Indonesian social channel, Mindtalk recently launched out of beta. The service has since seen an additional 80,000 sign ups to its new public service. Adding to the existing 180,000 from the beta, Mindtalk is steadily growing at about 2000 new daily signups without any marketing activities. As shared by co-founder Danny Wirianto, monthly active users have doubled since the public launch and Mindtalk sees about 30,000 posts daily with 45,000 responds made on these posts.
Talking more to Danny, e27 reveals more about the story behind Mindtalk and the plans the team has for the service.
How did you conceive the idea for Mindtalk and what do you envision Mindtalk to be in the future?
We got the idea of Mindtalk from Blackberry Messenger Groups and mIRC, in early 2011. Robin and I talked about on how people interact with each other. We believe that people socialise in two different ways. One is based on the social graph (who I know) and the other is the interest graph (what i like). However, most new social media sites are focused on the social graph and many interest graph social media are in the old style such as forums, mailing lists, blogs, and groups in applications.
There are so many limitations in each of these interest-based social media or tools. For example, forum engines don’t have the flexibility to create a new forum or sub-forum. This is determined only by the forum administrators and it is very hard for people to contribute because they need to know about the special code to upload pictures, videos and others. The other example is mailing lists that is being dominated by Yahoo and Google. These services are very visually boring. Using emails to communicate, there is no privacy between conversations since you reply to the sole group.. BlackBerry Messenger and Whatsapp groups have a limit of 30 people in each group.
So after scanning the landscape at that time, we saw an opportunity that we can create a tool that helps people to interact based on their interest and can gather their own community without limits and barriers. We put Mindtalk.com in public beta to analyse the engine and to build features. However, Google+ launched their service two weeks after we launched. Two months later, Pinterest gained traction. Four months later, Path also gained momentum. This is a proof of concept that we are thinking on the same wavelength and see the same opportunities.
Our vision for Mindtalk in the future is to be an interest platform for local communities. This is derived from the idea “stay local, think global”. We are planning to create local presences in different countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, the US, South Africa, India, Brazil and other countries. We will create local domains by using our engine. This way, each time people search for Mindtalk in, for example from Singapore, they will be direct to Mindtalk.sg and will see local content and local people that they can interact with. We also want to encourage local app developers to collaborate with us and be highlighted on the Mindtalk platform.
With so many social sharing sites, what sets Mindtalk apart? Especially from larger social networking sites.
We never intended to replace the existing social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and Twitter. Mindtalk is a complement of existing social media. We believe people will use up to five to seven sites to interact and satisfy their curiosity. Mindtalk is an interest meet up space that has features from text to articles, photos to videos and queries to deals compared to other sites that focuses only photo or video. We believe people love to share in a variety of formats. Mindtalk also helps people to create their own communities or crowds instantly, easily.
Can you describe the target user of MindTalk? Which countries are your current focus?
The target user of Mindtalk is between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. We are now focused on Indonesia. In the next few months, we will focus on India, Malaysia, USA, Japan and Singapore.