As we raise a generation of extroverted over-sharers, some are making tools that ensure that our private moments – baby’s first steps, junior’s tumble down the ski hill – remain private. Take Tweekaboo, for example. Created by an engineer and father, Eugene Murphy, the app allows you to give only your immediate family access to life’s precious moments.
“Our mission is to make Tweekaboo the place where your most trusted – and influential – social network will form – ie family and the few friends you consider family,” said Murphy. He has a number of investors and, most interestingly, there is a great deal of interest in the service in Asia where traditional social networks have been supplanted by homegrown systems like Weibo.
Murphy bootstrapped the app and recently closed an $800,000 seed round.
The accounts are completely private and are designed to connect family members (and Facebook friends, if you connect your account). You can tag kids in each photo manually and sort photos into events and albums. This allows you to see, say, every album featuring certain subsets of your children. You can also add friends to your album and view friends’ accounts, if you’re invited.
Doesn’t Facebook already do this? Sure it does, but Facebook – at least to power users – has become more of a broadcast medium than a private exchange. This system allows families to reduce their Internet exposure and keep a modicum of privacy online.
Eugene sees the service as an opportunity to offer free social networking services and, more important, a solid photobook printing system that allows parents to create books of each of their little ones and share those books with family (who will, in turn, buy themselves some tomes.) It is, in short, the perfect viral system.
“I developed Tweekaboo so that my kids could remember exactly what they were like when they were small. Our kids are growing up way too fast and I missed most of their milestones and moments when I was at work,” said Murphy. He’s glad that the service keeps things simple. “The average network size on Tweekaboo is less than ten,” he said.
Murphy is looking to China as a possible strong customer for his service. Because many families are split – with parents working in the city while the children live elsewhere – the service allows parents to keep track of things back home and to have a record of their child growing up. And, because Facebook is banned there, the field for cool sharing apps is almost wide open.