Better Know A Startup: Joiner App (@joiner)

Joiner, founded by three young Catalan whippersnappers Bernat Fages Pernias, Roger Fernandez Guri and Pol Valls Soler, has one mission: to optimize the process of building relationships and networks.Joiner-app-screen

I’m not the first to admit it, speaking to strangers in new situations, whether it’s a meeting, networking event or down at the local dancehall, can be a pretty daunting task. I’m not just talking about breaking the ice, which can leave you feeling more uncomfortable than a bikini wax gone wrong (so I’m told…), but the precious time that we spend speaking to people who don’t share any of the same interests. Then you have to deal with the awkward moment of escape as you look into the distance with a surprised look on your face while muttering under your breath “Ah that’s my friend” while running off into the corner as quickly as possible. We all try to avoid these moments by analyzing people beforehand, but body language, name-tags and dress sense don’t give away too many secrets nowadays. But this is all part of the fun of social interaction!

Wouldn’t our lives be a little easier if we could somehow find out a smidgen more information about the people around as to make a more effective decision on whom to approach? This is where Joiner comes in. Says co-founder Bernat “We want to tackle this issue head on as we have always had the need for some kind of Swiss tool for socialization, especially for our generation. Everybody at some point will face many uncomfortable situations where an “icebreaker” would come in handy. We want to remove this friction and improve the way people network”.

And how better top solve that than with data, and data that is already available to you on the thousands of social networks you spend half of your day on. Sign up with Joiner using Facebook and you will have two basic functions, “Discover and Communication“ Bernat explains. They understand the importance of keeping it simple. Discovery, will allow you to see who is around you and the potential interest score that you have with this person. The higher the score, the higher the probability of a successful connection.

To avoid too many privacy issues, the app only shows you the first name with the rest of the juicy details (friends in common, interests, education, sexy photo, etc.) being left up to you to share. The map will also show where the person is so you’re ready to pounce. All these metrics and more are used to create the “potential interest score”.

Joiner-app-connection score

On the communication side, the app has a built-in messaging tool where you can get up to all type of shenanigans. “We have built in-app messaging because most users don’t want to give their phone number or email to people they don’t trust yet. That’s why the app doesn’t let you talk with other people aren’t “joins” (sort of a friendship within Joiner)”. You still can talk with people that are not “joins” though only when they are within your range.

Bernat sums it up nicely; “With Joiner you won’t waste your time meeting random people you don’t care about. Really, never again.”

Which direction do you think Joiner will be heading: for utilization in business and networking events or more inline with Bang with Friends? And are these apps taking the fun out of social interaction or making our lives easier?

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