There can be too much of a good thing. Baby photos on Facebook certainly qualify in this category. While parents are understandably proud of their kids and want to show them off to their friends, we live in a hyperconnected world where too much is shared. That includes every permutation of a photo, even blurry ones.
Babygram could save us from oversharing hell. Developed by Google Ventures funded startup Stickery, which is based in Singapore and California, Babygram is a private social network centered around babies and their immediate families. It is now available on iOS.
The app is part of a new wave of mobile social networks targeted at niche groups. There’s Path for those yearning more private online interactions, Between and LoveByte for couples, Burpple for food lovers, as well as GetGlue for those oriented towards movies and television.
While creating an “Instagram for _______” is certainly a hot startup idea, none of these companies have attained the breakout success of Dropbox, Airbnb, and yes, Facebook. But that hasn’t stopped Stickery from trying.
Like Path, Babygram limits the number of friends you can add to your network. But while Path offers a generous limit of 150, Babygram allows a maximum of ten friends. If you’re a parent, that’s about enough for your immediate family and maybe a close friend or two.
The intention is for the app to be a private place for parents to journal their baby’s growth from conception to post-birth and share intimate moments with loved ones. However, parents who are more open can opt to allow others to “follow” their babies.
Milestones are stored in a timeline feature that is similar to Facebook’s. However, Babygram adds value by enabling users to create a timeline for each baby. The app even offers advice in the timeline on caring for babies. It also tries to make documenting moments more fun by adding filters, effects, and the ability to add captions.
Stickery is not the first to attempt something like this. A number of web or mobile baby journals are already out there, with examples being Intoloop, Kidmondo, and 23snaps. While the latter is the most similar to Babygram, it doesn’t appear to have much traction.
What separates Babygram from other apps though is that it offers more ways for family and relatives to get involved in documenting the baby’s life. Others can chip in by leaving notes of encouragement or editing the timeline itself.
The app is about helping parents build a stronger, more communicative support network, adding new meaning to the adage “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Is this a winning formula? It’s hard to tell at this stage, but the app, which is only a few weeks old, might just have enough unique features to attract an initial batch of loyal users. Bjorn emphasized that Babygram is still in a limited-country beta testing phase, which means there could be significant changes and feature additions before an official launch in February 2013.
From Stickery’s perspective, Babygram makes sense in that it could become a marketing funnel for the company’s other products, which targets children from 4 to 6 years old. Getting young parents hooked on the social network could eventually lead them to try out the company’s other products, which are apparently doing very well on the App Store.
The company was founded by Singaporeans Bjorn Lee and Jarrold Ong, both alumni of the NUS Overseas Colleges program. Bjorn is also the co-founder of e27, a Singapore based tech blog and startup events organizer. Jarrold is now an iOS developer at Viki.
Playing a major role in Babygram is Claudia Hogan, who came on board in December as COO of Stickery after a six-month stint as the regional CMO of Zalora, a fashion online retailer by Rocket Internet.