Is Funtle a flop?
When Funtle.com launched in February a promising set of expectations accompanied it. Plagued by the exponential success of popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, those who knew about the site imagined unbridled popularity. The creators of the site, Fatih and Mehmet Sen, were even featured on Fox 16 News.
But if you take a trip to the website you may finds it is, well, hollow. The environment formed around the idea of connecting people through interests seems to be getting very little interest itself. In two months it has raised 200 constituents, many of them seemingly inactive.
However, the Sens are not discouraged. “We are excited about the development of the site,” Fatih Sen said. “Two hundred isn’t a lot of people, but it isn’t a little either. I would say it’s a very normal growth rate for a starting site.”
“I think Funtle is a great website with a lot of potential. If Twitter and Facebook had a baby this would be it,” said one of the site’s users Cyrene Quiamco, junior art major. “I’m waiting on new features they come up with to convince me to check it more often.”
Since the site was opened to UALR the brothers have dedicated a lot of hours to doing just that. Funtle 2.0 has a simplified color scheme, design, and function making it more user-friendly.
“We have realized as people have been using it that it was as interest oriented as we wanted it to be.” Before, a new profile came with default interests, but the brothers feel that draws away from the purpose of the site. By following interests you are actually interested in, there is an incentive to return to the site. “We took the public feeds off the front page, and added features that encourage users to find and share interest. For example you can now suggest a user follow an interest. They have become more social.”
Other social networks seem to be joining this stream of social interests rather than just social thought. Just last week Twitter redesigned their front page with a large banner encouraging tweeters to “Follow Your Interests.”
In the meantime Funtle has also been opened up to nine other Arkansas campuses and the brothers have been working the Arkansas Small Business College at UALR to learn how to develop a business plan and find investors.
While the overall goal is to be a completely open community and establish a Funtle culture worldwide, the brothers insist on taking things slow, ensuring quality over quantity.