social media

Horyou: the social network for social good

Kettlemag, Social Media, Horyou, Halimah Manan
Written by halimah

Founded in 2012, Horyou is the social network you didn’t know you needed. And, with an app released in July, it’s becoming even more accessible.

Founded in 2012, Horyou is the social network you didn’t know you needed. And, with an app released in July, it’s becoming even more accessible.

Horyou: for social good

If you’re looking for a change to scrolling through your Facebook news feed and attempting to separate the pseudo-self-deprecation from tidbits of interesting information, Horyou could be the app for you. Geared towards individuals, ‘personalities’, and organisations, the social network functions to advocate for ‘social good’ and provides a community to encourage positive action in the world – whether local, national, or (if you’re just that active) global. Rather than talk about what you had for breakfast, Horyou – pronounced OR-YOU – offers you the chance to inspire others with positive actions, commentary and projects.

As simple as it may sound, the network is multi-faceted (perhaps emphasised by its ten tutorial videos) and the app’s ‘about’ section is rather misleading. While Horyou retains staple elements of a good social network, such as profiles, timelines, explore and a following system, it also brings in levels, a sphere (the equivalent of a mutual followers list), ‘lights’ instead of ‘likes’, a ‘lightbox’ and the power to ‘spotlight’. Each unique feature functions as a layer of interaction with communities of your making, allowing you to showcase your support and, in the case of levels, involvement with social good. You really get as much from the app as you put in, with no pressure to do anything. This new language of interaction is certainly something to get your head around. And, a week into getting to know it, I’m still not clear on exactly what everything does. But don’t let that put you off.

Screenshot of a post in the app.

A clearer feature is the Horyou TV section, which displays short documentaries (about six to seven and a half minutes long) produced by Horyou. Posted on a monthly basis, these documentaries focus on organisations belonging to the network. Since launching in December 2014, these documentaries have taken place in four countries, from Morocco and Cameroon to the US and France, with the hope that more shall come as the months continue. While short, they’re great to check out when you have 10 minutes to spare.

Despite Horyou’s innovation, though, it should be noted that the application has not really been made with new users in mind. Upon starting up and creating an account on the app, there is little by way of instructions, or videos, to explain how to go about using its unique features. And, when looking at the ‘about’ section, I found that little is made obvious about how to use the app. While most of the features noted above are retained in the app, the ‘explore’ function seems to combine with ‘My Sphere’ to create the timeline on mobile, though there are other randomised members too. This is quite disappointing and, by attempting to make the timeline simpler, the app has lost the clarity the website affords. However, these are things which can potentially be improved upon.

One of three images from the app's 'about' section.

Even so, what I find really refreshing about the app is a lack of dominance of one language, or area, over another. Of course, this is partly informed by which members and personalities you choose to follow (or those which randomly appear), but it is extremely clear that the network is a global one. And, even better, the app focuses on the positive sides of these places, rather than a single negative narrative, allowing easy access to a myriad of voices and information.

So, even if you’re not much of an activist for social good, get ready to be inspired! From news articles to any kind of positive action, Horyou wants to know about it. You can download the app for Apple, or Android, so there’s really no excuse not to at least try it out and start following positive action all over the world.