Thanks to a tweet by Jeremiah Owyang (aka @JowYang) I found out about this new “network” that may be pointing out to a new kind of “social”.
The kind that’s closed and limited to the one person of your choice. In this case only two. The name is simply “Pair“, self-described as: “An interactive way for you and your partner to share everything“. With concepts such as “thumbkissing” and “sketch together”, the iPhone app has some interesting features.
This, opens up a bunch of questions, each of which could be the subject of a thesis on its own:
- Data @JowYang is wondering about the intricacies of managing and leveraging the data produced by such a network. Joining is free now but they’ll need a business model sooner or later. Leveraging the data of one person’s social activity is complex enough; try generated by two people. Three targeting opportunities become available: what’s the behavior of one person, the other AND what is it when they’re together
- “Nicheworks” Much has been written on the advent of concept, where the very popularity of social networks is viewed as eventually as a shot in its own foot. In the beginning, Facebook might have only grouped your close like-minded friends. But with close to a billion member today, the like-minded only part may long be gone thus potentially reducing the appeal and driving the search for new like-minded only social networks.
- Cheating Rumor has it that 20% of US divorces are to blame on Facebook, @OWStarr (aka Oliver Starr) rightly raises the point of increased cheating. The Pair network being at the opposite of Facebook from a “privacy” standpoint: two and only two can use it at a time.
Let’s note that the creators seem to have anticipated these critics to a certain extent; i.e. pairing can only be done with one person at a time; no polygamy possible.
- “Social” Another interesting question is raised by @RicDragon (aka Ric Dragon) and potentially challenges the very definition of “social”. When a network is limited to only two people does it really warrant to be called a social network? Maybe, maybe not.
- Any other points this raises in your mind? Share with me on in the comments section below.
I’ll keep an eye on this interesting “animal” and come back on each of the above points.
Disclosure: I have downloaded the app and sent a “pairing request” to @HodaSpa (who else?!). As off press time, she hadn’t returned the request just yet. She might feel we have enough ways to share things as is, we’ll see. I’ll provide updates on that as well!
For now, the iPhone app is categorized in “social networks” on the App store and the latest data has it at the eleventh spot of most downloaded apps.