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How social content marketplace Trove Collective is putting the power back into the hands of the people

Social networks changed the world as we know it years ago (primarily from the meteoric rise of Facebook). They brought about an impressive connectivity to people around the world. However, the last few years have brought to light many endemic issues to the social media model. The promise of connectivity and a space to share what’s important has become a place where privacy concerns, abuse and polarization have driven a large population of the user base to question the value of social media as we know it. 

According to research from GoVerizon, 81% of people are concerned about their social privacy, and 90% are at least “somewhat” concerned about social media companies monetizing their data.  A valid concern, considering that as people post and navigate various sites, communities and the like, their data is tracked, stored and sold to advertisers. The same GoVerizon report stated that 79% of people would rather sell their own data than have it monetized by a social media platform. Despite these challenges, billions of people continue to post photos, videos and posts about anything and everything, seeking to stay connected and “seen” in today’s digital world.

Despite the plethora of social applications we have to share photos, images and posts, many people have felt stymied by the challenges of telling their story to have it not get ‘lost in the feed,’ and the inability to curate the amazing things they have found on various platforms. And then there’s trying not to lose the excitement felt when posting about that trip to Spain or the gluten-free cookie recipe you invented, only to be met with  a biting remark in the comment thread. In many cases, competition has replaced community within social networks with a race to see who has the most followers and “likes.” 

These days, people are competing with each other for ever-shrinking pieces of distracted attention- this is in fact what platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others are banking on (quite literally)- using advanced algorithms, they aim to keep us mindlessly watching, “liking,” scrolling… The promise of connectivity in social networks today has become the reality of isolation instead.

One company is changing this narrative, focusing on content and making it easy for people to create and curate their passions, without the distraction of ads or the concern over how many people “like” their content. Using multimedia plugins to tell stories with images, videos, web links, podcasts, playlists, book lists or a mix of all of them, Trove is a community of creators, storytellers, adventurers and knowledge seekers who just want to share and showcase their pursuits and curate what’s important to them, similar to how engineers use Github.

Founder Max Bevan stated “I decided to start this company in response to the tearing down of our social fabric by the mainstream platforms today through their design decisions – the inherent conflict of interest through the ad model, the emphasis on inflaming not informing, preying on insecurity/ego through likes, and the devolution of the comment thread model into a place for abuse.”

As a self-described hobbyist blogger, Max went through many different iterations of blogging since the early 2000s. From a personal philosophy blog, to a professional blog, to his most recent book review blog, Max felt, first-hand, how his experience as a blogger changed very little over the past 20 years. He realized that there was no single, simple platform that made it effective to create and share content that could be subscribed to by one’s community and that could ultimately be utilized (saved, indexed, and searched) by subscribers when they wanted to leverage your content. 

From this experience and his background as a product manager, Trove Collective was born.  Backed in 2021 with a $400,000 pre-seed Angel funding round with a larger seed round currently underway, Trove is a thoughtful curation network where people store, share, and discover their passions and knowledge with their peers. Have a life-changing ravioli recipe that your friends absolutely need to know about? Easily share it on Trove. Looking for a trusted book recommendation from a trusted source? Find it on their Trove. Looking for insights from an author and further detailed research info around their book? Find it on their Trove. 

Trove connected with creators over the common fatigue of making great content to only have it get lost in the feed. Even more frustrating, is their communities’ inability to find the content they loved: to use that lasagna recipe they found on instagram, to read that book that was recommended on Tiktok, to review those business insights that floated past them on Twitter or LinkedIn. Trove believes the next frontier for the creator economy is curation – through curation comes engagement and monetization. Link-in-bio platforms awakened this movement, but those solutions are just scratching the surface. Trove makes it easy for creators to curate what they learn, what they recommend, what they experience and in turn make it easy for consumers to save, collaborate, and utilize this content to empower their lived experiences.

A popular blogger in the BlogHer community who is a user of Trove said what she loves about Trove Collective is that “Trove puts the power back into the hands of the creator to tell their stories.” Finally, a platform that puts the power back into the hands of the people.

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