Noplace, a Twitter-MySpace mashup for Gen Z, hits #1 on the App Store

Aiming to put the “social” back in “social networking,” a new app called noplace has shot to the top of the App Store after its no-longer-invite-only launch on Wednesday. Designed to appeal to a younger audience (or anyone who wants to connect with friends or around shared interests), noplace is like a modern-day MySpace with its colorful, customizable profiles that let people share everything from their relationship status to what they’re listening to or watching, what they’re reading or doing, and more.

Noplace had already gone viral before its public launch thanks to its feature that allows users to express themselves by customizing their profile colors, which boded well for potential in the often tough consumer social media market. While Gen Z may not have grown up with MySpace and all its chaotic customizations, there is still a sense of nostalgia for a social networking experience they never had.

“I think that magical, fun part of the internet doesn’t exist anymore. It’s all very uniform,” says founder and CEO Tiffany Zhong, who previously founded her own early-stage consumer fund, Pineapple Capital, and, in her teens, worked at Binary Capital, helping them find early-stage consumer offerings.

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Zhong, who has tried every consumer social app over the past decade, has a keen eye for the next big thing. In 2015, he singled out as the startup that would become the next Snap or Twitter, for example, after noticing how popular it was with kids and other younger users.

He also often tweeted his product insights and analysis, particularly about consumer apps, which allowed him to gain a following on social media. Given his background, it’s no surprise that Zhong has well-developed ideas about what might appeal to today’s younger users in a new social media app.

Image credits: There is no place

“I’ve always loved social stuff,” he says, but adds that social media no longer gives him that sense of being social. “It’s all just media. It feels very disconnected.”

In part, that’s because all of our content is now highly personalized, the founder says. “We’re looking at different content and [following] “We have different interests than our friends, so it’s harder to find a community,” she says.

With noplace, the idea is to provide a place where people can follow their friends and find others who share their interests all in one place.

The app offers a customizable mini-profile where users can share what they’re currently doing and personalize it to reflect their interests. Users’ profiles can include tags, which the app calls “stars,” which are interests or topics they’re interested in. For example, users can add their astrological sign, their Myers-Briggs personality type, their hobbies, or their fandoms to their profiles, making them easier for others to discover. It even has a “Top 10 Friends” section, reminiscent of MySpace’s top 8.

But Noplace looks more like a global group chat or Twitter/X rival than a Facebook alternative, as it focuses on text-based updates and doesn’t currently support photos or videos.

Image credits: There is no place

“Facebook 10 years ago—or Facebook when I was using it in high school—was all about interesting life updates,” Zhong says. “We don’t have that anymore, do we? You can keep going [friends] on Instagram, but they are still featured, less updates.”

Also, on Noplace, users are required to share what they are doing at the moment, not what they have already done. If you are in a new city or seeing a show or listening to a new band, those could be your status updates. The app offers two channels, one with your friends and another global channel of all the app’s users, and both are in reverse chronological order. There are no private profiles.

People who indicate they are under 18 will also receive a more moderated feed. The company focuses on moderation, for which it has created its own internal panel and has assigned a team to ensure the safety of users.

Image credits: There is no place

Instead of algorithms, noplace leverages AI technology to generate content suggestions and curation. The app doesn’t edit your feed for you, but instead uses AI to do things like offer you summaries of what you missed.

“We did it intentionally… having a public, global feed is what makes it so fun. It’s like everyone’s brain on paper,” Zhong says. “People have a lot of fun with it. They say, ‘I’ve never had an app like this before.’”

The founder, who is based in Tokyo and San Francisco, started working on noplace in the second half of last year alongside a full-time team of seven remotely distributed people. Late last year, noplace launched into an invitation-only beta phase and “accidentally went viral,” Zhong says, prompting the team to distribute some invite codes to early users, which included some K-pop fans.

The app is now poised to offer younger Twitter users an alternative to the network now known as X under Elon Musk, as it offers the same ability to post to a text-based feed but combines that with friend-finding features and customization options that appeal to its demographic.

The app is free to download on iOS and available in read-only mode on the web. Monetization plans are not yet in place.

Noplace is backed by investors including 776 (Alexis Ohanian), Forerunner Ventures, and others. According to PitchBook data, the company raised $15 million in a Seris A1 round, at a pre-equity valuation of $75 million, bringing its total raised to over $19 million.

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