Another entry in the mobile-first, private social networking for families space (yes, apparently this is a thing now): 23snaps, a new iOS application that works like a mini-Facebook for posting status updates, photos and videos of your kids. The app isn’t anywhere near as dazzling as current private social network darling Path, but it’s a functional and easy-to-use alternative to the typical private sharing paradigm: the group SMS.
After setting up your kids’ profiles in 23snaps and optionally adding your partner, as well as any other friends or family members you choose to share with, you can then begin to share content. There aren’t a ton of kid-specific features in terms of what you can post right now, save for an option to record height and weight measurements. The app borrows from the now-common design where the app’s home screen slides over to the right, revealing the menu – it’s the same one Facebook uses today, in fact. Also borrowed? The main stream of posts is called the “News Feed.”
Despite being somewhat unoriginal, the design is also, in a way, comforting in its familiarity. It’s an easy transition for iOS Facebook users to make. And maybe that’s the idea. Plus, 23snaps encourages you to share, share, share your kids’ pics, videos and news, something which there’s still a bit of a stigma about on broader social networks like Facebook. And frankly, too much kid-pic posting makes you look decidedly uncool in hipster hotspots like Path and Instagram.
Based in London, 23snaps was founded this January by Ivailo Jordanov and Yury Tereschenko. Jordanov was previously Head of Product at Espotting, a search service acquired by Findwhat in 2004. He also co-founded Zoomf.com, later acquired by UK newspaper Trinity Mirror. In 2009, he joined financial company Avans.bg in Bulgaria, where he still serves as advisor and board member. Tereschenko and Jordanov also both later co-founded the UK shopping company Styloko.
Jordanov seems to rightly grasp the issues surrounding sharing photos of your children, saying, “I think that around each young child there is a group of approximately 5 to 10 people that can’t get enough of their updates, photos, videos etc., and outside of that group ‘over sharing’ is an irritation.'”
(Exactly. I, too, remember the horror of seeing babies in my News Feed…until I and most of my best friends had one.)
“I was looking for a product that has the right privacy settings by default and is simple enough for my mother and any generation to use,” explains Jordanov. “After being unable to find anything suitable and having various discussions with my team, all dads and dads-to-be, we decided to build an app that would offer private social networking,” he says. Hence, 23snaps.
The app was in private beta for three weeks, and went live in the app store on May 19th. The company has not marketed the app or reached out to press until now. There are currently around 5,500 users (web and mobile), who have found the app via word-of-mouth. While that’s not a lot of data to go off of yet, the users are averaging 4 entries per day, and, each time a new entry is made, 90% of the people connected to the child log in within 5 minutes to see the update.
Although 23snaps is somewhat basic right now, the company has a ton of features in the works. A future version of the app will offer more social sharing options, tighter Facebook integration, more child-related entry types (beyond height and weight), filters and photo frames, the ability to order prints, postcards and photo albums, new ways to navigate content (gallery views, by occasions, etc.), emoticons and moods, better geo integration, improved web support for feature phones, and more.
An Android version is also about a month away. 23snaps is currently self and angel funding and is not currently raising. You can download the app from here.