Lifebit: The 'David' of social networking

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

WHILE the Goliaths Facebook and Twitter eat up most of their users' time posting photos and comments, stalking and more, a social networking site that is set for commercial launch by end of this month veers away from what is "traditional."

The adage "life is just a game" says much about Lifebit, developed by Davao-based company Twidl Inc. under the helm of its founder and CEO Eric Clark Su.

He said Lifebit is a social networking site about "doing and reinforcing", which lets users enjoy the three pillars upon which it is built: introspection, inspiration, and motivation.


The introspection pillar makes it easy for users to quantify their passion, so that they can easily realign their works to their interests. By seeing people "doing fun and cool stuff", many can be inspired to join the loop and carry out quests on Lifebit.

"To post anything on lifebit, you have to actually do it," he said.

Meanwhile, Su added motivation will come into play with shopping, as points earned can be redeemed to buy items or avail of discounts at the merchant partners.

"We are working with City Tourism Office to connect with local merchants," he said, adding that they may tie up first with the city's top 10 consumer merchants and eventually go global.

It works simply by "gamifying" social network around life by earning points for every task completed under each badge provided for by Lifebit.

Lifebit has put up more than 40 badges. Among them include runner, romantic, foodie, bookworm, and thrill-seeker badges.

Prior to Twidl Inc., Su and his co-founder Jason Basañes were used to be game developers and passionate about anything about games.

But since gaming did little to no improvement on their lives, they worked their way to finding solution to fix the problem, thus the concept of Lifebit, putting in quests which users can take on to make life much better.

"It's not hard to do a diary, it's just boring. So, we thought of putting together the concept of games and diary. Same idea and same approach," Su said.

"On the other side of the coin, we only have one life here in the world so we need software to help us get most of that one life," he added.

Lifebit has now earned 22,000 active users from all over the world, mostly from the Philippines. But when officially launched, the numbers are expected to grow by leaps and bounds.

"With people abroad now having smartphones and data plans, we are expecting more users," he said.

Su added university students from Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Standford like the concept Lifebit and want it be rolled out as well in their campuses.

"We may be going back September or October or next year, depending on the schedule to launch it in their campuses," he said.

Su was first known as the winner of ON3 Pitching Competition in 2011 with their entry Piclyf, a photo-only sharing site. But since Instagram made it big back then, they could hardly make it in the mainstream.

Piclyf became dormant and after a while, Twidl Inc. revived it on around P4.5 million support coming from Ayala-led Kickstart Ventures Inc. In early 2013, they changed Piclyf to Lifebit with promising features.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 21, 2014.


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