NEW YORK: Are you passionate about a band but too shy to share it on Facebook? Don’t worry! A new site is hoping to carve out a niche in the crowded social media world by reaching the inner geek of hardcore music fans like you.
A project by music entrepreneur Peter Shapiro, the site hopes to become a go-to place for music lovers that will complement Facebook and other platforms. Called Fans and accessible at www.fans.com, the platform lets visitors trade insights on shows, swap news stories and browse through a database that already has some five million past concerts.
Chief product officer Jeff Caldwell said the social media world has been too fragmented for music lovers who follow a variety of bands or want a fan identity separate from the rest of their lives. “If you’re in a certain community, you can get very geeky with people but if you want your entire fan identity, there’s not a single place to do that,” he claimed. “People want to talk about their fandom differently than when they are on Facebook. If I saw Slayer last night or if I saw Gwar last night, I’m not sure if I want my colleagues to know and my grandmother to see that,” added Caldwell, referring to two heavy metal bands.
The site allows fans to post under assumed user-names, with the content visible to everyone who follows the same artist. Caldwell sees it as especially conducive to conversations about old bands or shuttered venues, which often get relegated to the back corners of Facebook timelines.
As of Tuesday morning, less than a week after the site’s launch, popular band the Grateful Dead and Phish –often seen as Grateful Dead’s successors – each had more than 12,000 fans. Pop star Katy Perry, the most followed person with more than 92 million followers on Twitter, had barely 300 on Fans.
Caldwell said the site aimed to stretch across all genres and internationally, but that Deadheads – famed in the 1960s and 1970s for sharing bootlegs and traveling from show to show – and other jam fans were a logical starting point. “We think that they are the hardest community to please. If we can get it right with them, it can work in different areas,” he shared.