Would you PAY to control a stranger’s life? App charges users to make decisions for other people on everything from what food to eat to who to date – but critics say it’s like an episode of Black Mirror
- NewNew is an app that allows users to pay for influence in lives of strangers
- Creators on the app will upload polls asking users what choice they should make
- Users pay as little as $5 to have influence overs someone else’s decision
- App is described as a ‘human stock market’ and drawn Black Mirror comparisons
The premise of paying a few pounds to control someone’s life might sound like the stuff of a dystopian future, but that is the reality for users of a new app taking social media by storm.
NewNew, which was developed by LA-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith, 32, charges users $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll set up by a stranger on a topic of their choosing, whether that is what to have for dinner to who to date.
The description on the app website explains it is like ‘a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people’.
Courtne and the app’s investors, including Hollywood A-lister Will Smith, insist the app is a way for social media stars and celebrities to better connect with their fans in a more personal, direct way.
It is also a way to cure crippling indecision by asking for the opinion of ‘people who paid to be part of your life’, according to Courtne.
However its critics have compared the app to an episode of Black Mirror, saying it is dangerous to hand over control of decisions to others.
NewNew, which was developed by LA-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith, 32, allows users to pay $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll set up by a stranger on a topic of their choosing, whether that is what to have for dinner to who to date. Pictured, an example from the app
Upon downloading the app, users are shown various profiles, including one free profile of people introducing themselves, alongside a series of locked videos which users have to buy ‘voting slots’ to access.
To view a video and control the person’s decisions, users have to buy ‘voting slots’.
The more money you spend on voting slots, the more sway you have over the person’s decision.
Meanwhile those wanting to join the site as a creator will have to join a waiting list.
Before joining the list, users must answer questions about themselves, such as whether their goal is to make money or to build a social media following.
The app has been promoted as Apple App Store’s App Of The Day
Users are also asked where their biggest social media following is currently, with options including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and OnlyFans.
Once approved by the app, strangers can help make any decision – no matter how big or small, from whether or not to get a tattoo or just what to wear that day.
Courte, who is a former member of rapper Drake’s inner circle, says that the app – which is currently still in it’s pre-full release stage – has been in the pipeline for two years, with its founders enlisting the help of psychologists and sociologists while developing it.
Appearing on the TechCrunch Found podcast, she said that for many people making decisions can be ‘very paralysing’.
She explained: ‘Whether it is those mundane decisions or should I get a tattoo, you always kind of end up outsourcing those responses from other people, whether it’s your friends or your family or random people on your Instagram.
‘We’re just doing it in a more cohesive way and in a way we’re the people giving you the feedback, firstly they paid to be a part of your life, so off the bat they obviously care about what you’re doing and want to see what you do next.
‘That already gives you a certain level of like “Okay, if I do this, these people really like me they’re obviously part of my journey and what they’re telling me to do or what they’re suggesting makes sense for me”. So it’s really about building into that.’
Described on their website as a ‘human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people’, the app allows participants to decide what users have for dinner or what clothes they wear
She added that ‘decision-making it affects all of us’ and that it can be refreshing to have the support of a ‘community’ online.
‘Everyday we all have to make a million decisions’, she said, ‘And you don’t need to ask the audience for every single decision but sometimes it is nice to get outside input on certain things and a community of people backing you to do that.’
Smith admitted that there will be an ‘inevitable dark side’ to the app, but it’s up to them to be ‘ahead of the curve’ and said inappropriate behaviour means users will be permanently banned.
However some skeptical Twitter users have compared the app to ‘Black Mirror’, with one tweeting: ‘NewNew’, a new app that calls itself the “human stock market”, invites users to give over their life decision-making to an online audience in exchange for payment. Hard to see how Black Mirror can come up with original ideas anymore.’
Another posted: ‘The more you dive into decentralised transactional networks, more you see how precient Black Mirror ‘Nosedive’ episode was. Can you NFT your smile? NewNew lets others control your life. Powerful, but important to not let this tech be a race to the bottom of the attention economy.’
A third wrote: ‘What the f**k is this “NEWNEW” app where people control your life? I swear to GOD we’re in the beginning of a fucking Black Mirror episode.’
Source: Read Full Article