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.