Indian startups have been trying hard to crack the social network bit. Some die young trying to emulate other popular social networks and the rest, though have an idea in place, but fail to execute. But that hasn’t stopped some startups from experimenting. The latest name to join the list is Imlee, a social network from Pebstone, which addresses a very niche segment that is the family network. Launched back in 2012, Aatish Dedhia created the social network for developing the family network in India, providing people a secured & private platform for family interactions.
After reading the initial story at YourStory, I was definitely interested to give a try to Imlee. The name of the network is inspired from the tamarind fruit that depicts the sweet and sour times of families.
How does Imlee work?
The social network for families has integrated a Facebook login and a simple email sign up. Once you are authenticated, the network will ask you to create your family tree by adding your immediate family members with some information such as birthday, email id, etc. Next is to invite the members and unless you get your family on the network, it won’t be that interesting. Along with this, the network requires some personal details to be inserted too.
The home page is the social feed where you can update your status, photos, links with your family members. The feed which is better known as Family News is a great way of getting all the updates from your family members and to engage with them too. Folks from my family are yet to join but I am excited to see the updates from my distant cousins with whom I have lost touch. The home page also provides a quick snapshot of your network, details of your personal memories in the form of photos and option to invite remaining family members.
Further the network is divided into four major tabs – 1) My Tree, 2) Family Diary, 3) Statistics, and 4) Albums.
My Tree: Is the most interesting and the addictive feature of Imlee. Here you get an opportunity to build an org chart of your family. So starting from your parents, to brother, to your cousins, you can add them and invite them too. I added 18 members and I wish I could have invited my grandparents to this network if they were alive today. Nevertheless, I have invited a whole bunch after adding some required information. You can zoom in and go through the entire tree. The biggest family on the network has 3000 relatives so you can imagine how useful the navigation feature is.
My only wish is if the org chart could be made more interesting, right now it looks like a bit boring company organization chart.
Family Diary: Another cool feature that provides all the personal details and dates that you should remember in one single snapshot. So you can just browse and get the info. Now imagine my mother who has 9 brothers and sisters and each one of them has at least 3 children so how tough would it be for me to remember all the important dates! Imlee makes it simple if you provide your mobile number, all the important dates such as birthdays, anniversary dates, etc. are sent to you as reminders well ahead. Can it tie up with gifting startups to send gifts too?
Family Statistics: You must have guessed by reading the name of the feature as in what it does. This is a section that provides a quick overview of your family data. All the data is represented as charts or graphs. The stats include total relatives in my tree, the male ratio, relationships, children per family, etc. The feature wasn’t exciting to me but it would be good to talk to the Imlee guys to know the real purpose of this feature. Again if the charts could be made visually appealing; right now it looks like the charts that would be loved by a finance department!
Albums: It is a repository of your photo collections and the albums shared with you from your family members. So you can go ahead and add your collection of albums like mom and dad, vacation and trips, childhood memories, etc. I have already started adding some and I must say that getting thoughts from my cousins would be more interesting than my Facebook friends.
Profile: You can select your profile and update relevant details such as the About section, have a look at your Storyboard – list of the activities that you have performed on the social network.
Is there a need for another social network like Imlee?
Definitely! Imlee is not a vanilla social network that is trying to copy features from other social networks. The objective of the network is to share memories of your family life with your family and relatives and undoubtedly it is doing that. The network which is still in beta stage, has a very clean design and also has the essential features. Content sharing on the platform is secured and follows the Google Plus sharing settings. I don’t see any direct competitors for Imlee in India right now but one can think of it in the same line of networks like SocialParent, FamilyLeaf, etc.
I am sure that going further, the team at Imlee would be looking to incorporate some new features but coming up with mobile apps would not be a bad idea. Considering the fact that the world including India are moving onto smaller screens. And then maybe the network might think of incorporating a messaging feature within the family members too. Am I asking too much from Imlee right now? Well, I am since I am excited to say a hello to my family members on Imlee rather than on Facebook where it is next to impossible to keep a tab on my cousins. Creating a list on Facebook and checking them is not a cool idea.
So are you going to invite your uncle, aunts, cousins, nieces, etc. to Imlee?