Localizing Social Media Connections is Going to Change the World


‘Neighborhood-centric’ video app holds the promise of all sorts of discoveries and connections    

A new trend towards social media localization is attracting tens of millions of users who want to meet new people who share their interests but recognize that the best way for such connections to become genuine friendships is if they are also geographically connected.

Science has long demonstrated that liking the same things is among the fastest ways to make friends in all areas of one’s life – from a life partner to a business partner. Discovering that both you and your new boss have a passion for antique motorcycles, for example, provides an incredibly strong and tangible shared interest you can bond over.

For a fulfilling life, psychologists say, we need to have just the right amount of people in our lives so that as many aspects of our individual needs or desires are met. And while sharing an interest with a boss or business partner might help you get ahead in your career, and having similar interests as your spouse is almost definitely going to result in a better, longer relationship, we also need ‘random’ connections that sometimes share very niche hobbies or interests.

It’s a no-brainer to say that the simplest way to find people who like the same things as you do would be online. Social media sites have connected untold tens of millions of people around the world and such connections have resulted in everything from new businesses to new babies. 

But the more we globalize and see the world from a metaphoric bird’s-eye view, the more we come to understand just how big this world is. It might be nice to discover that a person in Calcutta shares the same fondness for 17th-century maps as you do, but if you live in North America, the distance between India and America is so physically far that this connection is going to be challenged by distance. In short, there’s a reason ‘long distance relationships’ don’t usually work out.

And so, enter the neighborhood-centric social video app. This idea allows you to see other users with their location overlaid on a map, and when people on the app post videos, you’re able to ask questions or send messages – knowing that if there is some sort of spark – the person might only be a few miles away and therefore a potential real-world connection. 

If you’re thinking that this idea sounds a bit like Tinder or Grindr, well, in a way you are correct. There is that same location-based element, but a social video app takes it to a level beyond just finding someone to spend “adult time” with. There are message boards, a “meet and greet” page, as well as tabs for discovering events and other hidden gems in your area.

Sure, there will probably be people who meet via a social video app and end up in a personal relationship, but many more people will be able to use this resource to get info on things that can be directly translated into improvements in their quality of life

Aiming to create a sense of belonging between people and places, the app connects on a micro level – starting with your neighborhood. Users say the first thing they generally discover is how many interesting events, locations, and people are in their general vicinity – all of which they’ve never heard about.

Who knew there was an indie math rock band playing one town over? Would you have ever discovered that new Cambodian restaurant a few subway stops away from you if you hadn’t seen someone post a short video about it? These are just some of the ways that a social video app will change social media – for the better.

Interacting while doing so on an interactive map is an eye-opening experience. The questions and conversations become very different – and more importantly – very local. A short video of almost anything that’s in your general vicinity has the potential to inspire you toward doing or seeing new things in your area – a very different concept than mega social media networks where people either share their thoughts with the entire planet or create small groups of people they know but don’t necessarily live close to.

Focusing on the tree instead of the forest so to speak, you gain a new perspective, quite literally. And, of course, such a localized social video app is a godsend for small businesses in your area that can promote themselves specifically to those who can realistically pop in at almost any time. 

As more people join such local apps, they’ll also become an invaluable resource for travelers who could arrive in a new city, get on the app for the neighborhood they are in, and discover things that might be within walking distance of their hotel – or maybe just chat with people who can give them a genuinely local perspective – something that can be hard to find on massive social media platforms

It’s an exciting idea that has been tried to some degree in the past, but this new generation of video social app stands out for its perfect mesh between videos, message boards, interactive map interfaces, and “check out” pages devoted to places to hang out or what’s trending nearby.

Some people likely can’t imagine adding yet another social media app to their lives, but we’d bet that after discovering the benefits of localization, there’s a chance many people will start wondering how they ever lived without it.

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