Startup Social Network Specializes in Links to Family

Although the internet seems saturated with social networks, room always exists for a slight variation on an already popular consumer choice. In fact, the pervasive use of Facebook, LinkedIn, and others helps a new social network like FamilyLeaf gain acceptance.

The company is spared the challenge of demonstrating the usefulness of online association. That demand is already firmly established. Instead, FamilyLeaf aims to distinguish itself as an additional choice for staying connected. This is a new business that offers a differential brand to an acknowledged market rather than creating an entirely original market.

FamilyLeaf focuses its online platform on connecting family members. The nineteen-year-old co-founders of the company were not satisfied with adding parents, uncles, and grandparents as Facebook friends. They actually found that a little embarrassing. Still, updating family is important. Just keeping up with the birthdays of distantly located relatives calls for a digital system.

The FamilyLeaf network keeps birthdays, email addresses, and other details about family. Users are alerted about anniversaries and birthdays as well as when family members post news about their activities. Of course, the system also allows posting photos and comments about recent achievements of interest to your family members.

Like many new business ideas, FamilyLeaf seeks to add something innovative to an existing market. The company isn’t trying to displace users of LinkedIn and Facebook. Those networks are not really competitors to FamilyLeaf because they mostly deliver online connections for work and friends. Alternatively, FamilyLeaf is creating a service tuned into family gathering on the web.

The company is still testing its system. About 70 percent of alpha users are reportedly returning to the service. After some further tweaking based upon user input, FamilyLeaf will seek outside investors to fund a widespread launch of the platform.

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