The Jodel Model. The future of social media?

Tobias Michaely

Intern

In this time and era, almost everyone knows the saying “the internet never forgets”. Everything posted online can be revived again no matter how long ago it was posted. Indeed, the internet never forgets which is why Users are becoming more cautious about the information they post online. So would it be possible for us to Design an app or social media platform that fully safeguards User privacy?

Illustration of person shouting into mountains

The Story Behind Jodel

Social media platforms mostly require Users to register a User profile. However, unlike many social media platforms, the German app, Jodel works in a different way in which the Users remain anonymous. The app shows the principle of social media can work without collecting information about their Users.

Jodel was founded by Alessio Borgmeyer, a then student of the University of Aachen, Germany, who came up with the idea with 3 friends. They then founded the company, Alpen-WG, which was named after the flat the 4 were sharing. Only seven months after launch, they had over 100,000 Users on Jodel; followed by over a million Users in October of the same year. As the number of app Users grow, Jodel began to spread to other parts of the world such as Denmark, Austria and Sweden.

Jodel Logo

The Functionality of Jodel

Jodel is an app that allows Users to publish their thoughts and opinions as well as asking for help anonymously. In order to stay anonymous, Users are not required to register to use the app. The app uses GPS-Data to determine User’s location, subsequently the post will only be shown in a feed to all Users nearby.

A “Jodel” post can contain a short text or an image. Similarly to the Reddit principal, Jodel Users are able to evaluate the post positively or negatively. All of the reactions, upvotes and downvotes come from their vicinity. The sum of the reactions is then displayed on the post. As User’s posts get upvoted by other Users, they are able to earn points that are called Karma. However, the post is automatically removed if the score is too low.

Other functions

Hometown:

“Hometown” is another function present on Jodel, this allows you to see posts from your hometown, even if you are not near the area. Although you are able to post contributions in Hometown – it’s not possible to earn Karma points.

Hashtags:

Similar to Twitter, Jodel uses the principle of Hashtags in the posts so Users are able to search for specific hashtags in their area.

Channels:

This is a new function that was only recently launched in Jodel. Channels is where Users can follow a channel that they are interested in. Everything that Users around you post in the Channel will automatically appear in your feed if you are in the proximity.

Reporting Content:

Users can report a post when they think it contains offensive or abusive content. Moderators in Jodel are then empowered to decide if it is a justified report.

Future Design of Social Media

So do we need more apps or social media platforms like Jodel where Users remain anonymous? Users are beginning to hold back on the amount of personal details entered online. Social media platforms as such may come in handy especially with the integration of GDPR since May 25th this year as well. Surely we can Design the future of social media to have similar principles of Jodel as User requirements shift. Could we be expecting a new anonymous online networking site in the near future?

Maybe you could be the next to create an anonymous app? Our previous blogpost about Paper Prototyping may be able to help you with your first step. We also provide Design services at Graphic Mint and we are always happy to help.