IT Voice) What’s Vebbler?
Mr. Sahil Bhagat)Vebbler is a new personal network, developed with a
mission to create a world where people can have more meaningful conversations with different relationships in their lives without one aspect of their life spilling into another. It is one of the first social web startups in India that aims to become a global platform for personal networking and is designed on Crowd Layering Model (CLM).
IT Voice) In a sentence, how is Vebbler different from other platforms?
Mr. Sahil Bhagat) If other networks are ‘newspapers’, Vebbler is more like a ‘personal diary’, a place where you can be yourself and express yourself freely.
IT Voice) Why use Vebbler? What problem are you trying to solve?
Mr. Sahil Bhagat) People across the World today are radically shifting the way they share and express themselves online. They now understand that there are certain things that you cannot share in large open networks, which you could in more intimate groups. With parents, teachers, colleagues and even Bosses online today, there is a need for an evolved of way of connecting and sharing. If you play so many different roles in your real life, there should be a way for you to easily connect in a similar way online.
Vebbler aims to address the problem of blind-sharing (sharing blindly without knowing which end users will be able to see your content) by creating layers for different relationships. We call this the ‘Crowd Layering Model’ and it is a core of the user experience. The CL Model enables us to layer not only the way we share, but also different aspects of the Site. For example: When in office, you may want to remain online only to Workmates while offline for friends and family. It’s now very easy to do that on Vebbler because every relationship has already been layered right at the time of connecting.
IT Voice) How is the difference between Vebbler and other social networks like Facebook?
Mr. Sahil Bhagat) Facebook and other platforms are designed on the ‘social networking’ model, an open platform to connect with a large group of people and acquaintances. An average person has between 1000-1500 friends, of which only 200 or so may be real and intimate connections. However, we now see that people are radically changing the way they share and express themselves online. It’s not 2008 and today we have parents, teachers, colleagues and even Bosses on social media. They understand there are certain things that you cannot share in large open networks, that you could in more intimate groups. Hence, companies are beginning to develop products based on a new model of ‘personal networking’, which gives users an intimate platform to express themselves freely with close and meaningful relationships. Examples: Whatsapp, Path, Avacado, NextDoor etc.
There are two major elements in a ‘personal’ model that is missing in the ‘social’ model:
1. The quality of relationships is more important than the quantity of relationships. And to keep the quality of relationships high, a user can have with a maximum of 500 connections (though he can follow as many people as he finds interesting). We strongly believe, adding 1000 people and not connecting with most isn’t being social. Connecting with 100 people and connecting with most is. Building relationships is not a number game.
2. Conversations hold more importance than connections. We strongly believe that as an individual starts adding more and more people, he /she will become more precautious about the type of content they share, and will express themselves less freely. Simply put, imagine a person’s comfort level of sharing when he is talking to a few close friends, and now put that same person in front of a large audience to speak.
Our aim was not to just create ‘another social network’. Vebbler has been designed with the core purpose of catering to users wanting a personal, intimate and judgement-free place to connect with the people who really matter to them. And we have tried to take this model one step further: By Layering Every Relationship.
IT Voice) How do you ensure that Vebbler is personal and privacy aware?
Mr. Sahil Bhagat) Apart from Clubs, which is explained above, and various privacy settings, here are two more things that are a core of our user experience:
The biggest scare online today is the way photos are shared and tagged. On most social platforms today, if the owner of the photo, say A tags his friend B, B gets all the owner rights to tag any person outside A’s sharing option. It simply overrides it. This can be very scary, and on Vebbler we have tackled this issue by going into its core. Only the owner can choose which people have the right to tag other people. Also, the owner decides to whom those photos can be tagged. So in our case, say A tags B in a photo. Now B can only tag those people who A has allowed through his sharing. This ensures that photos will be secured and only be seen by the people who ought to be seeing it.
Sharing Other People’s Content:
Another big scare online today is, the way people can simply share your content with people outside your privacy settings. Even if you share a particular post privately to someone, he/she can simply reshare that content publicly. So, how is private sharing really secured? On Vebbler, we give people the ability to ‘lock’ a particular post. A person can lock a post before he/she shares it, and once selected, another person cannot reshare or repost that content to anybody else. It’s private and can only be seen by the intended audience. A person can also lock entire photo albums.
Early adoption numbers
We currently have 12,000 users from now in 66 countries and 440 cities. (Apparently it took Pinterest 9 months to get it’s first 9000 users). Outside India, most of the users have come from (in order of user base), USA, United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Connections established till date: 17,500+
Number of Photos uploaded till date: 13,000+