At the beginning of last year we ran a number of articles highlighting some of the fundamental challenges that face a tech startup and some ideas on how to approach and handle them. Two of these posts were based on interviews with Fergus Hurley, a Galway native who now resides in California. Fergus discussed the importance of design in the Role of Design in Getting a Product to Market and project construction in Developers and Product Development.
Fergus is now Director of Products at Radium One and on March 1st, this year, he and his team launched Via.Me. For the last couple of weeks at TechVo we have been exploring the Via.Me platform as it offers us the potential to use upload different types of media just using one service.
We have experimented with services such as Audioboo, Instagram and SoundCloud and they are all great. (I, for one, will continue using them as I have already established my own little mini-communities on each of them.)
It is almost a paradox in the world of social media that as the services and choices become bigger and more numerous, activities and communities become more fragmented and more narrowly defined.
However, for a multi-media platform such as ours, and for other users who would like to post pictures, video or sound according to which medium best suits what is intended to be communicated, keeping track of what has been published where has become a job in itself.
Via.Me is a number of different services in one platform. According to Fergus, it is a way to, “Upload all your different types of media. Photos, videos, voice-notes and text/stories in one application across all the social networks. In this first incarnation it supports all those media types and it has the web presence and mobile presence that very few other applications have.”
Fergus says that there are four different target audiences:
“One, is consumers. People who are coming to the site and they can use it themselves and start interacting with it.
“Two, is celebrities. That means celebrities posting their content and building up their audiences on our platform and allowing people to subscribe to celebrities while getting real-time updates from those celebrities.
“Three, is publishers. Brotips, Notebook of Love and Men’s Humor are posting content all over the networks and then people are coming back to view that content on Via.Me. They create one central hub for all their content and they have the view count showing so they can get a metric.
“Four, is the brands. In general, as a company, Radium One’s biggest focus is on brands. We work with a lot of the top 100 advertisers in the US helping them with their online advertising.”
Although Via.Me is comprehensive in its capabilities. Fergus believes that it is important to, “Keep things really, really simple. You have to keep the application as intuitive and as simple as possible. If you build something that is really difficult and is hard to explain to other people then it’s going to be really hard to get adoption. We definitely kept the product a simple, sharable concept with instant gratification.
“It’s about getting the users onboard. We have already had over a quarter of a million downloads of the application and we’ve had millions of people come to the website. It is about growing the audience from there.
“A lot of people are using it as a publishing platform. They see the links and comeback and comment on our platform and then they start engaging with our platform on a daily basis.”