Featured Startup Pitch: Ultra-stealthy SocialNumber has created an ultra-private social network where users are known simply as numbers
Founder: MK (known as ‘MK’ to maintain anonymity, according to the company)
Headquarters: Silicon Valley
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By MK, CEO
SocialNumber is a social networking site with anonymity as the main focus. SocialNumber.com is a free web app that allows users to connect with other ‘like-minded’ people anonymously. Here, you are just a number and your real identity is never revealed. It’s different from Facebook and all the other social media sites because on those sites you are not anonymous and there’s no privacy. There have been many recent cases where people were fired or got in trouble for making comments that someone didn’t like. On Socialnumber.com you don’t have to worry about any repercussions or negative implications.
The purpose is to allow users to express themselves freely—whatever you want to talk about as long as it’s legal. You can connect with like-minded people without revealing your identity. You can create groups or join groups and discuss various topics from Syrian politics to substance abuse to dating tips. SocialNumber combines the functionality of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter with anonymity.
People can do most of the things they do on other social networking sites except here it’s done anonymously. For example, you can express yourself on expressions page, you can connect with ‘anonymous’ pals based on their profiles or how they are expressing themselves and you can join an existing group or create a new one, which you can make it private or public and start discussion on any topic you want. We already see people using it for various discussions like talk about the atrocities by the Syrian government, sharing college materials, dating tips, bad bosses, bad companies, etc.
Who’s the Targeted Audience?
Anyone who wants to express themselves freely without any negative implications. But, we believe initially there will be a natural gravitational pull toward the following segments:
(1) Political discussions: For example, people against Syrian government, or any other governments that are hot beds right now. Even in the U.S., you can’t discuss your political views without repercussions from your boss or colleagues
(2) Critique anything: Bad bosses, bad products, bad companies
(3) College connections: Students would want to connect with one another and share stuff—anonymously
(4) Substance abuse: Discuss issues openly without anyone knowing who you are
(5) P2V (Personal to Virtual) and V2P (Virtual to Personal) connections: For example, if you are walking around with your social number on your t-shirt, cap or wrist band and someone wants to connect with you they can go to socialnumber.com and send you a message. You can decide to accept or not accept (P2V); or, you find someone on socialnumber.com based on their profile and interest and connect with them online. Once you feel comfortable with them you can connect with them in person (V2P)
Founders’ Story—How Did I Come Up With this Idea?
There were a couple of things that were behind the genesis of SocialNumber. First I was tired of having no privacy on any of the sites. Every time I went to express some thoughts I had to think through all the implications and who all will be looking at it. Secondly the idea further came from an interesting incident when I was driving with a friend. We were stopped at a red light and a car stopped next to us. The woman driver of that car looked at my friend and smiled. They had a connection. Then the light turned green and she took off. My friend didn’t know how to connect with her. So I thought what if there was a way for people to connect through some other way without revealing their identify openly. What if that woman driver had a number on a bumper sticker behind her car and my friend could just go to a common site and connect through that number? And right then and there, the idea solidified.
Mostly through PR, content (articles, blogs), social media promotion and viral marketing.
Market opportunity is huge. Social media market overall is in the billions with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and others. We believe that a major chunk of those users will also become members of Social Number to take advantage of anonymity
How We Differentiate From the Competition
Major differentiator is anonymity that allows you to express yourself freely and discus anything you like—also connecting people with one another without revealing their identity. You can connect from in-person (physical) meeting to virtual and virtual to in-person without revealing yourself.
Ad revenues: Besides Google ads, we will have targeted advertising. For example, other dating sites and many vendors would want to place ads based on profiles of users. Since users don’t use their email or identity, they are happy to receive the ads and act if they are interested.
Merchandise: Merchandise will be a significant piece of Social Number’s revenues. Users would order items like t-shirts, caps, bumper stickers, business cards with just their social number on it so others can connect with them
Premium Features: We’ll charge for premium features like auctioning special numbers that are easier to remember. We have reserved the first 100,000 numbers. We’ll start auctioning these shortly.
New employees in development, and looking for funding.
Social Number – www.socialnumber.com