Our brains like human faces. We respond to them, tracing the features, scanning to see if we know the person, assessing the person’s character and influence, feeling interest and curiosity or repugnance and discomfort as we look at them. Psychological and neurological research has shown that putting faces into ads draws more attention than objects like cars or even whole people. 

So, when you first open up the page of faces on Locals, you’ll feel your brain whizzing around the faces, drinking them in, alighting on and perhaps wanting to connect with particular ones.

Who are the Locals creators?

This gallery of talking heads is gaining traction and these channel or community creators are seeing their followers growing enviably fast enough to turn heads. Many community creators have migrated from platforms plagued by advertising and censorship, taking their followers with them, remaining available on other channels while on Locals offering their loyal members exclusivity for certain content. 

What is it like to enter a channel?

While some channels are very homely like stepping into a small café to have a Javanese coffee with someone, others are professionally presented, with a TV studio effect and ready personalities. The content can be a mixture of all these, with live stream videos and chats, conventional articles with comments threads. As you scroll, you start to notice some content is behind a paywall.

Skydiving team work

What is so attractive about this platform to viewers? 

Turning on a channel is easy: see the face, read the tagline underneath and just click. You’ll soon get the idea of how it works from there onwards. No-commitment freewheeling browsers can still see some content left there to whet their appetite and give them a feel of what they are missing. They can also follow channels for free. New channels offer no-obligation free content while those with large followings can lock their content for supporter members only.

Why do so many followers go on to subscribe?

Viewers see a pop-up Support window on the channel which tells them how they can take part and suggests the minimum annual payment. The next step to access more content is to become a supporter and put good money down. And people seem willing to subscribe with the promise that they will not be bombarded with promotion. The rewards of subscribing feel good and honest. It’s a bit like Lello bookshop in Porto, which has all its patrons pay an entrance fee which is paid back to them once they buy a book. Locals has you pay the fee and then invites you in to live chats and privileged posts and a chance to add your voice. The paywall makes you feel like a club member behind which you won’t be harrassed. 

How worthwhile is it to create a Locals community?

From the creator’s point of view, it feels like a handsome cooperative: the platform does not make you sign away your content, user data or subscriptions, which remain exclusively yours. You offer enticing content until the prerequisite number of subscribers is reached after which you can operate the paid version of your channel.  Creators set up their own subscription deal, stating the annual amount required to get access to content and be allowed to join in conversations and comment on posts. You thus have some buy-in from your members who are now inclined to support rather than sabotage you. Your channel generously runs across TV, the Locals app and the web to provide multiple access preferences.  Viewers have to be supporters to read all or most articles or watch any videos. The more subscribers you have, the more Locals allows creators to unlock more content space. Thus, creators can reward their members by offering more content as the channel’s membership strength grows. 

Who are the Locals team and what are they controlling? 

Not for the easily offended, Locals promotes free expression and intelligent dialogue. You might expect a brawl, but instead it’s like the Autobahn: no speed limit is needed as the route promotes responsible use. Its developers emerged from a platform on which expression had become stifled. They were determined to provide Locals creators and members with that breath of fresh voice so many have wished for. That being said, many of the channels are fuelled by political objectives, and Locals was acquired by Rumble in 2021. You will see though that more and more users are using their channels for content marketing and other initiatives. 

Your turn

Have you tried locals.com as a subscriber or creator? We’d love to hear about your experience