Backed by Businessman Mark Cuban, the Ponder app launched on April 14, and it hopes to "democratize" social media in an age when influencer marketing reigns supreme.
Ponder, which is available for free in the Apple App Store, is designed to give users insight into what's trending in terms of everything from fashion to art. However, it differentiates itself by showcasing what users find to be the best in every category.
"The key differentiator is that posts are designed to spread beyond your network of friends and followers," said co-founder and CEO William LeGate. "We show you a user-curated feed of photos and videos that have been pushed by your friends and others with similar tastes. We are democratizing the discovery and distribution of your photos and videos, so instead of it being a popularity contest, it's a place where the best content spreads."
LeGate, 21, founded Ponder with his colleague, Tyler Mateen, 23. LeGate has been programming since the age of 13, and he's created dozens of iPhone apps that have racked up more than six million downloads. Mateen is the original Tinder executive who is responsible for popularizing the dating app on college campuses.
Mark Cuban and Greylock Partners have stepped in to provide additional funding to LeGate and Mateen for Ponder.
"On Ponder, you could have 50 followers and regularly get more than 50 pushes on your posts — something that's not currently possible on other apps," said Mateen. "We are leveling the playing field for every single person to have their content be seen by a larger audience. It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity or an influencer, you have the same opportunity as everyone else to have your content be discovered."
Upon downloading, users can either swipe up to "Push" a photo or video, or swipe down to "Pass" on it. This essentially ensures that media on the Ponder network aligns with the likes and dislikes of its users. Additionally, individuals can share their own media on Ponder, as well as view posts specifically from their friends.
Ponder, which was initially founded in 2014, is now marketing itself as the "anti-social network." Its tagline states, "We believe that the number of followers you have shouldn't matter," rallying against influencer marketing culture.