Imagine an online environment where you can instant message and video chat with anyone in the world live, create a forum around a sporting event or news broadcast and purchase an assortment of goods—all on a single website.
A team of Ravenscroft High School
grads wants to make this concept a reality with a new social media network called HangBee.
HangBee, as described by founder Will Christman, is an organic, living social interface where users can interact in multiple ways beyond what is available through today’s social networks. Christman, a 2014 graduate of the private school in North Raleigh, first thought up the concept during his freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was frustrated by the lack of real time interaction and privacy offered by major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So is privacy. A founding principle of HangBee is to allow users to interact and share in a safe and secure way.
“We don’t like how content that you post on social media currently is so permanent. If you want it taken down, you have to log in and physically delete it,” says Haensel.
On HangBee, the content is “inherently private,” meaning that nothing—besides listings on the Marketplace—is ever saved. Even the transactions will be private since the site plans to collect Bitcoin as its sole form of currency. Bitcoin is digital currency that utilizes a peer-to-peer transaction that does not stem from a central source or bank.
Not only will HangBee offer its users privacy, but the entire space will be ad-free. Ads that follow you around due to tracking algorithms can damage the user experience, Christman says.
To keep ads off the site and cover costs, HangBee will charge a 1% transaction fee to sellers in the marketplace.
“We feel very strongly that by not storing information, we can have a much lower operating cost,” says Christman.
The team believes the Bitcoin and gaming communities, along with online privacy advocates will be the first to join HangBee, and it will catch on from there as mobile users look for other ways to communicate and transact virtually.
They also recognize they’ll have to be open minded about the way users want to interact on the site. Christman believes his team’s open-mindedness to change will help them overcome the obstacles that lie ahead.
If the campaign is successful, the first course of action will be to apply for a business license and process all required permits. Once all of the legal processes are complete, Christman will hire two software engineers to begin building the backend of the site.
So when will Kickstarter supporters get access? Christman says we can expect a beta in spring of 2017 and full launch next summer.