Kibits Cuts Through the Chatter with New Micro-Social Network App

3/29/12Follow @gthuang

Please, Lord, not another social-networking app that helps you connect with 500 more people you don’t actually want to talk to. Or that adds yet more information overload to your life.

OK, since it’s Matt Cutler and Dave Greenstein, the former NetGenesis guys, let’s take a closer look. Their free mobile app is called Kibits, it’s available in the Apple app store (for iOS devices) as of this morning, and judging from the demo…well, it actually looks like it could be pretty useful. Even for those of you who are already maxed out on social networking.

The basic idea is you can create private groups on the fly—of friends, co-workers, people you have business meetings with, and so on—and share messages, comments, links, photos, videos, or documents from Dropbox or iCloud, with those people (and only those people).

So you can use it as a collaborative tool at work, or a social sharing tool among certain friends and family, or even to meet up with people at a common location. Cutler says the app’s goal is to be “more effective and visceral” than existing tools like e-mail, texting, group messaging, Google Docs, or Facebook—and to be optimized for mobile devices, as people move in and out of groups during the course of their day.

“At our very core, what we’ve been trying to do is build an app that you’ll use in the real world in real situations with real people, every day,” says Cutler, CEO of Kibits. “We didn’t set out to build a mobile apps company. But if you’re in the real world, the device of choice is your phone.”

Cutler and Greenstein have been heads-down on the project for over a year. They raised $1 million in seed funding last year from Google Ventures, Charles River Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, and other investors. The Kibits team is less than 10 people, Cutler says, and is currently hiring for iOS developers and visual designers in particular.

The Kibits app weaves together many familiar social-media threads—inviting Facebook friends to join, sharing comments and content with … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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