Sitting at the intersection of group messaging and social networking is Everyme, a startup so zeroed in on private communication that it prevents sharing beyond its walls. Today the company, which allows users to post updates and photos to groups, has released apps for Android and the web to make its growing service accessible everywhere.
Founded last year, Everyme is a Y Combinator graduate that started its life as a mobile address book assistant. It soon switched to a private social network, and began applying its technology to help people create automatic groups, called “magic circles,” using address book and social network data.
Everyme is the anti-Facebook, meant to satisfy the changing needs of web denizens who grow out of the desire to share their most intimate moments with a burgeoning list of people, accumulated over the years, they may or may not know.
“Our app is a realistic way for you to share things — and it’s working too,” Everyme co-founder and CTO Vibhu Norby told VentureBeat. “People really do want a private alternative.”
Launched on iPhone about one month ago, Everyme has 400,000 subscribers across 40,000 circles — and that’s without any help from Facebook or social distribution. Everyme’s subscribers are akin to service users, but they’re not all registered members as the company lets circle participants share in the experience through email and text without requiring them to sign up.
The Android application (seen below) is an almost perfect replica of the original iPhone version, and was built to be particularly speedy. The Everyme web application (pictured above) is intended for non-application users who’ve been roped into circles but opt to participate via email and text message instead. Everyme’s flagship iPhone application has also received an update and now features photo filters, mentions, and improvements in the circle creation process. All of these updates, save photo filters, have been baked into the Android and web apps as well.
All three applications share a similar design aesthetic and seem especially adept at bringing shared photos and moments to life.
Circles, private-sharing, group communication, and photos. This all sounds pretty darn familiar, you say. You’re right. Everyme borrows elements from today’s trendiest social constructs. It’s focused on groups, like Google+, but it creates its circles automatically. It’s meant to be a more private way to share things, so it overlaps with Path in purpose. It allows for cover photos, so it’s purloining from Facebook’s Timeline storybook style. But Everyme most resembles Twitter-owned, blogging-turned-group space Posterous — if Posterous had a more elegant look and had been originally built with mobile in mind.
But here’s the kicker: Everyme is private. Really private. And no, we’re not kidding. This isn’t a Path-like experience where you can share with a smaller group of social network friends but also simultaneously publish updates elsewhere. Instead, Everyme has gone to the extreme to prevent sharing outside its secluded circles. You can’t post to Facebook, tweet to Twitter, or check-in anywhere. And that’s its hook.
Though seemingly counterintuitive to growth, Norby said its this type of extreme seclusion that has helped Everyme win over new users. “It creates an atmosphere of trust. Each circle is kind of like a community,” Norby said. “And people share more. When you have privacy like we have … you share a lot more interesting things.”
Everyme has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from investors and Angels including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, SV Angel, and CrunchFund. The company is based in Menlo Park and has a small, five-person team.