Loum, an iPhone app that provides a social networking service for both public and anonymous sharing and networking within local communities, launched today exclusively for Stanford.
According to Alex Potrivaev, co-founder and CEO of Loum, the app is currently the only social networking site that allows its users to choose between posting publicly or anonymously.
Determining the implications of this key feature was the biggest challenge while creating the app, according to Potrivaev.
“We believe in people, and we believe that they are mature enough to use this freedom widely and to tell the truth in a more secure way,” Potrivaev said.
Loum also differs from other web-based social services, concentrating on the creation of location and interest-based communities as a means of keeping people connected.
Compared to Facebook, where the majority of viewed posts carry no relevance to one’s life, and individual posts are viewed by only 12 percent of one’s friends, the popularity of Loum posts depends on relevance rather than on an individual’s following, Potriavaev said. This system results in the elimination of clutter from one’s news feed.
Loum’s first trial took place at Boston University, where people spent an average of 41 minutes a day on the site, Potriavaev said.
As a result of this first experiment, Loum became an exclusive mobile service now available to the Stanford community.
After Stanford, Loum seeks to expand in the Bay Area, one community at a time, including offices, clubs and neighborhoods as well as other college campuses.
“Our true mission is to help people find freedom on the Internet,” Potrivaev said.