IRLConnect goes public with social networks map plus live video

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IRLConnect (as in, ‘in real life connect’) is one of those new social-networks-meets-maps startups, but what sets them apart is some pretty cool integration, a focus on live video and a tantalizing business model based on owning the virtual equivalent of real estate. Today they launch into a public beta after being invite-only since September last year.

The site is bringing together mobile devices and multiple social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, into a very visual platform. As well as integrating YouTube video onto their Google map, they’re pulling in partners including pictures from Mobypicture and live video from Bambuser. It will also pull in geotagged content from YouTube and news alerts from media such as CNN and Reuters.

Launched today at TechCrunch Europe’s Geek ‘n Rolla tech startup event in London, the site is not just a mashup. The business model is that you can buy a location on the map, so for instance, we can own the venue on the map for our Geen’n Rolla conference and brand it how we like.

CEO Frank Schuil reckons “By showing users this is where you are, right here, right now on the planet, we can create true presence that you can’t find on any other social network.” Now of course, the question is, are people going to put their real location on the map? They may not have a choice of course if they absent-mindedly click the ‘allow location’ on their iPhone Twitter application. Users will also be able to show their precise location through Wi-Fi positioning with Loki.

That aside, the advantage is that you can see both Twitter and Facebook friends location on a map and anything they may be uploading at that moment.

IRL Connect is also providing its own geolocation data to provide context to the video through location. Developers can apply for an API key at The privately funded company is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with an office in China.

  • Nicolas Mertens

    I love the fact that they differentiate from the common social networks by involving context (location-based) information! Good Idea…

    • Steve

      Has anyone seen this guy? . He has launched a website he calls “seaworthy” and is tweeting the making of it real time as it is being used.

      It is getting some traction on the site even though the followers on twitter are not overwhelming as yet.

      Might be an up and comer.

      • writerkols

        Hookk has really nothing to hook us. But now tell us, are you that guy?

  • Wouter

    I’ve been testing IRLConnect the last few months and it’s interesting to spot people living or working nearby using the map-interface.

    One thing I’d like to see added is mobile support for automatically updating your location (and checking where other people are).

    • jennifer hicks

      Hey Wouter – thanks! And nice to have you with us. We already have automatic location updates from our partners but we are working are allowing you to see on the mobile where everyone is! : ) keep us updated on what you want to see!

  • Alex Miller (@fotoflo)

    You said they had a tantalizing real-estate based biz model… Care to elaborate? or just leave us in suspense?

    • writerkols

      Yes, do explain what is that virtual real estate biz model all about.

  • crvenk

    Another site to “map” us geographically. Maybe they will find more mobile thieves in future.

  • Martin Novak


  • Martin Novak

    ql service

  • pc repair

    It is good idea and it will work and great achievement

  • Neil

    well in the same line and imho much more powerful you have twinverse, which is a virtual reality service based on maps too.

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  • mj

    this is cool website… we are also building virtual web trading…coming in May.

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  • GChin

    Huge chicken and egg problem. Before users gain value, their friends need to opt-in. Tough challenge.

  • Fabio De Bernardi

    The virtual real estate monetization sounds interesting to me and high potential too. By allowing micro transaction you could end up doing a lot of money if you build a vast user base.
    However, more details would be great.

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  • Kim Hill

    I have been participating in the beta test and have found that my favorite aspect is ‘travel planning’. I am planning a trip to Greece in the summer and have been communicating with people in and around the areas I will be traveling for substantive and interesting advice on things to see, do, where to eat and interesting accommodations. So, I guess IRL is my personal version of Trip Advisor with a more intimate feel. Plus I am making friends that I can hook up with I arrive. Thanks, Frank!!

  • Kim Hill

    Bravo and apropos, it is Earth Day here in US today. You are making it easier for us to connect around the globe to open doors for sharing ideas and action plans for working smarter to protect our planet.

  • purba

    Fascinating to know how ‘real’ the virtual world is getting. Just came across It can actually locate your geographical position if you type in your i.p address. This is great for people who want to know about the kind and location of traffic they are getting on their websites!
    It also provides you with relevant information on the area you have searched. The main advantage is that it guards your privacy by not storing the information you provided! It’s really cool, try it out!

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