Last week was an exciting week for Accounts. We officially launched on Thursday, November 6th!
The beta period was lengthy. Over 6 months. Although I first posted about Accounts back in May, we'd been working on the platform for quite some time even before that. So, this launch was a big one for us.
What is Accounts?
For those not yet familiar, Accounts is a contacts network that serves as your own “futureproof communication layer” for relationship retention. It's designed to be a cross-platform system that works with any device, operating system, or app/service.
On the surface, it's a sort-of “social, syncing address book” at first glance. — The idea is that you can add your contacts once, and then have pointers to whatever services those contacts use to communicate with others (and you!) in the future. By connecting within the simple context of, “what's your username or handle on ‘service XYZ’?” or “what app or email is the best way to contact you?”… this information can change or be updated anytime, but you'll still be in touch with everyone via this simple network.
Furthermore, you'll receive notifications automatically when contacts change their information or join a new app or service.
There are other perks to the service as well, such as our upcoming API for contact portability between apps, and also the ability to limit which of your contact information can be seen by your contacts based on the groups that you place people into. (ie. family, friends, work, etc.)
Rather than retain various overlapping social media accounts (with out-of-sync and incomplete contact lists) for the sole purpose of staying in touch on that particular app only, or fussing with updating contact information manually amongst contacts, wouldn't you rather just let the information be updated automatically while being in control of who sees it?
…Wouldn't you like a contacts system that supports all of your apps?
By bringing your contacts list here, it won't lose relevance as your needs and interests change. It frees you from the privacy-concerning constraints and excessive unrelated content-sharing on various social networks. You can stay connected through any other service now or in the future, while always retaining everyone's contact information.
I see the future of apps and social media being people maintaining lighter contacts lists within their favorite apps, honestly. There are so many nowadays that the fragmentation is getting out of control. — Maintaining a primary list of contacts in a contentless, platform-neutral environment really makes sense, and so Accounts is an exciting initiative.
Now that our first non-beta version has been released to the public, we're working even harder on what's next. Stay tuned, and please check out the app if you haven't already! It's the simplest way to stay connected, longterm.