WHAT: Share what you’re feeling within Vibe.me’s social network (asymmetrical like Twitter) as well as on Twitter and Facebook, or keep your check-ins private. There are 12 color-coded vibe categories -- six positive, six negative -- and dozens of adjectives and phrases in each one. Earn "karma points" for updates and getting new people to join. You can also send a vibe to someone in the network or via email. Web only right now.
IN THE WORKS: Integration with foursquare and Tumblr among others, ability to “vibe” about YouTube videos, news articles, etc. iPhone app coming in late 2011/early 2012. Same time as app will be analytics dashboard for viewing emotions over time.
LAUNCHERS: Kevin Fremon (CEO), Will Mason (CTO) and Dustin Brown (COO). Kevin founded the boutique digital agency Don’t Blink Design, where Will is CTO and Dustin handles business development.
WHY: Social networks were not designed for sharing feelings. You check-in at places, why not check-in with yourself and how you feel at a particular location? Also, “A lot of people are using the system in order to set their intention for the day,” says Kevin.
WHEN/WHERE: Private beta January 1, public beta June 21 / Santa Monica
BACKSTORY: The idea hit Kevin on August 27, 2010, when he was walking his dog on a gorgeous day and feeling awesome. He was about to post to Facebook from his iPhone when he realized “no one puts how they feel on Facebook” and deleted the update he’d written.
Kevin’s agency has focused on working with entrepreneurs, which inspired him to build an app. Now he plans to wrap up Don’t Blink Design and focus on Vibe.me.
Changed name from Vibefeelr to Vibe.me (domain cost: $1K) at the beginning of July.
BUSINESS MODEL: Not discussing yet, but expect it to include selling data (restaurants and bars might like to know how people feel at their establishment on Tuesdays versus Saturdays).
GOALS: Disrupt the social media space and go mass market. Help people better connect with one another and with themselves.
COMPETITION: All social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, FourSquare, Gowalla etc. Kevin says he would welcome Facebook adding a mood drop-down because it would bring attention to the concept.
CUSTOMERS/GROWTH: Started with several hundred beta-testers. Kevin won’t reveal the current numbers but says the site has seen “just over 20% growth rate week over week.”
PHILOSOPHY: “Our company culture revolves around being 110% passionate about our lives,” says Kevin.
ON PEOPLE’S WILLINGNESS TO SHARE EMOTIONS: "We’ve been able to produce great analytics on people pushing out to these other networks [Facebook and Twitter]. This validates our assumption that people want to be public with these [updates],” Kevin says.
ON INVOLVING PSYCHOLOGISTS: Kevin eventually wants a psychologist on their advisory board and thinks Vibe.me could help the field in general. One psychologist Kevin has spoken with was very excited about the idea. She encourages patients to keep journals, something they often fail to do because they lack time, motivation or both -- Vibe.me could be a simpler way to get the same information.
WHAT VIBE.ME USERS SAY:
Ana Lucía Martínez, an Industrial Designer in Bogotá, Colombia, updates her vibe 2-3 times a day. She loves the color-coded approach, but just wishes more of her friends were using it (they don’t want to deal with more “social stuff” however). “My intuition tells me that vibe.me would be more popular as an app than as a service all by itself,” Ana Lucía says.
Coyote Karrick, a certified life coach in L.A, says although she’s used for Twitter for years, she has more fun with Vibe.me. For her, one of its most important attributes is that it “allows [people] to ‘see’ where they are on an emotional spectrum and therefore move their vibe upward, as well as feel uplifted by the social aspect and generally positive intention of the vibe.me community. Who doesn't want to feel good or better in any situation?”
Nick Rovisa, a digital account executive in New York, loves having a place to share his feelings -- but he’s eager for a mobile app. Once that happens, “Vibe.me will take off,” says Nick.
WHO BACKED IT: Bootstrapped with about $10K from Don’t Blink Designs. Currently raising $750K seed round.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 3
When you log in, you see the latest vibes from the people you follow. Your most recent vibe is noted in the top nav bar’s color and in text (far right). The right-hand column shows how many vibes you’ve logged, the number of karma points you’ve earned and the overall vibe of your friends and followers in a horizontal bar chart. Karma points will eventually be redeemable for schwag, and users will be able to donate karma as a way of voting for the charity Vibe.me should give a donation.
To update your vibe, you can click one of the 12 categories and choose a word from there, or you can start typing in a word and see what comes up. If the word or phrase you want isn’t an option yet, hit the plus sign on the right of the bar and select a category for it. Eventually the community will be able to vote new vibes into the system, and users will be able to manage the vibes that appear in their list.
Get a sense of your own moods by clicking on your number of vibes and scrolling through your recent updates.
1. “Science Of Emotion: From Neurotransmitters to Social Networks” (Dr. Michael Lara, Slideshare)
2. “The Benefits of Sharing Emotions” (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, Feb. 28. 2011)
CONTACTS & LINKS
Email: kevin at vibe dot me
Email: will at vibe dot me
Email: dustin at vibe dot me