If there was ever a NSFW social media site, it’s LittleMonsters.com.
A week after the official launch of Lady Gaga’s own social network, the memes are going strong and user engagement seems to be high (no doubt aided by well-timed public appearances in Chicago and the launch of her new perfume).
The platform, very similar to Pinterest but with deeper and more interactive user profiles as well as multilingual chat capabilities, seems to work well for what Little Monsters most enjoy posting—provocative, near-nude photos and memes of the “Mother Monster” herself. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but be aware when you decide to log on: Everyone from significant others to bosses to the people around you in Starbucks will probably think you are looking at moderately to highly inappropriate content if they aren’t already familiar with the site.
Besides all the Gaga-themed lulz, though, the site does raise some really interesting issues. Matt Michelsen (CEO of the company Backplane, which created the social network) explained to Mashable, “We love Facebook—it’s a very powerful tool. This is not a product meant to destroy or compete with Facebook. It’s a different purpose.” As the company is also developing networks for major players like Nike, Major League Baseball Player Association and Simon Fuller, it’s clear the intent is a very social method of branding that cuts out the competition present in other social network feeds. The site even has its own “News” section with Gaga-specific digital content from other sources, so even if you are clicking away from the site, it’s only to other information about the pop songstress.
The “Discuss” tab offers user-generated discussion threads, with Reddit-like thumbs up or down buttons, and you can also message other users privately or start a live chat within the site, even with users in different countries speaking different languages. While it’s not a Facebook competitor per se, it’s a Facebook brand page turned into its own social network. (Also note that the latest post on Lady Gaga’s Facebook page as of press time actually links her perfume ad photo to LittleMonsters.com.)
Lady Gaga already has over 27 million Twitter followers and over 52 million Facebook fans, so Backplane was smart to start with Gaga’s social network as its first go at “[uniting] people around interests, affinities and movements in unprecedented ways.” It probably didn’t hurt that Backplane’s founder is Lady Gaga’s manager, either. However, though building momentum might be trickier with a lesser-known celebrity, LittleMonsters.com seems to be proving the success of taking a megastar and giving fans their own place to show love, consequently keeping that celebrity’s products top of mind without distraction. Of course, it also remains to be seen how this will work with a brand rather than a celebrity, but it’s safe to assume a Nike social network would feature plenty of star athletes to build around.
Are single-brand social networks the future of digital marketing? Will new compensation models have to be made for celebrities and athletes to post for particular brands’ networks? Will Nike’s LittleSwooshes.com be Backplane’s next hit (URL currently available, by the way), or will this be a one hit wonder? Whatever happens, plenty of Little Monsters will continue enjoying their new social outlet.
Check it out and let us know what you think.