The reason why I built social network for misifts

Yoshua

·

Apr 14, 2022

The reason why I built social network for misifts

weBelong: A social network for misfits

Hello, I'm Yoshua, founder of this weBelong app, social network app for misfits to connect.

This is my childhood picture actually.

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Since I was a child, I was called inattentive and messy. Adults surrounded scolded me all the time, "You are lazy" "Why can't you do the thing normally?" "You are too selfish to be with". My childhood memory is about loneliness and feeling left out.

But I got help from friends on the computer at that time, there were no facebook, twitter, instagram. I was mostly on bbs and online gaming which made me feel I belong somewhere in this world.

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Then, when I became a young adults, those social network apps became popular, but I was feeling like they were not for me.

The reason behind is I'm not the person who can show off my abilities or fake my life. Social network apps are about boasting or showing their cool lives by faking them.

People with differences, people who see the world in a different way feel the same thing, and I feel the same. We want to talk, just be ourselves, just discuss things instead of pursuing likes and followers.

What is weBelong

That's the reason why I started to build weBelong. The nature of weBelong is to celebrate diversities. There are several people considered as differences such as LGBTQ, Neurodiversities, Ethnic minorities, or just being emo, hippies.

So weBelong is a place where those differences can belong.

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weBelong is less toxic social network

weBelong is taking the toxicity out of social networks by swapping “likes” and “followers” for features that facilitate and support meaningful interactions.

weBelong has been designed to help teenagers and adolescents who feel like “misfits” to connect with other like-minded people – representing a healthier and more genuine alternative to the likes of Instagram, TikTok, or other social network.

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weBelong is a community where misfits belong.

No more like/follower competitions

Teens nowadays tend to have self-esteem issues due to Likes on social network app.

When they post something on social media they always think "How many likes did I get?" "Was the post okay?", then notice others post get likes a lot. This makes them feel anxious and start to fake their true face to get more likes.

So on weBelong, you don't see number of followers and likes others have, so that you don't have to worry about getting likes.

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Be with close friends

Instead of getting influence from the world, just with friends you can trust. Just be yourself and make friends who accept you.

Protect privacy

One of the reason those misfits teens get bullied happens by phone taken by friends. They are checking tiktok or instagram for their purpose, and it sometimes reveal their identities or hobbies which trigger friends to start bullying.

So webelong has a function to protect their privacy preventing them from being bullied by that.

Screen lock on weBelong

Join/Create communities

On weBelong, you can create your community based on your interest, whatever you want. It could be hobbies, mental health, memes, sports, problems you have, etc.

Creating a community and contributing to that is also one of the ways to boost your self-esteem. Contributing to someone will lead to feel that you are important for someone in the world.

One of our user from the UK with visual impairment built a community with around 4k members, she has been bullied but she became a community leader of teens, that makes her confident.

Make like-minded friends

Currently a lot of LGBTQ teens or young adults use weBelong, weBelong is a place for them to find like-minded friends. So people on weBelong can make friends and nurture friendships easily.

Creating a social network for misfits to connect

1. Endorse profile

Everyone has different personalities or characters. weBelong is trying to support those personalities people have. Also you might not notice what you are good at or who you are.

I recently checked my yearbook from my junior high school, since I was scolded by adults, I thought I was alone, selfish and lazy boy, but actually people say I'm like kind and caring person, and hard worker to accomplish the goal.

So we are building features to endorse profile in terms of personalities or characters teens have.

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2. Make weBelong inclusive

Currenlt weBelong is not enough to be inclusive social network, we need to focus on US market so that weBelong is available only in English, and focusing on misfits so that it might be difficult to use for some of peole with disability.

So we need to make weBelong more inclusive from now on.

3. Safer and fun

We are putting so much effort to make weBelong safer, since weBelong is a place for misfits, scammers sometimes visit weBelong to make misfits uncomfortable. Some of them are hired by some company to make it, others are doing for fun. It is extremely difficult to perfectly eliminate them but we need to make it happen.

weBelong

Just like before, internet had been for minorities before social media. Social media made internet very different, it became for majority to boost their power of influence.

So we need to build a place for those differences to belong.

We have different skin colors, different abilities, different strengths, and different weaknesses. We have different points of view, different religions, and different sexual orientations.

Our differences make us who we are. Everyone is different and those differences enrich communities' diversities. On weBelong, no matter who you are, you are valid.

When we know how we’re different, and feel comfortable with those differences, we can then start to see our similarities and find even more common ground.

We want people to see us, understand us, and appreciate us for who we are.

We want to celebrate who we are and our gender, sexual orientation heritage, our culture, our religion, our family tree.

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