“The Age Of Social Sharing Has Reached Its End”

17 May

Alyson Shontell| May 17, 2011, 12:45 PM

Jason Schwartz created an iPhone app that he hopes will replace mental notes.

Matchbook allows people to save places they intend to visit, either while they’re walking by, viewing a website, or simply recalling it, in an organized database with the tap of a button.

His startup could have a lot of cool social features. Friends could see each others’ lists, bookmarks could be tweeted, and “intend to check-in” badges could be implemented on Foursquare.

But Schwartz’ startup isn’t embracing social.  Instead, he’s purposely snubbing the whole concept in lieu of something “classier.”

“The age of social sharing [and broadcasting everything] has pretty much reached its end,” Schwartz says. “I think moving forward we will see a new era of more classy social sharing that’s more indicative of people’s real social interactions in the real world.  Social interactions online aren’t like the real world at all.”

Schwartz says this opinion is shared by Matchbook’s users too. “When we conducted user research, we talked to hundreds of people, specifically women, and asked them about sharing. They mostly said, ‘Yah, I don’t really want all of my places to be shared, but I’d want to share them exclusively with someone else.  Like sharing a store with a friend I know is looking for a particular dress.”

Matchbook enables people to share particular locations with a few friends, but their full list isn’t searchable by their social connections.

Other startups, like Path and Fridge, are finding success by focusing on smaller groups and privacy too.  Even Facebook has begun to shift gears with its purchase of private photo-sharing startup Beluga and its launch of Groups last fall.

“Having all of your friends see everything is the old way of doing social,” Schwartz says. “The new way is, ‘Who do you REALLY want to share information with?’ There are only a couple of people whose opinions you really trust, and you don’t want the noise of everyone else drowning them out.”


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