Austin is adding a new social media start-up to its growing list of tech businesses—TUBBR.
Priding itself as the "world's first personal social networking app," TUBBR allows users to regulate the content they see and how it is accessed by others.
TUBBR—pronounced like rubber—came to life when co-founder Saurabh Uttam was on a trip with friends and found that there wasn't an app that would allow the whole group to share pictures and videos while still being semi-private.
"This kind of collaboration and conversation was missing on any of the existing platforms," Uttam said in an interview with Austonia.
The need for the app grew as Uttam considered current apps and how he wanted a home for all content to exist under the same account.
TUBBR's Community Lead and Head of Marketing Sneha Sharma said what Instagram and Facebook can't do is provide universities or brands one place for all their content to exist under the same account, while still separated by category and topic.
On TUBBR, this is achieved by "walls." Different from Facebook walls, TUBBR users can create walls around topics like fashion, sports and politics, where all related content can go. Users can set these walls to public or private, which enables you to "push the right content to the right audience," Sharma said.
The app, whose headquarters are in Austin, announced in a press release this week that it has received funding from venture capitalist fund Global Ascent Partners. The funding will support the full launch of TUBBR's beta program in January 2021.
In the soon-to-be-released beta version, Uttam said you don't have to be tech-savvy to use it. Users can share a link to private walls via email or text, so people without an account can still see that content.
"I can send a link to my mom, just like a Zoom link, and she automatically becomes part of my family wall," Uttam said,
The beta launch also includes the option for premium walls, giving users and influencers the ability to monetize their walls by charging those who wish to access them. TUBBR will take a portion of these profits in place of traditional ad revenue.
"In traditional platforms, unless you have a million followers and good enough viewership, you cannot have a substantial income," Uttam said. "On TUBBR, you can convert your fan base to support you through paying for walls, exclusive content and membership programs."
In the two years since TUBBR's creation, more than 200,000 users have signed up, and the company has recruited more than 20,000 global and micro-influencers to join. In comparison, Facebook as more than 2.5 billion users.
Despite instant comparisons to other social media platforms like Facebook, Uttam isn't worried about the competition. He said that the uniquely intimate connection that TUBBR offers will attract users and clear a space in the social media market.
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