Ujoolt, one of the 16 startups selected in the LeWeb Paris Startup Competition, is officially launching its real-time geoocalized social network. The service, available for download on the iPhone App Store as well as on Google Play, integrates with Facebook and Instagram, creating a map of all photos, events, and check-ins posted on the two networks.
Founded in December 2011 at a BeMyApp weekend hackathon by Paul Breton and Xavier Plèche, the startup was quickly picked up by La Banque Postale for their Coup de Coeur Program, which helped them raise €5000 on crowdfunding site KissKissBankBank. The startup soft-launched their iPhone & Android apps in October, after having tested the apps in May as the Festival de Cannes.
“What’s a jolt?”
The app allows users to create jolts – essentially a tweet, which can be accompanied by a photo or video of no more than 15 seconds. Once created, jolts are visible on the map for 4 hours, and notifies users within 1km of the location where it was created or tagged. Jolts can continue longer than four hours if they are “rejolted,” which is liked or promoted (read: retweeted). Rejolting increases the lifetime of the jolt by one hour, and also increases the radius by 100m where users become visible to users.
The product sounds, for now, a lot like a map of your twitter feed – and I’m not sure that this is exactly what they’re going for. I have seen many geo-localized networks come around, trying to get people to talk about what they’re doing locally. Obviously, at events like LeWeb, this can easily build traction. The real question will be whether, like Highlight and Glancee at SXSW a year ago, these apps will continue to be interesting to users outside of conferences and tech-only events. Do the general mass want to see what people are saying around them?
I might also add that, while this startup didn’t quite make my list of French startups with bad English names, they may very well make a second edition – the combination misspelling of ‘jolt’ and appreviating of ‘u’ – I imagine they’ll have a lot of reactions similar to “Ohhhh, ‘You’ ‘Jolt'” at LeWeb this week.
For LeWeb, I’ve decided to download the iPhone application to see how it works – are you on and at LeWeb? Jolt something!