If 2012 turns out to be the year when the online privacy economy really takes off, then the “private social network”, EveryMe is likely to become one of the big new stories in Silicon Valley. Formed a year ago in Menlo Park out of the Y Combinator stable, EveryMe now boasts $1.5 million in start-up capital and over 500,000 users of its “circles” (heard that one before, eh?) product which is available as both Android and iPhone apps. As co-founder Vibhu Norby told me when he came into our San Francisco studio, EveryMe was originally founded as an address book company but “pivoted” to a private social network when it became obvious that the world was “waking up” to the problems of online privacy.”We do not sell data to advertisers,” Norby boldly told me.You can’t get any more explicit than that.
“WE DO NOT SELL DATA TO ADVERTISERS”
That’s EveryMe’s “core idea”. And so “privacy”, Norby explained, is “built into the ethos” of the EveryMe product. There is, therefore, no public sharing at all on EveryMe. And that’s because, he explained to me, content is more valued when it’s private. Norby claims that EveryMe is changing the way in which advertisers are working with social networks by challenging them not to exploit private data. Brave words. Let’s hope that users agree with Norby that privacy is, indeed, better and make EveryMe one of Silicon Valley’s poster children of the growing backlash against Facebook.