Likemind is another take on solving the ‘how to meet local people with shared interests’ problem. The iOS-only app, with an Android version to follow, lets you post and browse geo-fenced virtual ‘flyers’ outlining what you’re looking for based on topic, interest or activity. It’s a nice visual and modern-day approach to the personal classified ads or pin-board notices of yesteryear. And actually looks quite fun.
At first glance, Berlin-based Likemind would appear to be playing in the same space as ‘people discovery’ sites like Badoo, or ‘people radar’ apps like Highlight, which require you to be within close proximity of the person you may want to go on to meet. Then there’s something like Sonar for meeting people within your existing friend network. But actually, Likemind is different in the sense that, unlike most other services, it isn’t profile-driven. Instead, the SoLoMo networking hangs off the requests outlined in each virtual flyer, rather than a user’s profile.
Those requests can be something very specific, along the lines of ‘Who wants to see that new movie tonight?’ or ‘Running partner needed’, to something as general as ‘I just moved to the city and am looking to meet new people’. Of course, this means that Likemind can also be used for dating, which the startup’s co-founder and CEO Jens-Philipp Klein concedes, though it’s thought that the flyer approach makes the app much more open to a range of uses and requests.
Users sign up to the app through Facebook, providing a degree of accountability and easy profile creation. From there, they can begin posting or responding to flyers. In a neat twist, each flyer can only be corresponded with six times on a first to converse basis — initialising a chat involves ‘tearing off’ one of the six available tabs — so as to provide a degree of exclusivity and to limit the noise for popular flyers. After all of the tabs have been used up, the flyer is ‘paused’ and its author has the option to repost the flyer with one click or post a new one. Users can also be blocked from responding a second time.
“Allowing each user to receive only six replies at a time helps to limit unwanted levels of attention around popular flyers and also distributes activity evenly across the community,” says Klein in a statement.
Unsurprisingly, Likemind employs a freemium model. The app is free to download, while browsing and posting flyers, and starting conversations is also free. However, additional features, such as better interest matching options, flyer targeting or image sharing, requires spending the app’s virtual currency — ‘Likemind Points’ — which need to be bought for real cash or earned by inviting friends to join the service.
Likemind was founded in 2012 and is backed by Christophe Maire and JMES-Investments, and other private investors. It isn’t saying how much it’s raised, except that it falls within “a six figure” euro sum. Yes, that old game.