Well, it finally happened. It took El*n M*sk buying Twitter for us as a society to decide it was a bad social media platform, and now it seems like everyone is getting ready to jump ship. Not too long ago I ditched Facebook and Instagram for good, for both moral and personal reasons—I don’t need to subject myself to unnecessary FOMO or allow people I haven’t spoken to in years to know every detail of my life. But I also grew up with social media, starting with Xanga and MySpace, so it feels strange to suddenly leave everything behind cold turkey.
Thankfully, there’s a new social media app in town, and while it might not be the all-purpose platform that some of these other sites are, maybe that’s what makes it even better. It’s time for everyone to download Pepper.
Pepper is a new food-focused app that combines the food porn of Instagram with the recipe sharing and community building inherent to other social media platforms. Similar to TikTok, you can scroll through the posts of people you actively follow on one feed and scroll through the “global” community on another—think of that as your For You Page. Clicking through to each post allows you to like, comment, and save posts, similar to the user experience in Instagram.
What’s unique, however, is that each post also includes a recipe, with an ingredient list, estimated prep time, cooking steps, and a section for others to share their photos attempting that recipe. You can add tags related to certain dietary restrictions and ingredients, making it easy to search by criteria—gluten-free recipes, for example, or every recipe on Pepper that uses crushed tomatoes.
I downloaded the app this morning to check it out, and while I didn’t have a home cooked meal to post, I did have a Starbucks coffee on my desk. If this app was meant for chefs of all abilities, I wanted to see what the most basic post would require of me. Not much, it turns out, so don’t let the “recipe” part of posting scare you away from trying it.
Each post just requires a title, a photo, and at least one ingredient. If you have the information, you can fill out details on cook time, the number of servings, and the difficulty level, as well as step-by-step instructions that can include process photos as you go. If you’re trying out someone else’s recipe that you found on the app, you can easily search for that to link to the original recipe page and it will pull all those details directly into your post. Before posting you can also tag with ingredients and anything else that might make it more searchable. Essentially, it’s not that different from the social media posting you’re used to.
And like I said, as you can see below, you can really include as much or as little information as you want when starting out:
Will Pepper be the next Twitter? Probably not, if only because of its niche content. But if you’re a home chef and/or food lover looking for something to fill the void, give it a shot. It’ll be much harder to doomscroll when your social media feed consists entirely of delicious recipes.