The creator economy keeps growing ever since the COVID pandemic started. Online creators on TikTok, YouTube, and even OnlyFans have experienced more viewership over the past year and it appears that viewership and patronage will only keep growing.
While most of the focus appears to be on video and entertainment, the influencers in the “professional” space have also been trying to get in on the action. Platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter have been rolling out payment options for these creators to get compensated for their service.
But a new app is trying to directly help professionals and influencers get paid in the African space. That app is called “ear1“.
ear1 is the brainchild of Atsu Davoh, the CEO and founder of BitSika, one of the fastest-growing fintech startups in the African region.
It might seem disingenuous to call ear1 an “OnlyFans” for professionals and influencers but it sort of functions the same way. With its tagline from its website “Replace your email and DMs with a chat app where your audience pays you to answer their messages“, ear1 wants to make it easy to reach professionals and influencers easily and help them get paid.
With the ear1 app, you can pay to talk to professionals, entertainers, or virtually anyone. We got an early look at the Ear1 on iOS.
Here are our early impressions:
Finding Your Way Around Ear1
Onboarding on the Ear1 app is pretty simple. You can sign up with your Apple or Google account and start the onboarding process.
Setting Chat Price
During the onboarding process, you can set the price of how much you want someone needs to pay to gain access to you. The price is set to USD. Once you’ve set your price, you continue with the onboarding process.
Navigating around the Ear1 is pretty simple with its straightforward menu navigation. There is Chat, Search, Wallet, Request, and Account options.
Search For Your Favorite Influencers/Professionals
With the search option, you can search for influencers and individuals. All you need to do is start typing and the screen auto populates with a list of professionals or influencers
The chat section is where all the action takes place. This is where you have conversations with the influencers and/or professionals who have accepted your request to chat
Where’s My Money? (Wallet Feature)
The wallet section is where you can keep track of all finances. In this section, you can top up your wallet which you use to pay influencers.
You can also payout your accumulated funds, see the transactions you’ve made, what is pending and view your personal earnings.
Cool enough, the ear1 app also has conversation rates to let you know the Naira and Ghana Cedis rate to USD
Ear1 at the moment is built for chatting with professionals but it could grow it something more. At the moment, it only has a chat functionality for communicating but it would be nice to communicate in other ways like audio and/or video.
It’s too early to tell if the ear1 app will be hit from the jump but it definitely has upside and potential. It can easily be compared to Cameo, an app where users pay celebrities for personalized videos.
Ear1 could become like a makeshift “Cameo” but for the Africa region. We’ll just have to wait and see how it evolves.