OverNear is a social connectivity app with a twist

Steven Loeb · August 31, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/31b6

The app connects people and brands based on where they are going, rather than where they are

Too often, social media, which was meant to bring people closer together, actually drives them apart. Even a recent study found that increased Facebook usage leads to feelings of further isolation and depression.

A slew of apps and networks have come out to counter these. They include 1Mind, Glancee, Kismet, Highlight, with most of the apps falling into two categories: either they are dating apps that try to match users up with people they may be interested in in the area, or they try to connect with friends who may be nearby.

A new app, called OverNear, takes a different approach: it helps friends connect, but in the future. Think of it almost like a social planning app.

The app works like this: a users puts up a post of where they are going to be, and the app works like a  virtual proxy. When one of their friends also puts up a post saying that they will be in the same area, there will be an overlap that triggers a notification. This then enables them to schedule meeting or meet up.

For example, if you are going to be taking a trip to Las Vegas at a certain time, the app will not only let you know which if your friends like in the city, but also which of your friends might be taking a trip there at the same time. This can also work in bars, restaurants and sporting events.

If you are going to tonight's Yankee game, you might not know that your friend is too. OverNear pings you so you can plan to meet up after the game. The app will not reveal a person's location unless they want it to.

I can already hear what people might say: isn't that what Facebook is for? Can't you just put up a post and hope that your friends will see it Kind of, but there is a problem with that: Tweets and Facebook posts are seen by a very low percentage of their audience, OverNear co-founder Bill Glaser told me in an interview.

"You have to either be online or scoll through your newsfeed. That is why these networks are making brands pay to reach an audience, with things like sponsored posts," said Glaser  "It's all about taking existing relationships and find them at the same place at the same time."

Right now, OverNear is only platform to connect with friends and business contacts but that is going to change soon, and that is where the real value of OverNear will come into play: soon users will be able to follow celebrities and brands.

That means that if you are a fan of Kanye West, and he going to be making a personal appearance around where you live, OverNear will alert you. Or if you frequently shop at Macy's, and there is a sale at a store in your area, that will be another push notification. 

The philosophy behind the app, Glaser said, is to combat that feeling of lonliness and isolation that can so often come up due to social media.

"People are only seeing the best of the best moments of their friends’ lives," he told me. "Most people are not sharing mundane experiences. They are picking the best photos, and only posting about most interesting things that happen, so it gives a distorted view when compared to our own lives."

To help "create a fulfilling bond" that the other networks don't, OverNear helps foster face to face experiences.

Of course, like I said above, OverNear is not the only company trying to foster these types of relationships. The difference, said Glaser, is that apps like Kismet, Highlight and Circle "send out notifications of where you are, not where you’re going."

And that allows for people to really make plans with each other.

"You might have planned a whole trip and might not have availablility if you're relying on an app to notify people when you’re there," he explained. 

With the potential for the app to be used by brands and advertisers also comes the increase of potential monetization.

The app will make some money off of advertising, but there are two other methods that it could also take:

One would be point of sale, where the user would be notified of a concert or other show, then through the app buy tickets without having to leave. Glaser plans to partner with Livenation, Ticketmaster, airlines, hotels, and other businesses. 

The company is also looking at in-app purchases. That could be mean that if a friend sets a post for where they will be, their friends could send them a geo-specific greeting that plays when they get there. Users could pay more for rich media and better graphics, for example. 

Founded in 2010, despite having no promotion so far, the Santa Monica-based OverNear already has a pretty impressive pedigree.

The company has raised around $4 million, from notable tech personalities, including the co-founder of Pandora, as well as the former CEO of Logitech. In addition, the company is already being touted by the likes of Lewis Howes and Robert Scoble, who are on the company's advisory board, and Gary Vaynerchuk, who will be using OverNear to promote his new book.

And, despite coming out of what what Glaser calls "public beta," the company expects to have 250,000 users by the end of the year, and then 2 million users by the end of next year.

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

1Mind is taking social to the next level, Social Discovery. Facebook reconnects you to people you already know. 1Mind discovers new people most like you, people of one mind.

1Mind is the place to express your interests and discover people like you. Take the 1Mind Personality Test to learn your personality type, your strengths, and who is most compatible with you. Express your interests by voting on questions. The 1Mind Likeness algorithm calculates likeness scores based on your personality type and your votes on questions. The Discover page displays a rank order list of people most like you.

Derek Dodge started working on 1Mind while he was in college. There were
thousands of students on campus but he only knew those in his dorm or in his classes. Derek knew there had to be more people who shared his interests but there was no easy way to find them.  He built 1Mind to solve this problem, and help people of all ages all over the world to discover people most like them.

Recording star MC Hammer has always been interested in building communities and bringing people together. “Now more than ever we need to come together and focus on what we have in common. I am inviting everyone to join 1Mind to see what they have in common with me, and discover people all over the world who share their unique interests.” Said MC Hammer.

The 1Mind Likeness algorithm calculates a likeness score based on your personality type and your votes on questions. As you and other users vote on more questions your Likeness score continuously updates and becomes more accurate. The Discover page is a rank order list of people most like you. The Likeness scores are updated every day and the rank order list can change based on new users joining, and existing users voting on more questions.

Click on the profile photo of any person to see your Likeness score, and learn what you have in common. Compare your personality types, view questions you both have answered to see where you voted alike, or challenge your friends to vote on questions you have already answered.

Create your own questions by clicking on the + icon. Ask a question, choose two alternative answers, and select the photos that best represent those choices. Quickly discover what other people think and who voted like you.Invite your best Facebook friends to take the 1Mind Personality Test to see how much alike you really are, and discover unknown things you have in common. 1Mind questions cover topics that might not naturally come up in conversation, so you can learn new things about old friends.

1Mind is available on the web at www.1mind.com and as a native app on Android Google Play, and iPhone AppStore.

1Mind is the place to express your interests, and discover new people like you. Join 1Mind today and start discovering.


Derek Dodge, founder 1Mind

Twitter - @1Mind

Android App - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onemind&hl=en

iPhone App - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1mind/id667010915?ls=1&mt=8



Joined Vator on

Remember the feeling of talking to someone new, realizing that you have a dear friend in common and that you both love that artist only you know about? Glancee helps you discover these hidden connections and meet with people important to you. Explore the profiles of people nearby and be notified when somebody has common friends or mutual interests. Text or call, meet up for a coffee, and stay in touch. Create new, meaningful connections with new people just like you.

Glancee Screenshot 1Glancee Screenshot 2


OverNear, Inc.


Joined Vator on

OverNear is a radically new mobile app and location-based, social networking platform that enables users to create “geo-aware” posts announcing their plans to be at a location at a specific time in the future. OverNear empowers users to achieve greater social interaction and in-person engagement in the real world.




Joined Vator on

Kismet connects you to your existing friends in the real world by simplifying getting together face to face. We show you which of your friends are nearby or alert you when the app isn't open, then make it simple to invite them to meet you.

When you're planning to get together with a group of any size, Kismet makes the experience simpler and more social. Users can invite their friends whether or not they are Kismet users. Non-users can easily reply from the web or their phone without having to install the app.

No longer do you need to send hundreds of text messages or try to follow long email threads just to meet for Happy Hour. Users are also notified automatically when other users arrive and depart the event, meaning you’ll never have to ask “Are you here yet?” 

Kismet was one of the most talked about companies of SXSW 2012, in the hot "ambient location" and "social discovery" space. Founded in 2011, Kismet was part of AngelPad's Winter 2011 class of startups, and has been lauded as one of the most privacy and user conscious apps in the space.



Bill Glaser

Joined Vator on

Related News