Everything You Need To Know About The Cara App

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If you haven’t heard about Cara until now, it’s a new social media platform specifically designed for artists, and it staunchly opposes AI-generated artwork. While the platform resembles DeviantArt and ArtStation in functionality, many artists are eyeing it as a potential replacement for mainstream social media giants like Facebook and Instagram.

Sadly, Artists Gave Their Rights Away to Facebook & Instagram.

The issue of AI-generated artwork has become increasingly prominent, with platforms like ArtStation and DeviantArt allowing such content. Recently, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced its intention to use user-generated images to train its AI systems. Not only that, but artists and creatives have experienced a huge drop in reach sparking concerns among artists.

Why are artists and creatives looking for a new platform?

1. Organic Reach Decline

Over the years, artists have witnessed a steady decline in organic reach on mainstream platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The diminishing organic reach has made it increasingly challenging for artists to connect with their audience without resorting to paid advertising.

For instance, a report by Social Media Today reveals that the average organic reach of Facebook posts plummeted from 16% in 2012 to a mere 5.5% in 2019. As of 2022, it is still only around 5.2% reach.

This decline has left many artists feeling frustrated and disillusioned, as their carefully crafted content fails to reach a significant portion of their followers. So much work goes into posts, creating reals, TikTok vor YouTube videos artists and creatives are exhausted!

2. They Can’t Afford Advertising

Despite the allure of advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it’s important to recognize that allocating a small budget typically yields minimal results.

Artists and small businesses often find that spending just a small amount on advertising doesn’t significantly impact their reach or engagement. To truly make an impact and see tangible results, a considerably higher budget, typically ranging from $500 to $1000 or more, is needed.

This ensures that your ads can reach a wider audience and achieve meaningful engagement, which is not feasible for most artists and small businesses.

3. Fears of Losing Visibility

The fear of losing visibility and reach is a significant deterrent for artists considering leaving mainstream platforms. Despite the allure of platforms like Cara, artists are hesitant to abandon the established networks where they have built sizable followings over the years.

The prospect of starting anew on a platform with a smaller user base raises concerns about whether artists will be able to maintain their visibility and reach the same audience they’ve cultivated on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

4. Ethical Concerns

The use of artists’ content to train AI models without their explicit consent has raised ethical concerns within the artistic community. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram claim to uphold user rights, artists remain wary of the implications of their work being used for AI training without their knowledge or consent.

According to a survey by Digital Art Collector, a staggering 85% of artists express worry about their artwork being utilized for AI training without their explicit consent.

This growing unease underscores the need for greater transparency and control over how artists’ work is utilized in AI training processes.

5. Demand for Transparency

Artists are increasingly demanding transparency and accountability from platforms regarding the use of their content for AI training. The opacity surrounding AI training practices leaves artists feeling vulnerable and powerless over the fate of their creative work.

By advocating for greater transparency and control, artists seek to assert their rights and ensure that their artwork is utilized ethically and responsibly in AI development. As platforms grapple with these ethical dilemmas, addressing artists’ concerns regarding AI training practices will be crucial in fostering trust and goodwill within the artistic community.

6. Artists’ Struggle Against The Algorithm

Artists are increasingly feeling the weight of algorithms and the relentless pressure to conform to them. They’re tired of being reduced to mere content creators in a never-ending race to beat the algorithm. The commodification of their craft has left them disillusioned, as their creativity is often hijacked by the demands of algorithms that prioritize clicks and engagement over genuine expression.

This constant battle with algorithms stifles innovation and authenticity, leaving artists feeling disconnected from their art and their audience. There’s a yearning for a return to a time when creativity was valued for its intrinsic worth rather than its ability to appease an algorithm.

Artists are eager to break free from the constraints of commercialism and reclaim their autonomy, striving for a deeper connection with their audience that transcends the superficiality of content consumption dictated by algorithms.

Introducing Cara

Cara, created by Zhang Jingna (Zemotion), emerges as a beacon of hope for artists disillusioned by the proliferation of AI-generated art. The platform explicitly prohibits AI-generated content, making it a haven for artists seeking a space solely dedicated to authentic human creativity.

She is also a part of a lawsuit with numerous other artists that are suing Google for using their artwork to train their AI as of April 2024.

According to Colossal, Cara was developed by the SAND Lab at the University of Chicago with the aim of protecting human artists by disrupting style mimicry in AI models. The platform’s user base has rapidly grown from a few thousand to over 300,000, showcasing its potential to attract artists seeking an AI-free environment.

When looking it up in the apple store, this is the app description: Cara is a social media and portfolio platform for artists, art enthusiasts, and fans. Connect with peers and followers, share your work, and find industry jobs from AAA and award-winning studios. Tired of AI-generated content? Our AI detector automatically filters out AI images from user portfolios.

