Smartphone social media application Salmon Social
was unveiled to the media April 23 at the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State University. The application, which provides users with demographic information about restaurants, bars and other social venues in real time, is set for public release on the iTunes Store Thursday, May 1.
Unlike social media sites and applications like Twitter or Facebook, Salmon Social would rely on limited user information, including a username, occupation, employer, location information, age and gender. Once a user is in a location, he or she has access to information about other Social Salmon users in that area, including access to user profiles and real-time demographic information about the people occupying that space. It's information Salmon Social founder Bryan Payne said would help facilitate social interaction in the real world.
"People don't want another network," said Payne. "The whole idea is just trying to get people to talk to each other."
Also unlike Twitter or Facebook, which Payne sees Salmon Social joining as "the next big social app," it would need to be adopted by a large number of people practically simultaneously.
"In this model, everybody needs to start using it all at once," Payne said.
Ultimately, Payne said he'd like to see as many as 70 million people using the app, but he's giving Salmon Social 90 days to sink or swim—looking for proof of the app's success, like being able to walk into a Boise bar or nightclub, turn on the application and see that other users have been—or still are—there.
Payne said he chose to launch the application in Boise because it's a regional hub, and because he believes he can rely on community support to produce the initial growth of the app that would be necessary for it to succeed. The app will be free to download and revenue will come from paid in-app advertisements or selling demographic information to local businesses.
"That data is something that's valuable to someone and could be packaged and sold," he said.