I saw this ‘secret, leaked’ tech demo (click to view demo) link on Digg today for a new social network called i’m in like with you. First of all, there’s no way that this link was leaked, more than likely this is a viral campaign. Second of all, domains names are even rarer than I thought, come on, iminlikewithyou.com? Why not letsgettoknoweachotherovertheinternet.com? These guys are from a YCombinator class earlier this year and have already secured their Series A. Still, I wasn’t expecting much.
I watched most of the demo and, surprisingly, the site is probably one of the best looking sites I’ve seen around. Dynamic content everywhere, visually appealing, strong bold colors, and very functional.
After sitting through 5 mins of Katamari Damacy music, I was curious whether or not the entire thing was in flash or only parts of it. I signed up with ‘invite’ code at the end, NYTM. (The invite code states first 100 people. LIES. I was still able to use it and I’m sure more than a 100 people have used the code already.)
It turns out that most of the site is not in flash, but a good portion of the site is using AJAX. I would have to say they’re using Ruby on Rails (and consequently prototype/scriptaculous). Very impressive.
As for the features of the site, they have a few unique ideas. The main one is that they’ve taken the Hot or Not model and expounded on it. When you first sign up, you aren’t allowed to contact anybody but you do get 700 points. Points are used to win games. Anybody can start a game, which is really just a question, and you bid on a game by giving short answer. The more people that bid, the more points are used. At the end of the game, the creator then picks a winner of the top 5 bidders, and then creator and winner can freely talk.
You can earn more points in various ways. One of the early examples I saw was answering simple yes or no questions. This is valuable data that can be used to better advertiser to the user, or even for simple demographical information.
The entire site is centered around these games and winning them to further expand your network. The games are designed to keep you on the site for a long long time (or at least have the page open). They’ve also included basic IM services, custom videos section, and instant notifications in the form of Growl-like notifications. On top of that, they’re turning the flirting game (no pun) on it’s head. The creator of the game, most likely women, will be the ones that decide on who they talk too. No more random messages from random people ala MySpace or Facebook.
Overall, a well designed social network even though this is the early stages. With the numerous social networking site popping up in the wake of Facebook and MySpace I wish these guys all the luck. It’ll be tough to break through, but at least they can say they have the best looking social site around. 🙂