Today marks the launch of the Roll app, which aims to create an easy way for creators to make an extra buck while portraying a potentially more authentic version of themselves to their fans. Already, some creators will charge for access to their Instagram close friends story, a private Snapchat account or a secret Discord server, where they post content that’s still on-brand and safe-for-work, but maybe not as polished and professional as what they post “on main.” Roll takes this creator tactic and streamlines it — instead of subscribing to a creator’s Patreon to get access to their secret Instagram, this entire transaction can be facilitated on Roll, which is available for iOS and Android.
“Our punch line is essentially that we give fans access to their favorite creators’ camera rolls,” said founder and CEO Erik Zamudio. “The way that it works is fans subscribe to see content from creators that they’re not going to be able to see anywhere else. I think it lets creators be the most authentic and real versions of themselves.”
To be clear, Roll isn’t sharing access to these creators’ literal camera roll — that would be a disaster waiting to happen. But the idea is that Roll gives creators a chance to make money while connecting with their fans in a more casual way. Even when posting on social media is your job, it’s not as though you upload everything in your camera roll — you might take a photo of the perfect (or not-so-perfect) omelet you made, a bad selfie, a screenshot of a meme you like, or something weird you saw on a walk. Those images may not make sense on your carefully planned Instagram grid, but they could work on a platform like Roll. Plus, like a real camera roll, there’s no liking or commenting on Roll posts.