Minus 2.0

As part of a goal to build up my passion presence I am going to give my thoughts on up and coming Start-Ups that I find interesting. I mostly find them through friends and blogs but if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear about them. Check out my thoughts on Whistle.

I originally got turned on to Minus from an email from their co-founder, John Xie. He was promoting his app and I took the bait and went for it to try it out. Unfortunately I had the app for about 5 minutes on my phone before I decided to uninstall it. Minus is trusting the public to produce good content that others would want to see, however a sketch-dating type platform is emerging.

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What is Minus?

“Life is full of surprises and you never know who you will find nearby. Think of the times you are alone at the airport or library. Just turn on Minus, say Hello to someone nearby and start a conversation!

Minus helps you interact with the world around you in the palm of your hand. We want to less the distance between strangers, and bring people closer together through chat and photos.”

Basically Minus is a way to meet other people based off of their location through chat/photo sharing through a new feed type feature. 

First Impression

Once I had the app loaded up on my phone I was confronted with a bunch of spammy selfie face shots of the different people in my area. Nice little quote from kevin, Hayward 19, “bi girls I can satisfy ur urges.”….you get the picture. The timeline here looks like the old AIM chat rooms. I gave the app a thorough search and saw more of the same. The first/biggest reason why I wouldn’t use this app is because I don’t want to be associated and labeled in the same category as these people. Tinder can have some of these qualities but it is obviously more socially acceptable to use (more on this later).

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Website/App Design

Easy design that gets information across. Simple to check out everyone that is in your area. Although its still creepy, its easy to see everyone. The more I mess around on the app the more I see its a dating app. Weird young kids with other weird emo kids. I wish you could sort your location more specifically to only check out places/cities that you are interested in. Getting even more specific, I wish that you could sort through taggs and double filter on location and types of photos. Ex. Cool Bars pictures in San Francisco. 

Other Thoughts/Suggestions

I do like that Minus is trying to connect people by location, its interesting and there is some fun to be had checking out pictures. However, there is a huge problem with the spammy/dating/sexting/creepy profiles that come up. I can see these creepers turning away any early adopters and discouraging anyone from using this in the long run. In order to get any legitimate users Minus is going to have to find a way to filter out these people.

Suggestion - Authenticate with mutual friends

Why is Tinder so popular? The defining key is the mutual friends that you share with the people. This immediately adds some credibility to the person that you’re trying to connect with. 90% of the weird people go away if you require that they have at least 5 mutual friends with them. Minus should have people authenticate themselves with facebook and then only show people that you have mutual friends with

Suggestion - Drop the user profiles

If you aren’t going to validate the users through facebook then you are going to have to stop them from getting weird on each other. What if you took away the user generated text profiles but rather they were defined strictly by the pictures that they submitted. You could upvote users who had the coolest pictures and flag the skin selfies.

Final Thoughts: I think there is big potential for location based sharing but Minus is cluttered with a spammy dating vibe. For an app that shares photos strictly for the creativity and joy of it check out Rando.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and have a conversation about what you think about Minus. Reach out! @gregkamradt