Brooklyn woman bringing social media vision with focus on marginalized groups
One Brooklyn innovator is looking to reinvent the world of social media, with a specialization in helping out marginalized communities.
Naj Austin is the founder of audio-based social media app Somewhere Good. The app launched in early 2021, and users can interact with each other through sharing voice notes. Users can even create virtual “worlds” where the community can come together in conversation.
Studies show that using social media can lead to depression, low self-esteem and a variety of other issues – something that Somewhere Good hopes to change.
“We want to add value in which you feel more connected to yourself and to others, and if that can bloom in-person, even better,” said Austin. “When people come by there’s this feeling of they’ve never seen anything like it before and they never want to leave.”
When people look to bring those conversations into the real world, Austin invites them to a multiuse center in Bed-Stuy. The space has a bulletin board where community offerings and requests can be made.
While sites like TikTok and Twitter have suffered criticism for being hostile toward people of color and queer folks, Somewhere Good was specifically created with those groups in mind.
“I think identity is something that gets overlooked often on those larger platforms. We look very unlike a classic tech team. We’re composed of Black folks, queer trans folks, Asian folks, Latin folks. We’ve all brought our lived experiences and said how can we build something that affirms who we are,” said Austin.
Austin says that Somewhere Good doesn’t just want to focus on changing our interactions online, but how we look at the world and those around us.