For some of us, sharing is fun when done with people who understand you or have a similar taste. Quite a few sites have launched services around connecting with strangers (for e.g. Chatimity to the original daddy, i.e. Chatroulette) and the latest service to launch is Zumbl.
Zumbl is an online platform that allows its users to have chatting, tagging and sharing with no profanity, and importantly, no ASL (Age Sex Location) questions. Zumbl is started by two IIT Delhi undergraduate student Abhishek Gupta and Saurabh Kumar and is incubated at Digital Media Zone, Toronto.
To make chatting more meaningful with strangers, the platform allows users to have profile sans their real name and are instead depicted as tags (i.e. what strangers think of you as) with terms such as funny, socialite, sweet, friendly, shy and frank amongst others. Zumbl has strict credit system which blocks users out if they don’t follow the guidelines.
Anybody above 13 can sign up to Zumbl via Facebook or Google account, and start chatting and tagging strangers by feeding details like interest, favourite movies and songs. Besides chatting Zumbl also allows Zumblers (users) to share videos by enclosing the name of the video in “<” and “>”.
For instance, to share the song “The Light Field”, users just need to write <the light field> and press enter. For identity, Zumblrs are allowed to get Avatars, it’s like a substitute for their photograph and Avatars evolve periodically depends to the numbers of tags one gets while chatting. Also, if Zumblrs chat responsibly, the platform confers avatars with funky badges.
In terms of traction, before formal launch, Zumbl had three iterations, which amassed around 1700 users. Initially, Zumbl got around 3200 more users making the current total to reach 5000 + users. Speaking about splits of users between India and across other parts of the globe, Abhishek Gupta, co-founder Zumblr said “Around 65% of our registered users, and 85% of our active users are from India with +220 daily active users”.
Zumbl is based on python, and a MVC framework web2py. The company’s server is hosted on Softlayer Hosting, and uses Ejabberd server, and uses XMPP protocol for its chat servers. Zumbl has sentiment mining technology to understand users’ emotions from the text and reflect them through the user’s avatars.
So far the company has raised funding of about $20,000 invested by Digital Media Zone, Toronto and also won Samsung Innovation Awards ($3,000 as prize money). As far as future plans are concerned, Zumbl aims to reach 75,000 users mark by May 2013 and also working on a set of other cool features including multiplayer gaming, sharing music, customizations in user’s chat room.
Responding to a NextBigWhat’s query whether Zumbl will launch a networking platform in future or not, cofounder Abhishek Gupta mentions that they working in the direction though it doesn’t come at least in next 6 months, or to the point where it reaches 75,000 users.
If you are looking for a ‘clean’ and fun chat, do try Zumbl. Do you think a fully nonname/anonymous conversation survives in the long run?