Social media was conceived to let people connect and freely interact with one another using the internet as a conduit. Somewhere along the way, perception and image began to dominate. For many, keeping up appearances on various social channels led to anxiety and actually disconnected people. Studies have linked increased use of social media to depression, poorer sleep quality, hyperactivity, inattention, and lower self-esteem. Remee is an anonymous mobile microblogging platform, designed for college students by college students, to foster meaningful interactions. By eliminating identity from the platform, the recently-launched app hopes that the discourse on the platform will be genuine and free from ephemeral moments that are all too often staged. Remee, founded by two Columbia grads, is now live in the iOS app store with an Android version coming soon and the company plans to adopt the Facebook model, focusing initial user acquisition on universities.
AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounders Michelle Lin and Rose Kuan to learn more about the need for Remee, the company’s future plans, and much, much more…
Tell us about the product or service that Remee offers.
At Remee, our mission is to become a remedy for mainstream social media applications. We aim to foster a supportive and anonymous social media platform for Gen-Z female college students to connect and interact with one another without social media anxiety.
Remee is an anonymous microblogging platform consisting of user-generated content within the structure of a bulletin board system. The app’s core features include aggregated feed content (text posts, links, and images), organized posting boards, trending post ranks, and daily tarot card-picking.
How is it different?
Remee is the first social media platform that factors social media anxiety into its design, solving the problem of social media anxiety for many female users. By removing personally identifiable information like user’s names, Remee prevents users from comparing themselves with one another. Without user comparisons, users are less likely to feel inadequate and can maintain positive self-esteem. Remee has both an attention-drawing feature and a core feature. Our daily tarot card feature draws users into entering our app every day, which will encourage them to browse user-posted content on our feed.
What market does Remee target and how big is it?
Remee’s total addressable market is any college student who uses social media. Our total addressable market is 21.46 million users and 1.2 billion dollars.
What is the business model?
Currently, our business model consists of native ads. Once we reach a critical amount of users on our platform, we will start implementing native ads, partnering with brands that have college students as their main audience.
What inspired the start of Remee?
As avid social media users in college ourselves, we understand the anxiety-triggering aspect of social media platforms like Instagram. Similar to many other female college students, we have felt nervous before posting a selfie and been tagged in a group photo where we didn’t look good in. Fundamentally, we understand exactly what our target users are going through, which is why we created Remee.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
COVID-19 was definitely tough on our teams since it is difficult to work together when we cannot physically meet up. Our marketing channels also became mainly virtual because students are not back on campus so there is no in-person socialization allowed. Mostly, we see COVID-19 as an opportunity for a new social media platform, like Remee.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
For the next six months, our goal is to gain 50,000 users from universities in New York and expand to universities in the tri-state area.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Never stop working on an idea when someone says no to it. We learned that when people say no to an idea, it means that the idea is flawed not that it is impossible to achieve.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
We would love to be put in touch with a communications and marketing director at Instagram. We are curious about how they built Instagram to cultivate the app culture of curated lifestyles on the platform.
Why did you launch in New York?
We launched in New York because we went to Columbia University so a large part of our own social network is based in New York. Our personal social network in New York allows us to spread the word about Remee through a more intimate means.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC
Izakaya Mew is our favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC. We can never get enough of their kimchi cream udon, Mew special roll, and omu soba. It’s a crowd favorite and no one says no to Izakaya Mew. Ever.