Official announcements and happiness!
Meet Imzy- Community as ________ as you are
A bit over a year ago we started Imzy because as our lives have moved more and more online, our communities haven't followed. This has created a massive void that we aim to help fill. After a 7-month-long private beta, we are excited to announce that we have raised a series A funding round and are coming out of private beta TODAY!
This means that anyone can sign up to join Imzy now (oh, and check out our nifty new home page too!), ANNNNNDDDDDD our apps are officially available for everyone! You can download the iOS app here or download the Android app here. Please go download them and review them!
(Psst... we have some fun activities celebrating our launch and Hallowimzy happening over here...)
Thanks to all of you for your love, patience, feedback, and support in getting us here. We've still got lots more to do and will continue working hard with your help. There’s a lot to what we’re building, and we've talked about a lot of these ideas before, but now that we're launching, we want to take a moment to reflect, share some of the key concepts that make up our foundation, and look forward to the future and how these ideas will shape it!
Our goal is to build the first extensible platform for all of your communities, because your communities can’t fit into a simple bulletin board anymore. We intend to do this in the most responsible way for you, your communities, and the world at large. Here's what we're focusing on to make that happen.
Time and resources
We know that in order to build something worthy of your communities, it is going to take a lot of time and resources. It takes resources to build the technology required. It takes resources to devote the type of support your communities deserve. We knew this a year ago and were successful in raising $3,000,000 from CRV and OATV. This provided what we needed to really take our time to build a strong foundation and hold a lengthy private beta where we could really focus on getting things right. As we progressed through our private beta, we were contacted by an investor who was equally excited about what we were doing and shared our vision for how to get there.
We are excited today to announce that we have raised another $8,000,000, led by Index ventures. This capital will give us all the time we need to devote to your communities. Because you are worth it.
Empowering community leaders
Great leaders are at the core of great communities, but in order to succeed, they need the tools to do so. We are dedicated to creating all the building blocks you need so your community can function exactly the way YOU need it to. All you have to do is pick which ones you want to use, and we’ll assemble it all for you in an elegant way with intuitive, powerful tools for managing everything. Some of these tools are as simple as analytics or a helpdesk or simply a direct line to chat with us 24/7, and some of them are more complex, like ways for you to really control exactly what is or isn’t allowed in your communities and how they function.
Focusing on conversations and connections
Imzy is about helping people find a home on the Internet where they connect with others, build friendships, and more—and that happens through conversation. So we’ve focused on making sure you can discuss the things that matter most to you in the way that makes the most sense for you, whether that’s through long, threaded comments; live chat; or new, inventive types of conversation that take advantage of the flexibility of our devices.
Embracing all of you through flexible identities
Identity isn’t as simple as your birth name. It’s not as simple as a single pseudonym. It’s not as simple as an anonymous platform. To force people into a single type of identity is to compromise what makes us human. All of these are valid cases, and because of that, communities can require your “real” name, a pseudonym, anonymous participation, or allow you to choose from any of those options, and we’ll keep your profiles safely separate while still easy for you to manage in one account. Who you are should be up to you. Anything less in this day and age is offensive.
A vital part of creating a healthy community platform is making sure that there’s a variety of perspectives and experiences. We want everyone to be able to find a place where you belong and can connect on Imzy. We’re actively seeking out and encouraging people from all walks of life to join Imzy, and providing the user tools and support to make sure you aren’t harassed, so that everyone can have a voice.
Focusing on healthy communities at the core
The most important part of creating great communities is simply focusing on community from day one. By thinking about community first and questioning the way every single feature we build works, we can set the stage for positive community experiences. By ingraining the right culture into the community, supported by robust policies, trust, and transparency, we can succeed. And by continuing to have regular discussions with our members to make sure that these policies evolve as the community does and providing the best community support there is, we—as a community—can thrive.
It’s not about the size of your community
The worst thing any platform can do for your community is to force people to join it. A healthy community needs time to evolve and grow at the right pace for the community, and when people join it who aren’t committed to that community, it creates a worse experience for everyone. Because of this, we help you find the communities that are the most relevant to you, we don’t have a page where you can see the interactions of communities you’re not a member of, and we don’t allow any participation in communities you don’t belong to. We’re focused on building a platform that works for communities regardless of their size.
Giving developers access
Communities can’t be fit into a simple box. As communities grow and evolve, their needs become more and more complex. In addition to the flexibility and tools we've already built, we will be launching a developer platform so that others can truly make Imzy theirs by building it into whatever they want it to be, creating integrations and apps that other communities can also install to do anything they can imagine. We've already begun to see tons of ways communities on Imzy are pushing at these boundaries, and we can't wait to see those things turned into reality.
Creating a sustainable business model free from ads
We want to grow in the way that makes the most sense for our communities, and that means a business model that our members benefit from and contribute to, not one that uses them. In real life, communities need money to interact, and that’s the same online as well. We believe we can make money in a way that actually benefits our members by providing these services right where communities already are, rather than selling their eyes and information to advertisers. When you are the product we are selling, it means we have to make decisions based on that rather than what your communities need. We’re focused on creating the best solutions for our members, which is why we’re looking in a different direction.
Making a platform that’s accessible for everyone
We wanted to make community sites and forums accessible to everyone. We've tried to make our user experience as simple and easy to understand as possible, and we're also making sure that it can be accessed anywhere. In addition to desktop web and a robust mobile web experience that allows you to do everything you can do on desktop, we also have iOS and Android apps to make Imzy a truly seamless experience.
As you can see, there’s a lot to what we’re building. We believe that without any part of this, we would be doing your communities a great disservice. This is a big job, but your communities deserve it. What we are launching with today is just the foundation, just the beginning. We need your help to make it great. We want to talk with you every day and learn from you to help us create something that fits your needs, interests, lifestyle, hobbies, and relationships. Let’s build your new home on the Internet together.