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Millennials seeking new kind of social network, says iPlayer creator Anthony Rose as he discusses launch of 6Tribes

Former BBC iPlayer boss Anthony Rose has unveiled a new social app – 6Tribes – designed to connect people with like-minded individuals based on shared interests.

The free app, which launched on iTunes today (26 May) has been created to offer an alternative to the likes of mainstream social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and is geared around connecting individuals to other people and groups who share similar life interests.

Once the app has been downloaded users are encouraged to create Tribe feeds, which can span anything from favourite coffee outlets to music concerts and other forms of entertainment and interests.

The app will also guage a person’s “social DNA” by scanning the music on the user’s phone to identify music tastes, and noting if they have taken numerous photos of venues such as restaurants, to help understand and make suggestions of which tribes could be of interest. It can also suggest tribes based on a phone’s location, and can pull in relevant data from Facebook to suggest tribes to you based on your interests there.

6Tribes is the brainchild of iPlayer creator Anthony Rose (pictured above) and former president of marketing at EMI Music Ernesto Schmidt, both of whom co-created social TV app Zeebox, which later became rebranded to Beamly after Sky took a 10 per cent stake in the venture.

Rose told The Drum that extensive research the company has conducted with millennials has revealed that although everyone has a Facebook account most are on the lookout for something new. “We all love Facebook and Twitter but the world is evolving and social feeds are becoming cluttered with increasingly irrelevant commercial stuff. Not only that but people are aware that employers look at their feeds which can make posting more constrained,” he said.

He also cited behavioural science research which has shown that the average person has multiple personalities, not just one, which has made posting to specific social networks, in which users are friends with hundreds of people, challenging and is partly what is driving them elsewhere.

“The problem with social networks today is you’re friends with everyone – people you went to school with, family members, work colleagues – it’s not based on current interests or passions. There is a pressure to conform and have a certain online personality which is acceptable to family, as well as friends and employers – and that is driving them to new platforms,” he added.

The app currently has 200 users who have been trialing the app while in beta. Musicians and artists have also been approached over establishing certain tribes, ahead of the summer festival season.

Rose added that the app could open up new opportunities for brands once it has reached the right scale. "For brands it could be a reinvention of the Facebook brand page. Brands can create tribes themselves and will be able to target specific groups of people with certain interests with their messages."

Should the app be a success it will also look to roll it out internationally, according to Rose. The app is also available on Android devices.

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