Pod is a social networking app that connects people of shared interest, professions, business and aspirations, and help them set a place to meet face-to-face off-line. The app uses machine learning and profiling to match users, with the possibility of forging rewarding relationships offline. Billed to go mainstream from November, the app also helps small businesses to prospect for new customers, as well as promote events via ads.
When users sign up for the app, it will automatically pop up with the kind of people they may like to meet based on shared location and interest. Before roll out, the app has an existing 5 million users, acquired from Refer.com, a platform bought by the founder, Dr. Jo Webber.
According to Webber, ” Our thesis, which not everybody will agree with – some people probably think we’re crazy — is that people really do want to meet each other, That people will make themselves visible on our map. That they will be interested by having these connections and growing their network by real-world meetings.”
She added, “As we get more into AI, we’re going to be really looking at your behavior, how you use our app: the events that you like to go to, the time that you like to go to an event, the people that you’d like to meet, the ones you don’t want to meet. All that information helps us really better analyze and understand how to serve your interests.”
For instance a medical doctor can subscribe to visit Pod to check around for people of similar interest; the same goes for a graphic artist, or someone hosting a seminar. This platform nullifies the role of gatekeepers in communities or trade bodies as the most viable channel for communal penetration.
Although the app offers a premium subscription at $10 per month, apart from a free version, the value derived from meeting people of similar interests who might want to do business with you offset any thought of paying so much to use the platform.