A glimpse of how it all began
by Snehal Gersappa
I had always been a social media enthusiast, and as such, I was active on various social media and networking platforms through which I could share my experiences with friends, family and acquaintances. In fact, being millennial at heart, I have seen and experienced the birth and growth of Social Media and Messengers (Messaging apps) since 2008. I was so amazed by the fact that we could get in touch or find anyone in the world with just a click of a button. Messengers solved the problem of costly STD & ISD calls and to our surprise back then, it was all FREE!!
However, as years passed, these platforms began to get over-crowded. Soon, office colleagues, extended family members, etc. started joining these same networking platforms. This made sharing posts and experiences rather tedious, since you had to be careful and consider how every person who could see your posts would react.
I soon realized that I wasn’t the only one facing this rather new form of … well, irritation. Once, during a party, one of my ‘Gen Z’ friends expressed his discomfort with posts that he would otherwise have loved to share, owing to the fact that his Mom, Dad and even Grandma were all on the same social media app and could see what he posted.
Today, another disappointing problem with social media is the constant bombarding of sponsored content & targeted advertisements, due to which it seems like privacy has – as they say – “gone for a toss”.
Regrettably, the same phenomenon is occurring even with Messaging applications. The whole world seems to be in one’s chat list. It can get pretty annoying when anyone who has your contact number can keep on pinging you at any hour of the day. Then there are the several groups on these apps – friend groups, family groups, office groups, etc. Waking up to a 100 ‘good morning’ messages paired with the fact that even unwanted contacts could access my DP & online status was just too much. As a working professional, I was constantly obligated to reply to my bosses on these same apps and that made it difficult to maintain my work-life balance as well. Eventually, even my wife started getting friend requests from my grandmother and office acquaintances.
That’s when we wondered, “Hey! Why hasn’t anyone made it possible to segregate your actual inner circle online, wherein anyone cannot just contact you by simply searching for your profile on the internet or by having your personal mobile number?”
After identifying this pain point, we decided to do something to solve it. It was time to leave (one may even say ‘escape’) the masses and create our own private circle through which we could have better control over exactly who can interact with us and the posts we share. From then onwards, we started researching on user behavior and that made us realize that we were not the only ones experiencing this modern day challenge. The need of the hour was to create an app in which users could have better control over who could enter their virtual personal space – be it for everyday chatting or to socialization and self-expression.
THAT is how ‘Zlen’ was born.
With Zlen, you don’t have to bother about who is seeing when you are ‘online’, because you can choose who gets to see that information. No one will have access to your DP except your own ‘Zlenmates’, whom you have allowed through the entry barrier we call the ‘Zlen Code’. No forwarded messages every morning, no groups that you are obligated to be a part of, no more judgments on what you post or who you are. Zlen is your own private social bubble!