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The Short Version: By promoting real-life activities, Kuende has changed what it means to be a social media network. The platform inspires a community of people who don’t just sit at home and post stories — they go out and live stories. Kuende powers new friendships and relationships thanks to its gamified “Challenges,” which encourage users to attend meetups, concerts, rallies, games, and other social gatherings. Challenges focus on sharing common interests and enjoying real-life experiences, so Kuende users can always find romance and adventure in their area.
I still remember when I first heard about Facebook. I was in high school, and a friend told me about a new website that let you share photos and play games. I asked if it was anything like AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), which was my go-to social hub at the time.
“It’s so much cooler than AIM,” my friend told me. And she was right. As soon as I created my Facebook profile, I left instant messenger and became hooked on social media.
Throughout my young adulthood, I used Facebook to keep in touch with my friends by reading their statuses and sending messages or pokes whenever I missed them. Social media has the potential to connect people across vast distances and make them feel less alone, but it can also have a negative impact on mental health. Some experts even suggest social media can lead to anti-social behavior and a negative feedback loop of jealousy, insecurity, and online addiction.
Fortunately, Kuende is an up-and-coming social media platform designed to break the loop and foster healthier interactions online and offline. It offers a newsfeed full of “Challenges” to explore, engage, and enjoy activities IRL.
In 2014, the Kuende team recognized the flaws in social media and created a platform that reinvigorates relationships, lessens screen time, and prioritizes authenticity — all while giving users full control over content and privacy.
“We at Kuende are happy to provide an online environment that gives back power to the people,” said Maria Dinca, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Kuende. “The concept itself is created to get users out of the house and into the real world. It’s designed to make them create meaningful relationships with like-minded people in a fun and engaging way.”
From the beginning, Kuende has invited users to become more involved in the community and explore the social scene. The newsfeed gives you lots of fun ideas and ways to put yourself out there. The platform’s most popular feature is its Challenges, which prompt users to visit rooftop bars, attend speed dating events, play a sport, and have unique IRL experiences. Users earn Achievements for every completed Challenge.
Kuende’s mission is to get singles and couples to live in the world — not on their phones — and it promotes lots of contests, events, and other opportunities to socialize and get to know people.
In 2018, Kuende used blockchain technology to upgrade its token system and offer more value to users. The Kuende team decided it was important to decentralize its platform and give uses more control over the network and its gamified economy. As a result, Kuende raised more than 18,000 ETH from the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and used the funds to further perfect its social network.
“Since the very beginning, a gamified approach to social media interaction was already deeply embedded into the inner workings of our network,” Maria explained. “Therefore, blockchain came as the next step for Kuende.”
Thanks to its innovative business strategy, Kuende has gotten the attention of world-famous advisers, investors, and colleagues in the tech industry. Many forward-thinking individuals are intrigued by the idea that technology could help users disentangle themselves from technological addiction, and they have supported Kuende’s efforts to transform social media.
As more people become disenchanted with social media platforms, the Kuende team sees an opportunity to provide a meaningful alternative and build trust with users seeking a more secure and engaging online community.
“People have become more aware of the damage that social media does to our mental health,” Maria noted. “Truth is, we can’t fully let go of social media, but we can create networks that have the user and his well-being in mind.”
Kuende CEO and Founder Pavel Antohe is a former professional gamer, and Co-Founder Rafa is also a passionate gamer, so they understand the power of high-tech games to bring delight, to instill camaraderie, and to open people up to new ideas and people. Kuende has turned social networking into a game by offering Challenges sponsored by companies, users, and Kuende itself.
“It is safe to assume that gaming is in our blood,” Maria said. “Kuende itself represents a gamified environment where you are rewarded for your daily activity, you unlock achievements based on your activity, and soon you will also be able to win and purchase Digital Goods like in any other game.”
Kuende will launch Digital Goods so that users can put their Kpoints to good use. These collectible and tradable goods will give users something to shoot for as they navigate the site and choose to take on different Challenges. The Kuende ecosystem rewards users for their engagement and creates an active community by giving incentives for every comment, post, and completed Challenge.
Looking to the future, the Kuende team plans to continue bridging the gap between users, businesses, and influencers. Its impact can be seen online and in the real world. The social media platform endeavors to connect people through shared interests and give them the chance to meet at real-life events, and it has inspired many friendships and relationships that way.
In 2020, Kuende will be seeking a $4 million investment to help the company grow on a global scale. The team intends to expand its reach in the Asian market and make Kuende the go-to social network for users who are tired of ordinary and looking for extraordinary.
“We also believe that technologies such as AR and VR will be implemented into social networks,” Maria said. “For this reason, we have started working closely with experts to find how can we adapt these technologies to Kuende and provide users with seamless experiences.”
Since the rise of Facebook and Twitter, social media has become an integral part of daily life. Over 3.4 billion people use social media, and 88% of 18- to 24-year-olds have at least one social media account. Some of these platforms focus on keeping people glued to an endless newsfeed and vacuuming personal data, and they fail to provide meaningful tools to bring people together IRL.
Kuende has taken a different approach to social media by prioritizing in-person interactions. The platform offers fun features that empower users to express themselves, push their boundaries, and connect with like-minded people. The social network is full of spontaneity and creativity, and its original Challenges inspire unique real-life outings all the time.
The Kuende team got into the tech industry to set users free from technology and remind them of the joy to be found when unplugging and meeting people the old-fashioned way.
“In the social media space, we expect to see more features and products that nurture offline activation more than online retention,” Maria predicted. “Social media is changing at a very fast pace and we are happy to be part of the movement.”