I wrote this post as an introduction to my upcoming Facebook/iPhone app Socialfly, originally appearing on the Socialfly blog on 10/15/2008.
Now a decade later, I still believe that software can and should do a lot more to improve the quality of connections between people, and that the last decade's efforts in social software has been disappointingly anti-social and pro-growth. Our decidedly non-viral product positioning (launched in the era of viral Facebook apps) limited our business prospects, but I think is nonetheless the right approach to fulfill this promise.
We’re excited to announce today that Socialfly has been chosen as one of 25 recipients of Facebook’s Round I fbFund grant. We look forward to developing a great partnership with Facebook to provide the best user experience possible for Socialfly users.
We chose to participate in the fbFund competition because we think Facebook is the ideal platform for Socialfly’s coming launch. Over the past year we’ve seen both an incredible rise in the capability of the Facebook platform, and an evolving user dynamic that shows Facebook has become not just a mainstream success, but a leader in redefining how everybody, everywhere communicates.
Social is Changing
Have you noticed something recently? Lines are blurring between personal and professional, between casual acquaintances and close friends or family, and between nearly every other possible distinction we draw among our connections. They’re all starting to appear side by side, even while social norms are still highly ambiguous. What’s happening?
Social networks are changing
Facebook has become the mainstream social network. Your parents, coworkers, old friends, and the local barista may all be on it right now. However, while the social graph has widened to include this huge quantity of connections, an expanding social graph dilutes what it means to be connected. The role of applications may very well be to simply make sense of these connections - defining what it means to be connected, and the implicit and explicit rules of interaction.
People are changing
We who enter the workforce today are expected to change our jobs 7 to 10 times in our careers. As young professionals, we can no longer rely on pre-defined social circles to tap into, because we relocate and switch jobs so frequently. A greater burden is now on all of us to build our own networks, because we wind up meeting a greater number of people for a shorter amount of time.
Where Socialfly Comes In
We’re building Socialfly to fill in what we see as a crucial missing piece in this redefinition of social. While changes in social networks and social conditions are driving a greater quantity of connections, Socialfly is about increasing the quality of connections. We believe true relationships are measured by the times you spend and interests you share together: the ideas you bond over, the details you share in common, and your regular interactions. We want to do this with all the people we like, and we think you do too.
The Socialfly team is working hard for our first release in November. In the mean time, take a look at the Socialfly preview application, which will keep you up to date and help you set yourself up for our launch. You can also follow us on twitter, and subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed.
The Socialfly Team