Roar Social Offers Gamified Giving
Founded by pioneering technologist and entrepreneur Robert Weiss, the Roar Social app gamifies social giving. It replaces the “like” button with the “give,” and even rewards users – and their causes – for watching other people’s social content.
“Most content creators now will take their video and put it on several platforms: Reels, Instagram, TikTok,” Weiss told the Journal. “All we’re asking people is to take that 30 extra seconds and put their video on Roar Social.”
The difference: people can donate as little as pennies to support the videos on Roar social. Roar calls it “posting with purpose.”
“When people like the content, they show their support by donating,” said Weiss. “It’s the same content you’re going to find on TIKTok and Reels: it’s entertaining, it’s fun, it’s whimsical.”
After signing up for the app, users choose a hero cause, which is like an impact fund. Roar’s hero causes range from racial equality and homelessness to animal welfare and cancer research. Users can change their hero cause whenever they want. They can post videos — “Maybe 5% of the content is directly related to the cause,” Weiss said — or just enjoy what others post.
So when Weiss’ niece posts videos of her cat on Roar Social, she raises money for climate change. And even people who don’t donate or even post can still contribute.
“If you’re the most passive user, which means you’re not doing any donating and you’re not posting any videos, we reward you for your attention span with the Roar Score,” Weise said.
Whether you are scrolling and watching, commenting, etc., your score goes up. Then on Sundays, the accumulated Roar Scores for each cause are ranked on the Roar-A-Thon leaderboard and receive donations from Roar’s brand partners.
For instance, if your hero cause of cancer research got a $5,000 grant, you’re part of it simply by being on the platform.
“I remember when I was a little kid in Hebrew school and we would collect money for charity,” Weiss said. “It was nickels and dimes and quarters, and would all add up to a lot more money. I saw how a little bit of money … can make a big difference.”
You do not need to be wealthy to be a philanthropist. “At our core, humans are a deeply altruistic and cooperative species. It’s easy to forget that in this deeply troubling moment — especially when conflict drives news coverage, and our leaders fail to lead,” Weiss said. “But this is actually when we need to remember it the most.”
“When the world is falling apart around us, Roar Social aims to be a place that is eternally constructive — where people are focused on solutions, not divisions.” -Robert Weiss
He adds, “When the world is falling apart around us, Roar Social aims to be a place that is eternally constructive — where people are focused on solutions, not divisions.”
While some of the legacy social media companies chose profit over everything, and use their platforms to divide rather than unite, Weiss saw an opening to create a more positive social experience.
“My big vision for the company was influenced by the values instilled into me by my parents, my grandparents and my great grandparents,” Weiss told the Journal.
Weiss’s parents were both public servants: His mom was a special education teacher, his dad was a professor. They volunteered a lot, and were both very involved in their temple. “They set this example of altruism,” he said.
As a kid, Weiss was obsessed with technology; he taught himself how to program computers and was always taking things apart. At 12 years old, he announced to his parents that he was going to build some kind of technology tool that would allow people to be more philanthropic.
Now 58, he has done just that.
“Thanksgiving is an opportunity to practice gratitude, and to reflect on what we all have in common,” he said. “I built Roar Social as a way to use technology to bring us together.“ He adds, ”Giving feels good. Only when we appreciate how many blessings we have in our own lives, and are mindful of the fact that we have all our immediate needs met, can we then shift our focus to helping others. We can unclench our fists and extend an open hand. We can strive to be a part of the solution.”
Roar Social launched in the Apple store on August 1, and has “several thousand” registered users, and made thousands of dollars in donations. An Android version is expected at the earliest toward the end of next year. While their target audience is ages 16 to 36, anyone who loves social content will enjoy the platform. Go to RoarSocial.com to join the VIP wait list.