To get more familer, you can read their Terms of Use and their FAQ.

Cara Uses Glaze

The Glaze Project, an initiative from the University of Chicago, has introduced Glaze, a pioneering digital tool designed to shield artists from the encroachments of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI).

Employing sophisticated machine learning algorithms, Glaze subtly modifies digital images—altering pixel colors, adding artifacts, and applying effects similar to UV light treatments.

These adjustments are crafted to be imperceptible to the human eye but disrupt the ability of AI models to replicate the artist’s unique style, thereby safeguarding the originality of their work.

However, the tool is not without its limitations. Studies indicate that while Glaze can reduce AI mimicry by approximately 80%, there are instances where the protection is not fully effective.

About 15% of treated artworks still have their styles partially mimicked by advanced AI models. Additionally, in 10% of cases, the alterations made by Glaze become noticeable to human viewers, potentially affecting the visual integrity of the artwork.

These statistics highlight the ongoing challenge of balancing effective protection against AI with maintaining the original appearance of digital art.

Cara Offered Features

1. AI image detector: Want to see human-made art? We have an AI detector that automatically filters and rejects AI-generated images from portfolios. If you’re looking for human creatives, Cara is the place to be.

2. Custom home feed: Take control of your home feed! Set what % of posts you want to see from people you follow, their network, and site-wide content. We won’t hide posts from your follows, and the ratio adjustment only adds posts and won’t remove any.

3. Feed and portfolio in one: Want to share memes, repost, create a portfolio, and drop your take of the day? Our portfolio tab makes it easy for you to choose what media to display as a creator, so that your work won’t be mixed up with your social media feed.

4. Easy portfolio upload: We didn’t like how tedious it was to post art on most art platforms, so Cara’s upload process is designed to be lightweight. Attach an image, hit post, & that’s it! For adding to portfolio, all info fields are optional, fill or skip is your choice.

5. Custom crop for thumbnail/covers: Our upload panel has a crop tool so you can choose how your post covers should look like. Say goodbye to severed heads in thumbnails! This is one of our top 3 user favorites! Adjusting the cover preview crop for images on Cara’s portfolio page

6. 1200 characters & post editing: Posts allow up to 1200 characters for text and you can edit them if you make a mistake. We don’t have the option to edit attached media files yet, but it’s something we are working to implement as soon as we can.

7. Animated gif covers: We want to support animators on Cara, so we have gif covers to showcase their work. This is a beta feature and something we’re still figuring out. In the future, we plan to add video embeds so people can link to videos in their portfolios!

8. Community discussions: We wanted to bring back a sense of 2000s community and this is a small throwback to our CGHUB days. “Latest discussions” is on the home feed sidebar for desktop, and on the home feed tab on mobile!

9. Phone app: To add Cara to your phone go to https://cara.app. In your default browser’s sharing settings, select Add to Home Screen, and that’s it! For more help view our guide here: https://blog.cara.app/mobile

10. Jobs Board: One of the core reasons we built Cara was to help companies and fans find and hire human artists.

11. Cara is Free to Use: Cara is free to use and an invite is not required to join the platform. This project is built by a small group of volunteers. 

 

Cara Benefits & Drawbacks

It’s essential to recognize that every benefit or drawback is subjective and contingent upon individual perspectives. What I perceive as positive may not align with your viewpoint, and vice versa. Therefore, as you navigate through this information, take the time to discern what resonates most with your unique requirements and preferences.

 

  • Free To Use & Volunteer Created
  • Artistic Integrity: One of Cara’s most significant selling points is its staunch opposition to AI-generated artwork. By fostering an environment that prioritizes human creativity and authenticity, Cara appeals to artists who seek a platform free from the influence of automated algorithms.
  • No AI: It is forbidden to post AI art on it, they also put a built-in AI image detector when you upload.
  • Niche Community: Cara’s focus on artists and their work creates a niche community that fosters meaningful interactions and collaborations. Artists can connect with like-minded individuals, share their work, and receive constructive feedback from fellow creators.
  • Creative Freedom: Unlike mainstream social media platforms, which often prioritize popularity and trends, Cara empowers artists to express themselves freely without fear of censorship or algorithmic biases. This creative freedom encourages innovation and experimentation within the artistic community.
  • User-Centric Design: Cara’s user interface and features are designed with artists in mind, offering tools and resources tailored to their needs. From customizable portfolios to specialized forums, Cara provides a platform that caters to the unique requirements of its user base.

