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The New Mammalz Media Platform Offers Technical Tools to Connect Us to the Natural World

At DEMA Show 2019, we sat down with Mammalz co-founder Alex Finden to find out what makes his new app so special.

Between the technology, philosophy, and end-goals of the developers, this platform is both familiar, and like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Mammalz is a mission-driven company that stands for a community and for the planet. First of all, each aspect of the app is being built for its users based on the demands of users. This entails solving many of the pain points found in other social media and sharing sites.

Secondly, while Mammalz is a for-profit company, it falls under the “public benefit” category which means that the leadership is legally obligated to prioritize adherence to their mission right alongside shareholder interests, giving each the same weight. This hybrid allows for the accumulation of capital that can be used to help solve conservation issues as they arise in the world, unencumbered by the slow-moving bureaucratic mechanisms of traditional non-profits.

As for the interface, Mammalz is seeking to combine all the most useful functions of other platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Twitch to make sharing nature-related content as user-friendly and effective as possible. Any form of media can be uploaded, from photos and videos, to live spots and even VR.

There’ll be a regular feed, where you’ll see the content created by the accounts you follow as well as items that go through the universal feed, like top staff picks for the week. Your “Habitat” is your personal page where you curate content — both your own, and the stuff you follow, which you can organize into playlists.

There’s a discussion section where any user can start a conversation about any topic and up to 500 people can discuss it in real-time. This could be questions, like where to go on your next dive, or advice on camera techniques for capturing the best images. Under the “Explore” tab you can search by topic or media type, or see what Mammalz staff are into right now. And if you run into trouble, have a question about the app, notice a bug, or have a suggestion, all you have to do is shake your smartphone and follow the prompts that appear.

Currently, they’re working to develop an internal currency feature that will allow content creators to monetize their unique efforts. The tool will be free to members and will allow them to give to other members at any time, for any reason.

Even further down the road, Mammalz is planning a partnership program for users with a certain threshold of reach or post consistency that will centralize everything a nature media creator might need to most effectively reach their target audience. A Mammalz team member would be available to act as a sort of concierge to help producers in all sorts of ways. Need a sponsor or a certain piece of gear for your next idea? Need help with logistics for your upcoming project? Your Mammalz liaison could help you navigate the complexities.

They’re even planning to partner with an online content library that will automatically scan any new content uploaded for copyright infringement, so if someone’s using your stuff without your credit, you can get it taken down or offer to sublicense you work. And while they do reserve the right to use uploaded content in their internal advertising, creators will retain 100% ownership of anything they post.

A word on content. Mammalz is looking for anything that revives or promotes the connection between us and the natural world. This could be wildlife photos, or a live streaming virtual experience of rock climbing or surfing, or a video from your latest dive. Anything that fosters the love of our planet is on the table — they want content to be as wide-ranging as possible.

The hope is that the comprehensive functionality of the app will allow people all over the world to tell the stories about what’s going on around them. The upshot could be recognizing ecological crises as they’re emerging and getting the help needed to address them, or it could be raising awareness about little-known species or natural resources that could use some concerned stewardship. As more people upload their work, Mammalz will become a huge online database of information collected by citizen scientists. It will be able to be used to help track migrations or habitat changes, monitor population density, and capture rare phenomena.

All of this adds up to a concerted effort to get back to nature, and expand our love for everything that entails. After all, you protect what you love.

Mammalz is available as an app, but also from any browser. You can sign up using your email or Facebook account, and all you need is to be 13 years or older, and have either a phone number or an email account. If you’re a creator or lover of nature content, head over to their site and get in on the open beta testing happening now and see what it can really do.

Erin Durbin-Sherer
Erin Durbin-Sherer
Erin began diving in 2012 as preparation for a trip to Hawaii and before the year was out she'd left her old life behind to work in the dive industry full-time. When she's not out exploring the deep and collecting c-cards, you might find her making art or working on her master's thesis in cultural anthropology at San Diego State University. Erin is an Associate Editor with


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