Consumer start-up Tyche’d Web Services recently announced the public beta launch of its social discovery platform - Wishberg. We try to look into the re-branding part and what has changed in the last 11 months.
Let me ask you a very simple question - What does Facebook have that Google has been struggling to have on the technology front?
If you love the platforms and human behaviour on networks then you would know that Facebook has your personal and behavioural data stored in its platform, which it has been collecting for last few years. In other words, it is the Open Graph that drives third-party developers, brands, and others to the platform.
However, as a product developer today, you need to be platform independent otherwise your growth is going to be limited at some point of time. A good example here would be Zynga which is now also trying to develop a network of its own, to unplug from the Facebook platform. Wishberg, which rebranded itself recently from Tyche’d (pronounced as “Tai-Kee”) intends to do the same. (Social Graph and Open Graph are similar terminologies; it’s just that Facebook coined the term Open Graph).
Wishberg - more than re-branding
Last year before Christmas, I had a chance to know about Tyche’d and had reviewed it. The focus was to create awareness and user adoption. Close to a year later, Tyche’d goes for rebranding and launches itself under the name of Wishberg. But for me it is more than rebranding. It is a complete perspective change in the way I had looked at the product a year ago.
The first thing now I notice is the complete change in the look and feel. The old school look of Tyche’d has been left behind and now it has more of a visual look. Well, you can say that it is the Pinterest look but then it is the most liked look for now. Less of text and bigger, brighter visuals. So for me that is a welcome change, unless Pinterest goes behind everyone and says no you can’t use it since I had that design first for myself.
Second thing is Wishberg is very clearly defined in terms of what the users activities should be on the platform and focuses on the high involvement categories such as Travel, Cars, Bikes, Gadgets, etc. So as a user, either I am on this platform to see what I have used or done or what I plan to. Since my personal details are synced with Facebook, I can see my friend’s activities and maybe get inspired to check these out and go for them if I like.
Otherwise, concept of the platform remains the same. However, there are few things that have bothered me from a design point of view:
1. It would be great to have a “go to top” feature right next to me while I am scrolling down. Makes navigation really simple and easy.
2. How come I have followed so many people when I have hardly followed someone after the rebranding. Has that happened with the migration or is there a glitch?
3. A “Search” feature is still missing as it was in Tyche’d but then my guess is that it will come in the later stage when the platform has a sizeable number of users, which would then have contributed a good amount of data to make sense of the social graph.
4. “Reviews” is a tricky part and one can’t leave it open without monitoring otherwise it would turn into spam. So, at some point it will have to be checked and will have to have a rating system where users provide feedback to the reviews.
The focus is on Social Graph
Last year, I had also got a chance to meet the Founder Pravin Jadhav to have some interesting discussions on how and when he would get the monetization part in the product. He had clearly stated that it wasn’t a problem:
“From a business perspective, Tyche’d is about buying intents. Monetization of intents is simplest thing to do – and we keep evaluating how & when. Its early days for us, and monetization for social products has two extremes. If you monetize a social product early, it takes a toll on user experience; and if we don’t – we have to ensure ongoing user engagement which is tough but we chose it.”
The product now is planning to add three new countries very soon i.e. Hong Kong, Israel and Ireland.
I think if all goes well then Wishberg could be sitting on a heap of user behaviour and wish list data that could be used the way the platform wants.
Lets say I want to buy a flat in Pune and Wishberg knows my wish, my friends circle and friends who have tried stealing my wish too. So, it can get us all connected and drive us offline to a builder unlike the deal sites which are more impulse buys rather than intent ones. Another use case could be integrating brands on the platform and bringing them closer depending on their business and user behaviour intent.
So, clearly the focus for the platform is creating a social graph. Sounds exciting? Indeed but the challenge is also how effectively users are going to use Wishberg since they are the ones who will be driving it.