Drawbacks

  • Limited Reach: Despite its appeal to artists, Cara may struggle to attract a broader audience beyond the artistic community. As a result, artists may find it challenging to reach new viewers and potential customers compared to mainstream platforms with larger user bases.
  • Sustainability Concerns: The long-term sustainability of Cara remains uncertain, as many new social media platforms face challenges in maintaining growth and relevance over time. Without continuous innovation and strategic development, Cara may struggle to compete with established giants like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Monetization Options: While Cara provides a platform for artists to showcase their work, it may lack robust monetization options compared to mainstream platforms. Artists reliant on social media for income may find it challenging to generate revenue or monetize their content effectively on Cara.
  • No Nudity: Although a art platform, nudity is not allowed.
  • Centralized: The database of data with your followers, artwork, posts, likes and all belong to a single installation, the main Cara.app. You can’t export your data. You are a prisoner of the Cara ecosystem.
  • It’s Slow & Glitchy: People can’t log in, can’t upload images, get booted out, etc. It is glitchy which is common, but will take years to suss out.
  • No Password: You have to keep entering codes over and over again.
  • Google Analytics: It’s like having a nosy neighbor who knows everything about your website visitors. They tell Google who pops by, how long they stay, what browser they’re using, where they’re from, what catches their eye, and even what they’re up to online. In a nutshell, it’s a comprehensive peek into everyone’s online behavior.
  • AI Detection Lacks Accuracy: AI detection sometimes misses the mark because it relies on patterns and data to make predictions, much like learning from examples. However, it can falter when faced with new or unusual situations that don’t fit neatly into its learned patterns

The Sustainability Question

While Cara holds promise as an alternative to mainstream social media, the question of sustainability looms large. History has shown that many new platforms experience rapid growth followed by stagnation or decline. According to a study by CB Insights, 70% of tech startups fail within the first 20 months of operation. While Cara’s focus on artistic integrity may attract users initially, its long-term viability remains uncertain.

Does Cara Have Monetization and Income Opportunities?

Supporting Artists’ Livelihoods: For many artists, social media platforms play a crucial role in generating income and sustaining their livelihoods. Whether through direct sales, commissions, or collaborations, artists rely on these platforms to monetize their creative work and connect with potential clients and patrons.

For any emerging platform to truly flourish, it must prioritize providing artists with diverse monetization avenues, ensuring they can financially thrive while dedicating themselves to their craft. While this vision may materialize in the future, the current focus of the platform predominantly caters to artists rather than collectors, galleries, or supporters.

Navigating the Artist-Centric Terrain

Artists hold a special place in my heart; they’re some of my favorite individuals. As an artist myself, I deeply appreciate the creative spirit and dedication that artists bring to their craft.

Yet, I also wear another hat—I’m a collector and avid supporter of the arts. My love for art extends beyond creating it; it encompasses cherishing and advocating for the work of fellow artists.

In its unwavering dedication to serving artists, Cara presents a unique landscape that diverges from traditional social media platforms by excluding fans, collectors, and family members.

While this artist-focused approach fosters a tight-knit community centered on creative expression and collaboration, it also poses a significant challenge when it comes to monetizing artistic endeavors.

Without the broader audience reach and potential clientele found on mainstream platforms, artists on.

Cara may find themselves navigating a more limited marketplace for their work, requiring innovative strategies to monetize their creations effectively.

Will Cara replace Instagram and/or Facebook?

While Cara offers a unique space for artists and professionals to connect, it’s unlikely to replace giants like Instagram or Facebook. While it may appeal to art directors seeking talent, artists risk losing vital connections like fans, friends, and collectors if they exclusively migrate to this platform.

Expressing this concern on Facebook, some responded with sympathy, acknowledging the challenge of transitioning followers to a new platform. Others expressed intense emotions stating:

“How sad it was that family, friends, and collectors would not follow an artist to a new platform of the artist’s choosing.”

However, there’s a lack of tangible incentives for them to make the switch, and expecting otherwise might seem unreasonable and even a little entitled. 

Unlike platforms such as Patreon, Cara doesn’t provide direct benefits for followers, adding to artists’ hesitations about leaving established platforms. For many artists dependent on their craft for income, the fear of losing support from existing buyers and followers is a valid concern.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the emergence of Cara, a social media platform tailored for artists and staunchly opposed to AI-generated artwork, presents a beacon of hope amidst concerns of artistic integrity and algorithmic control on mainstream platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

With its focus on fostering a community centered on authentic human creativity and providing specialized features such as an AI image detector, customizable home feeds, and easy portfolio uploads, Cara aims to address the growing frustrations of artists.

However, while Cara offers a promising alternative, its long-term sustainability and ability to replace mainstream platforms remain uncertain. The platform’s niche focus on artists may limit its appeal to a broader audience, posing challenges for artists seeking to monetize their work effectively.

Despite these limitations, Cara represents a significant step towards reclaiming creative autonomy and fostering a supportive community for artists in the digital age.