Have you ever seen your favourite influencer raving about a product and thought it was exactly what you’ve always needed? Of course you have. Then, like us, you probably remember the feeling when it arrived and just wasn’t what you hoped. Disappointed and out a few (hundred) dirhams, you realise you’ve been a victim of a #sponsored post.
In the influencer era, it’s no surprise that our feed is a never-ending string of sponsored content, whether it’s for slimming tea, press-on toenails (*gag*) or various teeth-whitening contraptions. Instagram marketing is everywhere, and we understand why – brand popularity is skyrocketing because of it. But sometimes, we just want to know who to trust.
Enter ex-Moda Operandi staffers Elizabeth Shaffer and Lizzy Brockhoff who have launched Masse in the US – a digital-shopping platform that’s a #spon-free zone. You can shop anything from homeware to beauty, and each item comes with reviews and recommendations from real people, so you can decide whether it’s right for you based on their experiences and make sure you don't end up with a cupboard full of unloved products.
The idea is to bring back the power of word-of-mouth recommendation, but for the digital age. Just search ‘I’m looking for an organic moisturiser with SPF’ and members will respond with items they love that fit your search, alongside their review which they'll write because, well, they genuinely love the product. In an era of paid-for content, it's borderline revolutionary.
Sadly it's not available in the Middle East yet, but we think it's only a matter of time, with one of its investors being founder of Net-a-Porter, Natalie Massenet.
An app based on trust and credibility, Masse aims to create a community of shoppers - and friends - and believes that people are happier when they’re helping each other. We approve. And we weren't paid to say so.