Paulina spoke about the virtue of building communities before content in her early (9:05 AM) talk, opening the program for the Saturday of HackFwd’s Build 0.8 event.
INENSU are focusing on two platforms that cover two inherently social interests: music and fashion. SuperFan on Facebook encourages users to share artist-related activity in their timelines. Closet Swap encourages users to share their real clothes via virtual wardrobes as part of a campaign to highlight sustainability issues in fashion.
Paulina says that INENSU wants to break free of the “content schedule” model and demonstrates how this can be done. “It would be amazing if we didn’t need a content schedule and we could just think about building the infrastructure to let users entertain each other,” she says. She contrasts the “content schedule” model with the “feature schedule” model that is followed by the defining platforms of our time like YouTube and Facebook. These platforms are so successful, she believes, because they put communities rather than content at the heart of the platform.
She stresses that the idea of social networking is not new, and that we have always turned to friends for recommendations and ideas. The online social network has a stubborn ratio of content creators, curators and lurkers, however. She estimates that around 70% of users are still passive consumers of content (lurkers), 20% are active sharers of content, only 10% actually create content and only 1% create content actively.
The challenge, as she sees it, is to build in easy ways for lurkers to become curators, and for curators to share more. She highlights Tumblr’s “reblogging” and Facebook’s “like” button as examples of “easy user generated content”. She also explains how the Facebook Open Graph API is opening up new possibilities for “share moments” and the possibilities that this opens up for custom interactions.
“It’s hard not to go back to Facebook and to think about how to use [its] social plumbing and architecture to maximise our own services,” says Paulina. In this talks she identifies what “virality” means on Facebook now, which channels are working for content dissemination, and why fan pages aren’t the be all and end all of user engagement.
Watch the video to get the examples of how INENSU designs its platforms to maximise “share moments” in order to engage, not just the minority who create content, but also the vast majority who curate and consume it.
For more videos for startup founders, see Passion Meets Momentum.