Founded by Pankaj Gautam, Rajesh Patidar, Shivam Mani Tripathi & Ujash Dave, a group of four young geeks from IIT Gandhinagar in the summer of 2015, Bangalore-based Fluttr, is a social media app to instantly and anonymously speak to your college community and discover what is happening around you.
The vision of the company is to empower people to speak freely, and openly within their communities. To let people socialize with the community without worrying about their social image. (Download the App here)
Recalling the inception of this product, the team said, “after graduation, and before our jobs started, we wanted to work on something interesting. We decided to solve a problem that we ourselves faced: fear of negative social judgment on social networks. It is then the core idea of Fluttr came to be. Within a span of 3 months, we talked to people, developed and tested the product. The turn of events turned out to be so exciting that we quit our jobs and decided to continue with our project”.
They added, “Social networks, today, are about tuning one’s outlook for social acceptance. We are solving a problem created due to the existing social networks. We’re doing the opposite — empower people to be themselves and socialize with the community. We’re building communities where people feel free and welcome to share their views on matters important to them, where it’s not important for someone to have a bunch of followers first to be heard, where the closeted, reclusive guy and the college queen bee can reach out all the same, all anonymously, where everyone can say what they really think”.
Purpose of this App
The primary purpose of this app is to enable people to express their opinions freely without any inhibition of being judged and castigated by peers on social media, as it allows anonymity. “People need a less confrontational way to express their thoughts and beliefs. Anonymity makes it possible for people to talk about what they think is weird, different, wrong, or stupid and be an active part of the community without the fear of becoming a victim of social pruning,” maintains Shivam.
Here, a community refers to a group of people connected by a strong underlying context (such as college, workplace, apartment complex, Tendulkar fans etc.). All posts are private to your community — it is not necessary to disclose your identity with a post. The app has a minimal feature set and clean & easy to understand UI. Interesting and relevant topics could be discussed- be it a debate on the corruption of student funds, or how the new professor could improve his teaching style or a funny joke on their boss, or a new couple at workplace etc. One doesn’t need to gather a bunch of followers first to be heard here. The company claims that 40% more posts per active user are posted on the platform than Reddit on any given day.
No Registration, No Sign Ups! Just Follow your community
Fluttr doesn’t subject its users to sign-ups & registration to extract information. It’s proprietary algorithms do the needful.
Also, there’s no need to create groups and fill details. Fluttr has an extensive database of all communities under the sun. Just join yours.
Anonymity of Users
Posts in Fluttr are truly anonymous. The user gets a new handle on every new post, which is randomly generated. While commenting on a post, handle remains consistent to facilitate conversation.
Community Is in Control
Community moderates content on Fluttr. A post can be up or downvoted. Upvoted flaps become more visible. If a post collects too many downvotes, it is removed.
Upvoted flaps fetch points for the user, which is used to unlock features and moderation rights.
Monetization Model and Traction Details
The company has no plans to monetize now or in near future. It would like to reach to a user base where a social platforms are generally able to generate sizeable revenues.
The startup claims to have over 10k users at present, and the number is growing with each passing day mostly through word-of -mouth. The app is rated 4.6 on Google Play.
A Glance at the Technology, this App Rests on
The app is built for low power and low data usage, and it works well even on 2G speeds.
It has employed artificial intelligence techniques to curate and moderate the content. These algorithms constantly look out for interesting stories and serve to other users within the community. They also sift through thousands of posts daily to remove potentially harmful and abusive content with great precision.
Apart from four co-founders, the company has one community moderator for each and every community. This takes its team size to 15.
The company is currently bootstrapped. However, it is looking at raising external funds soon.
Scope and Future Plans
Elaborating on the scope for Fluttr, Shivam stated, “We’re trying to solve a problem being faced by tens of millions of people in India alone. Globally, the obtainable market is > 100 million. In future, we’d like to see Fluttr as a community layer of internet — a first to mind solution for staying in touch with your community, and speaking fearlessly”.
He further added that currently, the startup is experimenting with different types of community. It has gained significant traction in college campuses. It would like to have a very strong foothold in this segment in next 12 months. Also, the app will extend its facility to other communities as well: workplaces, residential areas, interest-based communities in due course.