Building a More Intimate Internet

We believe that you deserve more out of social apps. You deserve products and experiences that ease and enrich daily life – rather than enrage or erode emotional resilience. You deserve a principled devotion to delivering more intimate encounters online. You deserve more understanding. More kindness. More connection. More time spent with the people you cherish.

Of course, you also deserve more than empty promises…

Together, we can create a kinder, more human place to socialize. To communicate. Share ideas. Reveal feelings. Inject light and levity into life’s tougher moments. 

That’s why we’re committing to a series of ironclad principles, embraced by our team and embedded across our product experience. Expect more of what’s good, more of what’s right, in every touch-point, prompt, and interaction on IRL. This effort isn’t fixed or finite–it will continue in perpetuity, as we pursue the ever-elusive prospect of engineering the world’s best place to reach out and connect with people and communities that you cherish.

Our 8 Principles For a More Intimate Internet

1) Real intimacy requires attention and intention.

Messaging is about far more than just thumb-talking. It’s about a universal human desire to live and exist in relationships. It’s about dialogue; not monologue. We, not just me. The perception of closeness is not enough; it is a real emotional alignment that permits and eases the exchange of personal feelings. It’s about building trust, and cultivating greater understanding, more frequent acknowledgment and affirmation, and expressions of sincere care and concern. Text may be the preferred format, but intimate context is what counts.

2) We’re investing in Digital Hygiene, Digital Literacy, and Digital Nutrition. 

No one ever taught us the basics of good digital anything–not as kids, not as adolescents, not as adults. We believe that a common understanding of “good digital” and good digital hygiene and nutrition is badly needed. That’s why we’ve made a major investment across these categories, including sixteen (16) patents in partnership with the world leader in Digital Nutrition™: AeBeZe Labs. We’re actively incorporating the latest findings in neuroscience to provide the right tools, prompts, and nudges to bring digital dialogue closer to the richness of encounters in real life (IRL).

3) Environment is everything.

A theater is captivating. A quiet library is less distracting. And a monastery generally lends itself to reflection. The power of place is undeniable and often overlooked. We are designing IRL moments, screens, chat rooms, and other app settings to borrow and optimize lessons from the physical world, to woo and wow people.

4) Emotions matter.

We must remember there are real people on the receiving end of our chat communications. We are committed to helping groups and communities to treat their interactions with more care. As a company, our goal can’t be keeping people glued to their screens with algorithms that favor conflict and drama. Creating a more accountable community requires a commitment to acting in good faith, to give comfort and solace, not create anxiety or fear.

5) Your well-being is impacted directly by every decision we make.

It’s deceptively easy to treat design or engineering as a theoretical exercise. Every pixel, gesture, vibration, and notification should improve your life. Your safety and well-being are of paramount importance to us. We believe it’s a sacred privilege to work with and for real people. And our design decisions must be shaped and informed by the needs of human beings: real people with real names.

6) We’re committed to wonder and awe.

We used to be in awe of technology. We still are, but it’s a given these days. Our vision is to rediscover the power of communication we find truly delightful and meaningful. We all want to feel and know that the world is (still) a wondrous place. We’re optimistic, and we intend to deliver more communication magic all the time.

7) Boundaries are essential. 

For good behavior to flourish, good fencing is required. That means rules and expectations that foster kindness, nuance, depth, and dimension in conversation and relationship building.

8) Progress matters.

We all tend to wrinkle or withdraw into despair when we sense that friendships or other intimate bonds are stale or stalled. IRL is, and will always be, designed to help users achieve a real sense of progress regarding intimacy in their communication(s) and relationships.