Users of the Voycee network can post multimedia content and receive feedback from the community. However, with each new post, your previous one vanishes without a trace – a formula which comes somewhere between traditional social networks and apps designed to ensure immediacy and/or anonymity.
CNIL, a French regulatory body whose purpose is to safeguard personal freedoms in the IT world, has just published its 2013 activity report, which focuses closely on the issue of data privacy. In addition to calling for users to be vigilant, the CNIL provides educational material to help people manage their online lives more knowledgeably and best practice information for those handling electronic data. The growing concern over the handling of personal information online has caught the attention of a number of startups, which have spotted market opportunities in providing a service that will help people to manage their online image and deal properly with information stored on the Internet. The most recent of these is New York-based Voycee. Just as with any other social network, you can post multimedia content. But there is one major difference: Voycee only retains your latest post. The next time you post, your previous update – photos, video, message, whatever, plus all linked comments, likes, hashtags, etc – is completely deleted from the network.
A ‘zero history’ network
Along the lines of Facebook and its rivals, Voycee has set out to encourage users to share information with their communities. A member’s friends may comment on his/her posts. Voycee’s aim however is to foster immediacy, though it does not set any particular timeframe for consumption of uploads. Posted content will not disappear after a given period of time, as is the case for instance with the Snapchat photo messaging app. No does it provide anonymity like anonymous message sharing app Secret. What the network does offer is a history-free environment. The servers do not retain any past content from the user’s past – whether recent or more distant and whether still relevant and up-to-date or not. Founder Ilfan Radoncic underlines the ‘history free’ emphasis. What the Voycee network reveals to online visitors about any user is restricted to the here and now.
Monetising the service not the current priority
The startup founders also underline that data posted by Internet users is not archived on the company’s servers and so does not belong to the company. Voycee is hoping to attract users who are concerned about the impact that their social media footprint might have, whether on their private lives or their professional prospects. The app providing access to the network is currently available for iOS devices, with Android and web versions due out in the near future. Given the rather ephemeral nature of the network, it is not at all clear how it can be made profitable, as social media providers generally draw value from all the accumulated data and the opportunities it provides to target users with advertising. However, Radoncic says that generating revenue is not on Voycee’s current list of priorities, the immediate goal being to test out the idea and see if it catches on.