How do you build a healthy community experience around a leaned-back experience like video?
It’s an increasingly relevant question, especially now that kids and family content creators on YouTube have either been forced, or have opted to turn comments off beneath their content. The tendency for an anonymous platform to morph into a place where trolls abound has forced YouTube closer than it’s ever been to a pure broadcast experience. Fans of certain channels tune in to watch the new content, but if they want to engage with the creators themselves, they must do it elsewhere – on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok.
As The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz espoused in the latest episode of Recode, kids will follow their favourite creators to whichever platform provides them with the best way to engage. YouTube’s commenting facility was turned off because they were used for the worst kind of communications, but their disappearance has had the unwelcome knock-on effect of pushing young audiences sideways into other adult experiences.
That’s the problem we’re trying to solve for with Rukkaz. Coming at it from a creator-first standpoint, we understand that the platform we are building needs to meet certain criteria. It needs to be easy to use. It needs to be monetizable. It needs to scale. And it needs to allay content creators’ (well-founded) fears that it might eventually morph into the same environment they are trapped in.
The solution for all of the above is community.
That’s why we’re working with content creators who have already signalled themselves, through past content and clear statement, to be focused on healthy (family-friendly) community; that’s why we’ll be applying the highest standards of moderation to our commenting functionality (if you’re a creator who thinks this way too please get in touch).
This focus on community-building is also the reason why we won’t be relying on algorithms to surface our best content (we’ll post about this soon).
A community relies on collaboration, but the response we’ve had so far from content creators has made it clear to us that this is a platform that’s sorely needed: something that trusts and values its creators as much as it does viewers. This is our community.