On the Locket app, there isn’t any followers icon. Users can’t see who has who on their lists. They add people, typically friends and family already on their contact who also use to app to a list which they currently can’t have more than 20 people on.
What they do is share photos with people who they have on the list. If they don’t have you on the list, you can’t see whatever they share on the list. Comments are allowed from members of the list. But only list owners get to see the comment. It’s like Whatsapp Status but on speed dial. Instagram but without the incessant demand for seemingly unattainable standards. On Locket, users have a chance to be themselves, unfiltered.
With the rise of big social media giants like Instagram and Facebook, countless data and research have echoed the rising rate of depression among Millenials and Gen Zer birthed by their experiences on the apps. The model of these social media companies is for users to grow their followers by sharing content strategically on social media. On many of these social media apps, followers, likes, comments, and clicks are the currency, the status symbol.
According to research by The Child Mind Institute, a think tank that focuses on mental health and learning disorders in young people “in several studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 per cent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time.”
The data is worse for women. The Women Media Centre discovered, in a research, that just having a feminine presenting display picture, or username on the internet opens one to attack 25 times more than other users.
The research says that they “are sent threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages 25 times more often than those with male or ambiguous usernames.” It’s no wonder the Locket app has become popular among Gen Zers.
This is why locket has become very popular with Gen Zers, jaded by the drama and constant unsolicited reminders of how inadequate or imperfect they are on social media.
How Locket is different
Occasionally, users’ phones will chime. It’s the Locket widget, notifying them of a new post from someone who has them on their list.
It will be near impossible for the world to time machine back to a time before social media. Earthlings have tasted social media and can’t look back. But as Gen Zers, so called for being born into the digital world, look for their sanity in the place they know best, the internet they are beginning to find some.
With Locket, users are offered a path to a close-knit digital community of no more than 20 people at a time, where they can update each other about their day as it goes by.
“I use Locket cause to me it’s really private and IDK. I just love the fact that I can post whatever anytime and it doesn’t matter if I look pretty or not. I don’t get judged by people,” Ola, a young Nigerian teenager told Technext. “And it’s like you get to see the goofy side of your friends or people you consider to be friends,” he added.
“Locket is just a fun app to keep in touch with ur friends and their daily activities,” Mark another teenage Nigerian user said of his experience with the app.
But discord in their seasons of peace could be brewing. Meta, the owners of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp among other social media machines is always on the lookout for a new app to swallow or whose features it can integrate into its other apps. This week, it announced a new feature that will allow users of its apps to switch between them without leaving the apps entirely. All this is so it can keep the eyeballs on its products.
In a world where even for the noblest of tech companies, it comes down to blitz-scaling and numbers of users, it could be only a matter of time before Meta descends with an offer for the app, that is if it can sustain itself to that point.
Possible future for Locket?
Pouring adverts unto the app seems like the fastest way the company can begin to make some money. But Matt Moss, who created the app initially as a gift to his girlfriend but has since decided to share it with the world, is sceptical of bringing ads to the app.
Speaking to TechCrunch on the subject, he said that “I do think people — especially younger people — are a little bit more tired of apps that are kind of very ad-centric and very metric-centric.” But TechCrunch reports that Moss is working on a subscription model of some kind for the app. This could alter things for the app which has mostly young users, many still in university, and more unlikely to pay a subscription fee even for Locket.
On the app, which is still in its early days, they are no filters, users can’t upload images. It is still just about capturing the moment and sharing them with friends, in real time.
But many of the users, see promise in the app, especially in its difference from Instagram. Like Instagram, the appeal of Locket is also about capturing moments of life in photos. Ola said that he prefers Locket because it doesn’t demand “the perfection,” that other social media does.
“Everyone wants a perfect picture for Instagram. Instagram is a judgmental place basically,” Ola said. “If you don’t get enough engagements that match your followers, they can say you bought your followers and stuff like that.”
And so for now, he’ll stick to Locket.
Wade Abdulai contributed to this report.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!