Basement, a Y-Combinator-backed social media network, is aiming to provide a more private social media experience to users. This startup allows you to add up to 20 friends to your social network and all of your updates will be shared with those users only. There are filters, algorithms and influencers on the network – making it a viable alternative to a privacy-invasive social media beasts like Facebook.
Basement is a simple social media network. You share whatever you want to, with the people you absolutely want to. No one else will ever have access to what you share. This cobweb of privacy comes as a reassuring factor for many – especially those that have been burned by recent social media trends and scandals.
The app implements a feed-based system for sharing. You can share with a group of friends smaller than 20 friends. You do so by tagging the people whom you want to see the post. This will limit the viewership to the people being tagged and their friends. So, if someone who isn’t in your 20 friends circle leaves a comment, it will appear as an anonymous comment.
Users can also choose from the internet’s top and trending memes and share among their group. Basement has a meme feed from which users can select such memes.
This isn’t the first startup to implement features like this. Path, a social media startup founded in 2010 came with a similar idea where the sharing was limited to 50 users. After a privacy scandal and acquisition by Kakao for an undisclosed amount, this startup was shut down forever.
Basement promises to be an ad-free platform and is planning on mimicking WhatsApp’s business model. This way, the first year is free, and they charge you a small subscription fee for the subsequent years.
The cofounders Fernando Rojo and Jeremy Berman said that building a micro-social media network seemed essential. Because most of their friends started to prefer messenger applications for communicating rather than social media websites like Facebook, Instagram and so on.
In a statement to TechCrunch they said:
“One of the challenges is that growth isn’t necessarily as inherently explosive in a micro-network as it would be with a broader social network. What’s exciting to us is that if anyone tries to spark up something similar to this, they’ll be one or two years behind. It’s harder to grow a micronetwork, but once it’s bigger it’s much more robust because it’s the place where people turn when they want to connect with their close friends.”
This showed people’s desire towards having a private communicative experience. On top of all this, the privacy scandals on these social media networks have created mistrust among their users. If there was ever a time for a new social media network to emerge, this is it.
Basement is available now for iOS.