PlantLife, the TikTok for plant-lovers

PlantLife is a platform ‘where people and plants thrive’. — AFP Relaxnews

PlantLife is a new application that takes a leaf out of the TikTok playbook. Here, users can scroll or upload photos... of plants. Because this new American social network is reaching out to leaf lovers, small traders and green thumbs of all kinds, inviting like-minded plant people to gather in one place to enjoy plant-related content.

PlantLife is a platform “where people and plants thrive”. Its infinite scroll interface is largely reminiscent of TikTok. But instead of finding hordes of teenagers dyeing their hair, singing and/or dancing duets, this app is filled with plant-related content.

You’ll find plants, plants and more plants – but not just any plants, since these are yours, your neighbour’s plants (if they’re registered), or the specimens of a plant owner in the United States, so long as they have an iPhone and download the app.

To register on PlantLife, you create your profile with a photo of yourself, but also with pictures of each of your plants, entering their species, age and adding a small description. For the moment, the application does not offer automatic identification. Once registered, you can chat with peers, ask for advice and even buy plants from small traders.

PlantLife, a niche network

So what does PlantLife have that other apps don’t? Its success has a lot to do with who its founding trio are.

There’s CEO Leslie Mullins, who previously worked at Nike and Apple, product manager Taylor Vignali, who has held creative director and UX positions at those same companies, and chief of plants Lana Pappas, a San Francisco-based landscaper and designer.

Ultimately, it’s not surprising that the three acolytes have spotted such a good opportunity. According to the American media site Fast Company, 70% of millennials claim to be “parents” to at least one plant.

According to its founders, PlantLife could generate US$189mil (RM801.17mil) in revenue in five years by tapping into the houseplant market, which is worth about US$1.7bil (RM7.20bil). The social network also hopes to extend its domain to gardening, wellness or even plant-based food.

To boost its influence, the company relies on partnerships with “plantfluenceurs”, the green-thumbed stars of social media. PlantLife allows them to create their own online stores or even run “clubs” on the topic of their choice, such as mushroom research. The idea is that every user can find their plant niche, whatever it may be.

At the same time, the team also wants to attract more small businesses to the platform, in order to create turnkey stores, as most of the plant industry is dominated by large DIY stores. – AFP Relaxnews

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