Paris, France-based Never Alone Anymore announced last Friday a new location-based iPhone and iPod Touch application called HiMyTribe.
According to the company, HiMyTribe is aiming to combine the best features of established social networks and community sites like LinkedIn, Craigslist, MeetUp and Google Maps, and roll them into a real-time mobile application that connects business contacts, friends and family.
The application enables users to create “tribes” of people they want to stay connected with. Using the iPhone’s GPS technology and a 3G or Wi-Fi based internet connection, HiMyTribe uses GPS to show the user which of their tribe members are nearby. It also provides an interest-based search engine that allows users to find others that share similar interests whether it be business, networking, dating or friendship. Each category, especially business, is split into sub-categories similar to how LinkedIn works (for example, finance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical).
If you use the search engine, results are returned based on proximity. Users can also search for others interested in buying and selling goods and services. Finally, the app supports status updates, direct messages to individual contacts, and allows access to privacy settings so users can control who sees their personal information.
Initially, HiMyTribe will only support 20 tribe members per user. Hopefully that’ll change fairly quickly because a service like this needs to scale its user base to be successful. While there are a boatload of location-based social networking apps available for the iPhone, HiMyTribe is different in its business orientation. If it was just a friend-finder, I would predict a quick death.
But should the app stay professional and clean of the clutter that clogs up so many social networks, massive adoption by business professionals, buyers and sellers could provide some interesting business models. A business orientation could provide the company a better chance of success using an advertising model, and should a sizable virtual marketplace develop, the company could take a cut of each transaction price in order to monetize. We’ll just have to wait and see.