Gabi is not someone you know, she is not your friend next door nor your brother’s girlfriend, she is not even a she after all. A much more different Gabi is making news here.
A new startup from as far as Berlin, loui AppsUG is making Facebook more interesting and personalized to as real as following status updates relating to one’s mood and preferences.
The startup, loui Apps was founded in Berlin late last year. The startup has come up with an app now fully integrated with the giant social network and can be used to comment ,like, tag, browse through events, statuses, comments or swipe through videos as you rank them relevant or unwanted without leaving Facebook.
TechZulu caught up with Stefanie Hoffmann co-founder Ioui Apps. This is what she had to say.
What is Gabi and why the name?
Gabi is a new way to use and visualize Facebook, a totally new experience. Everything is sorted and ranked according to what is important to you.
Gabi is personal, cross-cultural, and ‘gab’ means, course, casual, endless way of talking. Of course we were thinking also on the expression “gift of the gab(i)”.
Gabi is nearly eight months old. We started thinking about new ways of interacting with social networks in November 2011. The idea was getting mature and by end of June we had the first version.
So, you are the founder and CEO?
I was the CEO of aki-aki and Gabriel Palomino was the CTO. We found ourselves working with each other in our spare time, dreaming up new products. It made sense that we’d become co-founders next and we found Ioui Apps.
I am also a founding member of the MLOVE advisory board, honorary judge at the Lovie Awards. Palomino has 12 years experience in the mobile industry and the firm’s’ creative mind. We have been serial entrepreneurs since we knew each other.
So why Gabi?
The amount of data in social networks and the amount of social networks are growing with the time. Every time we have more friends, more followers, more and more content is generated.
All this is happening as social media gets more and more important in our lives. We share news on our walls, attend events, visit places and friends and follow them and their recommendations and reply to their invitations. Even e commerce is becoming social.
So Gabi makes it easy to interact, help users make daily, control what they see and with whom we want to stay in touch.
At Ioui Apps we believe in the idea of creating a new interaction system for social networks.
Who are you targeting?
Any Facebook user with an iPhone, iPod Touch or an iPad.
What drives you at Ioui Apps?
A very practical way to give solutions to existing problems. We like to think stupidly simple and avoid complexity. We will succeed where all the rest fails.
Was coming up with such an app as Gabi a walk in the park?
Of course not. There were loads of challenges; each single detail was a challenge to us. But because we like perfection, we reviewed and tested before moving to the next development stage.
Gabi is a complex project, all the magic is happening when the app is out but thousands of hours of hard work were put in; that’s why it looks this pretty
Is the storm over now?
Sometimes our name appears close to Flipboard or the new Google+ client.
Any word from Facebook?
Yes, we’re in touch with Facebook and they are giving us a valuable feedback and support.
Any mentors or VC’s?
No mentors and no investors so far, we are open to discussion.
What do you like about the US startup scene?
People in US are very optimistic and positive thinking. That is a very strong quality that probably makes them unique. We love the dynamism of the US startup scene, you want something and you can go straight for it, there are no so much waiting… it is a very collaborative atmosphere. No fear of failure.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
We like to make new products, it was not a decision to be an entrepreneur, I guess it is the only choice.
What’s next on Gabi plate?
We’ve just started; we are preparing a lot of new features. We are getting very excited just designing them! Some of the new features are related to new ways of sorting your feed, something else than likes and comments.
Any interesting stats, user testimonies?
One interesting stat we would love to share with you is that the average user is spending more than 16 minutes per session. We also have feedback from some of our users, we receive emails like, “Gabi makes me fall in love with Facebook again.” Or “I deleted my Facebook App now I use Gabi.” And “Gabi has become my favorite hangout for facebook. Love you to bits :)”
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