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The internet is a fascinating place and over the years it has provided tremendous resources to billions of people around the world. It’s brought us closer, and it’s divided us and at the same time. People feel more empowered to make their voices heard. The problem is anonymity has seemingly eroded basic standards of kindness and decency. At least that’s what it seems like when you look at the comments section on blogs, social posts, and more.

“The way of communicating online is a massive problem, and it affects our mental health. It affects how we see ourselves and our confidence levels. It’s just this constant cesspool of just the worst parts of humanity. And we wanted to really try and solve that problem. And that’s where Yappa differentiates itself.”

Meet Kiaran Sim, Co-founder and COO of Yappa, an app that is hoping to make the internet a little more conversational, a little less hostile, and at the bare minimum, more empathetic. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Kiaran discusses how their conversation integration tool monitors and censors bad actors, while simultaneously building a positive internet community and the benefits that brings to the internet as a whole. Plus, Kiaran also details the importance of keeping a clean revenue stream and more.

Main Takeaways:

  • Know Your Worth: As a start-up — especially in the social media industry — you don’t want to get in the habit of relying on ad revenue as your primary source of income. Instead, figure out a constant revenue model that takes the pressure and guesswork out of your financial status. 
  • If At First You Don’t Succeed: Always make sure you are listening to your users; they will guide your product in the direction that it needs to go in. For the Yappa team, that meant abandoning their initial social media app in order to integrate as part of larger programs. By listening to its customer base, and giving users what they wanted, Yappa overcame two obstacles at once.
  • Taking out the Garbage: By removing the anonymous aspect of commenters, the Yappa team was able to dramatically reduce the number of inappropriate users from a traditional average of 18% down to 2%. When users are forced to verify their identities rather than hide behind accounts and usernames, an authentic community of like minded users can form without fear of anonymous online abusers.

For a more in-depth look at this episode, check out the article below.


Article

The internet is a fascinating place and over the years it has provided tremendous resources to billions of people around the world. It’s brought us closer, and it’s divided us and at the same time. People feel more empowered to make their voices heard. The problem is anonymity has seemingly eroded basic standards of kindness and decency. At least that’s what it seems like when you look at the comments section on blogs, social posts, and more.

“The way of communicating online is a massive problem, and it affects our mental health. It affects how we see ourselves and our confidence levels and, and everything about it. It’s just this constant cesspool of just the worst parts of humanity. And we wanted to really try and solve that problem. And that’s where Yappa differentiates itself.”

Meet Kiaran Sim, Co-founder and COO of Yappa, an app that is hoping to make the internet a little more conversational, a little less hostile, and at the bare minimum, more empathetic. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Kiaran discusses how their conversation integration tool monitors and censors bad actors, while simultaneously building a positive internet community and the benefits that brings to the internet as a whole. Plus, Kiaran also details the importance of keeping a clean revenue stream and more.

After leaving his prior venture, Sim and his business partner wanted to solve what they saw as the leading problem on the internet: the toxic nature of users who went unverified or unchecked within the comments section. But much like any good business venture, your first idea is not always the best one.

“We wanted to solve this problem of toxicity,” Sim said. “The first iteration was an app like Instagram with audio comments. That’s the closest way to describe it. We got about 50,000 users on launch and then we started hitting a ceiling. What they didn’t like about the product was how we could improve and what areas should be agile enough to make a pivot. And one of the overarching feedback that we got was, ‘Oh, I love this, but I wish I could use it on Facebook, or wish I could use it on ESPN. Basically, I wish that technology was available in areas where I already socialized.’”

What Sim started to notice is that many of the platform’s users were experiencing app exhaustion and didn’t want to participate in other forms of social media. But what they did like about the product was that it took away the anonymity of commenters, which helped create a much more enjoyable community.

“The way of communicating online is a massive problem, and it affects our mental health,” Sim said “It affects how we see ourselves and our confidence levels and, and everything about it. It’s just this constant cesspool of just the worst parts of humanity. And we wanted to really try and solve that problem. And that’s where Yappa differentiates itself.”

One of the biggest differentiators is those communities, is how the people in them have built a culture around positive communication, limiting the number of bad actors through A.I., and the help of real-life moderators. 

“We’ve got on average less than 2% on our flag rates in terms of comments that are flagged for inappropriate behavior,” Sim said. “We set the platform up so that the publisher has a lot of control that they wouldn’t usually have on other social media platforms. How we try to approach the app, we want to put the publisher in control of their community… We do have to regulate the platform, and bad actors that do show up on multiple different websites, then we absolutely do take action. But that hasn’t happened in a long time.”

To hear more about Yappa and the communities it is building, check out the full episode IT Visionaries!

To hear the entire discussion, tune into IT Visionaries here

 

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