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Nextt aims to lead the third wave of social media: from virtual to private face-to-face sharing in the real world

Savvy social media man­agers like to keep abreast of new devel­op­ments in case the next big thing comes along; and per­haps Wis­con­sin-based start­up Nextt is poised to fit that bill hand­some­ly.

From vir­tu­al to real expe­ri­ences

Co-founder and CEO Mark McGuire explains that Nextt isn’t pri­mar­i­ly about build­ing up a mas­sive tribe of vir­tu­al fol­low­ers you hard­ly know, but hon­ing in on a few spe­cial friends you’d like to share expe­ri­ences with soon in the real world. And the empha­sis is on soon – hence the name of the com­pa­ny.

But sea­soned social media man­agers might well ask, “Can a start­up real­ly change entrenched user behav­ior wed­ded to vir­tu­al shar­ing only?” McGuire clear­ly thinks so. He iden­ti­fies two suc­ces­sive social media waves: the Face­book and LinkedIn wave, which was all about cap­tur­ing social or pro­fes­sion­al his­to­ry, and the Twitter/Snapchat wave, which was all about shar­ing one’s in-the-moment cur­rent sta­tus. With Twitter’s IPO, it’s not undu­ly fan­ci­ful to sur­mise that that wave may now be crest­ing.

Nextt aims to help peo­ple escape from the pres­sure to share in vir­tu­al form a suc­ces­sion of tran­sient present expe­ri­ences; instead, it helps you plot a near future involv­ing joint activ­i­ties in the real world with peo­ple you want to spend time with. Instead of an expand­ing reper­toire of anony­mous ‘likes’ or ‘friends’, Nextt helps peo­ple increase the real qual­i­ty of their real, face-to-face social inter­ac­tions.

The Nextt wave? 

Got a vague idea of what you’d like to share in the real world with a small bunch of friends? Nextt helps con­vert the vague into the sol­id, allow­ing users to sug­gest ideas pri­vate­ly to select friends, per­haps in a spe­cif­ic order, but not to all and sundry (or friends who you think wouldn’t like the par­tic­u­lar idea). The fact that users can pri­vate­ly select par­tic­u­lar friends for par­tic­u­lar ideas shows they’ve iden­ti­fied a com­mon­al­i­ty, that they’ve got to know them well. And Nextt also gives feed­back – if ideas get repeat­ed with no uptake, users will know (like­wise, if friends appre­ci­ate users’ efforts).

McGuire says he’s more inter­est­ed in “build­ing a valu­able ser­vice that con­sumers engage with to cre­ate their col­lec­tive futures togeth­er” than in mon­e­ti­za­tion at this stage. But Nextt, social media man­agers might now agree, has the poten­tial to be the Next Big Social Media Thing.

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