Everyme, a Y Combinator-incubated startup with a long list of impressive investors, is launching its iPhone app today. Its goal? To create an environment where you feel comfortable sharing whatever you want with specific groups of people.
Co-founder and CEO Oliver Cameron demonstrated the app for me over the weekend. At the core of the Everyme experience are Circles — private news feeds that you create with specific groups of people. The problem, Cameron says, is that as you get more and more friends on Facebook, people who you have wildly differently relationships, the less comfortable you feel sharing updates and content.
“Two years ago, my sharing on Facebook was significantly different than it is now,” he says.
After all, the way you behave with coworkers is different from the way you behave with your family, and both are different from the way you behave with your college friends. Now you can create Circles for all of them.
Of course, Google already made Circles a central part of the experience with Google+, which Cameron calls “a step in the right direction.” However, he also says that Google+ was a disappointment, in part because “the whole experience is really strange” — for example, it’s confusing when other people put you in a Circle, but you don’t know what Circle it is.
Everyme tries to make the experience as transparent and simple as possible. Everyone can see who else is in a Circle, and they can leave a Circle (or delete it if they’re the creator) at any time. The app doesn’t allow users to share anything from Everyme to Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks — Cameron says that’s so you know that what’s shared in a Circle stays in the Circle.
The app also automates some of the sharing for you, creating some initial Circles based on its best guess as to your relationships. You can also turn on a feature called Magic Stories, which looks at your social network feeds and automatically posts important milestones, like a birthday or a promotion. Everyme uses your phone’s address book for sharing, and if people don’t have Everyme accounts, they can still see and post content through email and text messages. (It may be a little confusing that there’s another mobile startup called Just.me which takes a similar approach in a number of ways, including the emphasis on your address book as the basis of your social network.)
Everyme’s investors include CrunchFund, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, Tencent, SV Angel, Dave Morin (who is experimenting with a another approach to private sharing with Path), Joshua Schachter, and Vivi Nevo. You can download the app here.