Sunday, December 4, 2022

Automata Podcast: Making Social Networks More Real, With Hellofriend’s Salman Habib

Automata Podcast: Making Social Networks More Real, With Hellofriend’s Salman Habib

A social network that’s actually about being sociable, rather than just harvesting your personal data? Hellofriend wants its users to look away from the screen and meet in real life too, and will reward them with blockchain tokens if they do. Co-founder Salman Habib joined the Automata hosts this week to talk about what’s missing in today’s online social media, and how Hellofriend is building something new.

Also see: Automata Podcast: Making ICOs More Accessible and Secure With TokenSoft’s Mason Borda

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Hellofriend Co-founder Salman Habib Says Be Social IRL, Spontaneous

Habib said Hellofriend was born out of a feeling that current social media networks are focused on online interactions only — i.e: interactions they can track and package as data analytics for their paying clients (mainly advertisers).

HF won’t have advertising — a model that immediately sets it apart from most online content. Its economic model is built around exchange between users and its own native token, called “Connect”. Then there’s its encouragement of IRL or “in real life” meetings.

These aren’t always the formal and/or large-scale gatherings organized on sites like, Eventbrite or Facebook Events, but could be as simple as two friends getting together for a coffee. It’s “more spontaneous, more local, more micro-meetup,” Habib said.

Hellofriend’s token and economic platform is based on the Stellar network, and is centered on a mobile app rather than a desktop site. It’s planning to launch a MVP in August 2018.

Listen to the full interview to hear how it works, how the Connect tokens incentivize human interaction, and Habib’s thoughts on other kinds of uses like tourism and travel guides, and more.

About the Automata Podcast

Jon Daniel Automata

“The future is automated.” Automata is a series of brief audio introductions to the projects that will drive the automated economies of the future. Pactum Capital‘s Daniel Cawrey and Bitsonline senior editor Jon Southurst chat with leaders in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, freer markets (and the occasional regulator) to find out where all this is going.

You can find older Automata episodes on Soundcloud, and subscribe to the channel for more.

If you have any requests for future episodes, we’d love to hear them. Post your feedback in the comments below.

Images via Daniel Cawrey, Jon Southurst, Pexels

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