We are stuck in a web of social networks. And, needless to say we love it. As much as we love to socialize, its also a fact that we hate being unable to post comments directly on a website and go to social network sites instead. Paris based startup youmood.me figured out the need to expressing oneself anywhere on the web by just a click. Alexandre Pikiakos, co-founder and CEO of youmood.me considers it as “Pinterest of opinions: Its a magic button to express yourself anywhere on the web”. Alexandre founded this startup along with his schoolmate at engineering and Sciences Po Nicolas Colin who is also now the cofounder of The Family, and Jean-Baptiste Soufron, secretary general and the French Digital Council. A team of 8 programmers, designers, researchers and marketers, they have put in a lot of effort to build innovative platforms, apps and did a lot of R&D. youmood.me is the culmination of this hard work, thinking process and beta-test.
When SFM journalist asked about funding in the initial days, Alexandre told us “We got funding from business angels and are laureates of several French innovation-support systems: Oséo and Scientipôle Initiative (both funds for startups in the Paris region), Jeune Entreprise Innovante (a special status for tech startups) and Proxima Mobile (a competition dedicated to mobile initiatives for citizens). Despite a common criticism against entrepreneurship in France, we benefit a lot from this environment. Plus our office is near Notre-Dame, which is really pleasant!”
It was a pleasure talking to Alexandre and getting to know interesting facts about YouMood.me. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation:
SFM: “A button that allows you to leave comments and read those of others, all over the web.” ~ How does youmood.me make this happen?
Alexandre Pikiakos: We created a magic button that anyone can install on his or her web browser. Just like Pinterest, you can click it whenever you want. It makes a small box appear on your screen. Inside, you can type your reaction to the webpage you’re reading and read those of others. When you don’t like something, you can just blacklist it, and never be bothered by spam again. If you don’t feel like saying anything, you can also navigate through users’ opinions all over the web.
SFM: Which sites does youmood.me provide access to for commenting? Is the youmood.me account on any and every site?
Alexandre Pikiakos: It works on any website. You choose when you want the youmood.me box to appear: you will never have to re-create an account to leave a comment, ever. If you stumble upon a website where it does not work perfectly, feel free to let us know: http://youmood.me/en/feedback
SFM: Will account creation always be free on youmood.me?
Alexandre Pikiakos: It’s free of charge AND of advertising, and will remain like it forever, we promise.
SFM: Right now you’re on public beta, when do you wish to go for the public launch?
Alexandre Pikiakos: We just went from private to public beta and launch a bunch of improvements: users can now follow or blacklist others, attribute “moods” to contents, tag users. They get notified when cool stuff is happening. We’re currently getting a lot of feedback: further improvements will be determined by our users.
SFM: Are you going to come up with any mobile app as well along with the desktop version?
Alexandre Pikiakos: Of course, the ubiquity of youmood.me would not be complete without a mobile app! We will launch it by the end of the year (both tablets and smartphones, Android and IOS). It’s going to have the same use as the desktop version: you will be able to surf the web and leave comments anywhere.
SFM: Is youmood.me accounts applicable for a global audience or specific regions in and around France?
Alexandre Pikiakos: We created it so that it can be translated in any language within one or two hours: the point is for it to be used by the largest audience possible. Now we have English, French and Italian. A few days ago, a Spanish blogger wrote an article about us, it made us feel like translating it in Spanish right away! Anyone can participate and suggest a translation for us. Rare, code or even imaginary languages are tolerated!