Timehop Revives Old Memories from Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter

2/8/12Follow @jpruth

Everyone wants to recapture pieces of the past these days. Facebook for example changed all profiles to the timeline format this year, and others in the social media space are pursuing ways of tracking the past. New York-based Timehop has developed its own technology to let individuals recall content from their personal histories, via once-day e-mails. Jonathan Wegener, CEO and co-founder of Timehop, believes the e-mails offer deeper looks into the past than its rivals in the market.

For the team behind Timehop, the technology also marks a major change from where they were one year ago. Back then, they were also working on a startup called FriendsList as part of TechStars’s inaugural NYC class. FriendsList is now defunct. And the tale of how the team scrapped FriendList and moved forward with Timehop provides an interesting case study on startup strategizing—with a dash of nimbleness.

Timehop sends its users e-mails each day that tell them what they were doing exactly one year ago, based on information gathered from their Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, and Instagram profiles. These personal newsletters, Wegener says, offer more context than what the sources offer individually. “There’s a big opportunity in history, and no one is doing it well,” he says. Wegener says Timehop gives its users a picture of how they spent their time, whom they spent it with, and what they were thinking across the social sphere. “Effectively you’re writing a diary without really doing anything,” he says.

One-year-old Timehop raised $1.1 million in seed funding in January from OATV, Spark Capital, and individual investors who include Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai. Wegener says the seed funding will go towards … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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