having work besties to ask questions and learn from, to vent to, and most importantly spill the tea with.”
Currently, the platform is in pilot program with 1,000 users and has a waiting list to onboard more. It’s accepting users who have a following between 1,000 and 100,000 on various different content creation platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. The app is encouraging users to discuss and share by rewarding those who give advice with “aura points”. The more points earned the more perks users can access, including recording equipment and more.
The app is funded by Hustle Fund VC and is also part of the Techstars Seattle incubator. In total the platform has raised some $240,000. Its focus is on beauty and fashion creators in the early stages but intends to be a platform for all types of creators.
Anonymity is at the heart of what makes the app a valuable place for content creators to sign up to – but there will be a suite of options to allow flexibility, and for creators to share more about their identity where appropriate to facilitate meet-ups and friendships between creators.
Ayomi told TechCrunch how the app was exploring different monetization models. It might be that the app offers a subscription model that allows access to the platfomr, but then in addition offers more on top like podcasts and educational resources on the ins and outs of content creation. There could also be opportunities for the platform to become a place brands can connect with creators.
Social Discovery is such an interesting avenue. It at times can be incredibly broad and mainstream – who doesn’t want to meet new people. But that same broadness allows for very niche apps and platforms to find a specific audience as well, such as the case with Canopy.