On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, a new London-based social media platform Sayches opened to the public. The platform aims to provide an uncensored social channel for users to access true freedom of speech while ensuring privacy is protected, a perspective that is missing from existing social media giants. The official launch comes after a two-month trial period, during which Sayches conducted a rigorous process of troubleshooting to ensure that the platform was ready to receive a large number of users.
“After the initial two-month trial period, Sayches is happy to announce that its private beta is complete, and we have now begun our next chapter – public beta. We are proud to announce that we have removed our queue system, so anybody can now join in on the movement. We’re aware of the fierce competition present in today’s social media landscape, but we are excited and optimistic that we can bring something new to the table.” says Sayches CEO, Mohamad Al-Mail.
The last two years have shown a huge rise in the enforcement of rules on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, resulting in a rise in ‘cancel culture’. Controversial opinions and content sharing are rigorously analysed by algorithmic filtration, with users who speak against the grain often receiving temporary suspensions or even permanent bans.
Most social media bans do not happen due to the content itself being restricted, but instead due to the impact that an opinion will have on public image and reputation. This ultimately comes down to a digital footprint, in a landscape where everything posted online is associated with personal data.This is where Sayches has stepped in. The model of Sayches comes down to a strict focus on anonymity – users are not required to submit personal details or verify their identity. The content format of Sayches is based around ‘microblogging’, posts that are restricted to 30 words much like Twitter.
Content is also permanently deleted within 24 hours, a move Sayches has made to prevent the permanent history associated with social media and ensure on-site information remains in-date and relevant. The team has stated that this will provide an opportunity for users “to post and share without having to micro-analyse every word because of its permanence”.
Whilst the platform does allow for users to include personal details and post within their ‘personal field’ if they wish to, Sayches’ incognito “Anonymous Pub” guarantees that users will not be traced back to their posts.
The company puts great emphasis on the opportunities this will provide for journalists, public figures, and celebrities, amongst others. Cancel culture is widely focused on high-profile Twitter accounts, and Sayches guarantees that these people can express their views despite their fame and reputation. The platform also presents solutions for social media users within countries currently experiencing nationwide social media crackdowns, such as Nigeria, Iran, and India.
Whilst Sayches could ultimately receive a judicial request for the release of user data, the platform has approached this potential obstacle with transparency in mind. Through its ‘Warranty Canary’ statement, the company provides a visual icon that will only be displayed if the platform’s privacy is uncompromised. In the event of a judicial request, this symbol would disappear, thus informing users to proceed accordingly.
Unlike competitors, Sayches does not profit from the use of personal data, as this is a monetisation channel that has led to the problems that currently censored platforms face. Instead, the platform simply provides an advertisement space for clients based on keywords. In place of personalised ads, Sayches facilitates non-targeted advertisements and non-tracking affiliate partnerships to generate revenue. An additional monetisation stream lies in the ‘freemium’ model of the social media platform.
Looking ahead, the Sayches team plans to monitor initial activity to determine which feature their audience would be most excited for development. Developers have also commenced work on a native mobile application to increase accessibility and reach a wider audience.