Todays business idea: Social Network Assistant aka The Friendship app. Bring social network back to real life and get help managing meeting your friends in real life.
Might not exactly be the right time for this idea due to COVID-19 tho.
The problem statement
Social networks are great but they’re all virtual and not really social. In fact all these Facebook and Instagram posts of your friends perfect lives might actually drive you farther apart socially. Instead people should meet more in person again. However they might be bad at organizing/remembering their options. How many times have you been sitting at home on a Friday evening and asked yourself “I want to go out but who could I meet tonight?”. Let’s bring social networks back to the real world.
The proposed solution / business idea
The idea is the “Friendship app”. It imports contacts from social networks (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin, Xing, Phone Contacts/WhatsApp) and lets you define a meeting interval (e.g. every week, X months, every year) for each person. On that said Friday evening it gives you suggestions about whom to meet and alerts/nags you to meet people if the defined interval is exceeded. When you met with a person you can confirm that the meeting happened and the interval starts over.
The potential upselling / side-effects
The following things could be added on-top of this idea:
- Gamification: Call the app Friendship and display some sort of ship with avatars of your social contacts, make people drown/leave the ship if not met on time. (Bragging to others: look I met 30 people last month).
- Avatars: Supporting avatars as profile pictures. (Maybe auto-generate using Facebook/Linkedin profile pictures?)
- Connectivity: Sync between people and automatically get average interval (e.g. person A wants to meet person B every 6 months, person B wants to meet person A monthly: suggest every 3 months for both)
- Preferences: Think preferences about meal types, dietary restrictions, meeting locations, meeting time/duration, etc.
- Connectivity 2: Automatically detect if people met or have some Bluetooth/NFC feature to tag each other to confirm meeting, plays into Gamification. The COVID-19 Bluetooth tracking feature could be re-used for this.
- Meeting availability indicator: People could set their status as “willing to meet” to see for others so they can meet. (if you already have meeting preferences -> build a dating app out of it)
- Actual assistant: Provide prepared chat messages to meet up people, to copy/paste into WhatsApp. Get Birthday reminders or congratulations readily available on the birthday of other people. (Maybe with automated sending of such messages?)
There are some fair concerns around the idea:
- Might not be a popular app during the ongoing pandemic.
- People do maybe not have enough “close” friends which they want to meet regularly in the first place and don’t need help to organize such meetings?
- People might have no interest to meet in real world? Maybe social networks in today’s form are preferred for some reason? Maybe because you can stay up-to-date with many people at the same time?
- If people have different preferences of meeting interval it could lead to awkward situations: A: “Hey you’re my BFF”, B: “But the app suggests to only meet you once a year? wtf”.
If you know a place, an app or company which already provides/implemented this business idea, please let me know in the comments. You like my idea and/or plan to start a company/app based on it and would like to make me participate, refine the idea, consult or own a stake? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.