A funny thing happened when we got our first smartphone and data plan only to embark on an entirely new digital relationship. And some of us forgot, even just a bit, about real life.
Social Networking in Real Life
If 2012 was the year social networking went mobile, then we may well look back on 2013 as the year of social networking in real life (SNiRL).
- More than 5 million images are posted to Instagram each day in real time as people live their lives.
- On average, more than 12,000 meetups are scheduled every day.
- Despite the naysayers, Foursquare's user community has grown to 30 million, nearly doubling in the past year.
The growth of SNiRL has been about helping people actually do stuff with their friends. We're bombarded by an unending stream of information about events, and communities where we might spend our free time. So it's one thing to share information in real time, tell people where you are, and conduct business via social networks. But one of the critical capabilities that's been lacking from social networking is the ability to actually do things with the people you really want to see.
One company, eventseeker developed a social app enabling people to get information on the latest nearby, social happenings.
I hosted an email interview with the company's founder to learn more. "Eventseeker was born out of the idea that we can bridge the gap between online information and opportunities "In Real Life" (IRL) through mobile," says the company's CEO, Fraser Campbell. "By creating an app that not only introduces you to new experiences, but also connects you with your friends and allows you to share those experiences ."
Kind-of a hyper-local, mobile Facebook meets FourSquare, meets the vastness of Twitter.
Cambell continues, "We wanted the app to be relevant to every user in a unique and personal way. With so many events happening, we wanted to show our users the events that are most relevant and time, and help point you towards your friends that are most likely to be interested in the same events." In showing the events, the app intelligently focuses on what are the best options given the user preference but is also capable of suggesting new and exciting events that may not be necessarily included in the user's initial preference.
At my first glance, even, I find that the app is fully integrated into ticketing and booking services, so it's essentially a one-stop online site for an outing. "On top of being able to buy or reserve a seat prior to the date of the event, the user also has the option to invite friends or relatives to the venue to make it a more lively and memorable occasion for gathering," Cambell remarks.
Through its unique passive personalization, eventseeker scans a user's Facebook account to understand the person's interests, such as their taste in music, their favorite sports teams, events they've attended, and artists they're following. The app also scans the music library on a user's mobile device for additional information about the user's preferences. This allows eventseeker to serve up targeted alerts and recommendations about upcoming events.
I asked Cambell if there was an "ah-ha" business concept moment he'd had about the business. "Our "Ah Ha" moment happened when we realized that we have way too many events in our database," he answered. "In order to be more relevant, we had to passively personalize the content without the user having to do much." Eventseeker does this through Facebook and by looking at the music on mobile devices. "We have created a comprehensive, user-friendly app that does work for our users so all they have to do is find events and have a good time," Cambell concludes.
Cambell was willing to offer-up some of his future plans exclusively for Social Media Today. "We are developing our recommended artists feature, which is based on all the music you listen to, and all the artists you follow and like on Facebook," he explains. "Eventseeker will make recommendations about events happening based on that information, providing even more ways for users to discover new music, venues and relationships."