BOSTON, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, iOS app Ourglass announces $1.6 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst Partners and other investors. Ourglass is all about privacy, as users create an intimate social network for their 12 closest friends to share what they are doing on a daily basis. The app is now available exclusively in the Apple App store for download.
As social networks have grown, they have invariably turned into "interest feeds" that harness users' ever-expanding interest graphs to show relevant posts. While this has revolutionized how we engage with media content, it has lagged in one vital area: strengthening relationships with close friends and family.
Ourglass co-founder and CEO, Eric Adams, explains, "Ourglass is about privacy. Our vision is to connect people to their inner-circle, giving them an intimate space to share their lives with the people they're closest to. Social media began by connecting the world, and successfully formed broad webs of acquaintances. Our lives are now semi-public theater, as every detail is shared to our massive friend or followers list. As a result, people have become increasingly cautious about how much of their lives they are willing to share. Ourglass brings us back to basics, focusing our attention on our 12 closest friends."
Ourglass offers relief from an increasingly public world, letting users privately share HD pictures with a group of up to 12 friends. "The app gives users the freedom to post stories of their day, free from prying eyes and competition for likes. We provide an intimate space for people to share their life, in an authentic way, with those they're closest to," explains Adams. Ourglass designer, Thomas Krueger, adds, "It's all about letting you post what's really going on in your day without making it a popularity contest. It's a place you can turn to answer 'what's my sister up to?' or 'how's my buddy's trip going?'"
Ourglass ensures privacy by only sharing a users' posts with their approved inner-circle. By limiting users to 12 trusted friends, the app provides a uniquely intimate space that quells patterns of social land-grab prevalent on other social platforms. The app also saves stories so users can go back in time and relive memories. "Ephemeral content is great if you want to send funny pictures that you want to disappear, but there are a lot of memories that we want to save and relive with friends," explains Krueger.
Instead of a traditional feed that aggregates content, Ourglass introduces an innovative silo interface. There are 12 silos in the interface – one for each member of a users' inner circle. Users can tap on each silo and explore that friend's day. This eliminates having to browse through a feed to find interesting content – if one is interested in seeing what someone is up to, tap on their image and browse. With this approach, users feel encouraged to create as much content as they please without the fear of generating spam.
In the coming months, the company plans on rolling out additional features, including video, and an option for users to create additional circles of friends.
Download Ourglass in the Apple Store. (In-app purchases available)