Social Sense: My favorite Korte/McClure demos

Ronny Kerr · April 8, 2011 · Short URL:

AngelPad unveils 13 startups, 500 Startups shows off 22; here are two of the super social media ones

In the past two weeks, we’ve seen over 30 startups lift, ever so slightly, the wraps off the products they’ve been building at two young but respected incubators, AngelPad and 500 Startups. We saw businesses working on online dating, augmented reality, career matching, news and media, and much, much more, and, as many have already noted, all look promising.

For this week’s edition of “Social Sense,” however, I thought I’d zero in on one startup from each class that, in my opinion, best tackled social media in a new and interesting way.

Splash (AngelPad) “adds a social layer to mobile games to increase engagement.”

Maybe you’re sick of hearing it from the mouths of Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Pincus, but the statistics don’t lie: people love social gaming. While the industry already generates $1 billion a year through advertising and virtual goods sales, that number could balloon as much as five times--to $5 billion--by 2015, according to market research company Parks Associates.

The money is there, the customers are there and the game studios are here, there, and everywhere. We still see something like two or three social gaming studios cashing in on impressive rounds of funding every week, even though the Facebook platform already has its big-name market leaders: Zynga, CrowdStar, Playfish (EA), etc.

Splash is awesome because it’s not just another studio making social games, but instead it’s a startup infusing the social element into games that lack it, particularly on mobile. Supposedly as easy to implement as a line of code, the Splash plug-in module lets mobile gamers see what their friends are playing, what they’re saying and what they’re sharing.

Zuckerberg and Pincus might not be right in thinking that real identities on the social Web are becoming the new standard, but there’s no doubt that social and casual games are here to stay. Splash plans to help developers of casual games tap into the rewards of social--encouraged virality and boosted engagement--with ease.

Social Stork (500 Startups) “bottles the social activity of new moms and gives advice, community, and contextual introductions to the perfect baby products along the journey.”

MomLogic, CafeMom--don’t make me dig any deeper, but just admit that there’s no shortage of websites and services catering to the interests of current and expectant moms. And let’s not forget a report from comScore last summer that found more women use social networking sites than men and spend 30 percent more time using them.

Put those two thoughts together and you have a new Facebook application.

That app, Social Stork capitalizes on a woman’s (more specifically, a mother’s) natural inclination to social media tools by creating a one-stop hub for all her baby needs. Anyone--mother, father or maybe another relative--can create a new baby story, which includes their (expected) birth date, name and gender (if known), and some extra info.

As time goes on, moms and others can use the application to mark achievements for the baby (like first steps or first word) and share the news with friends and family. The team at Social Stork has plans to really flesh out the service so that users can add photos and videos and read up on how to take care of their babies.

Being a single male in my twenties, I’m about as far as you can get from being a mom, but something tells me that they’ll love Social Stork.

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