Glamour magazine USA

Want To Dish To Your Best Girlfriends, But Not All of Facebook? Luluvise Lets You Curate a Clique From Your Facebook Friends

Ever wanted to share a status update with a few close friends—if he finally made a move; how he kisses; whether you finally fit into those jeans you bought when you were at that bachelorette in NYC—but felt it was too private for all of Facebook to read about? For some there’s Luluvise , a new social networking site for women, but only women, which allows you to curate a clique of Facebook friends without letting anyone else know they weren’t invited.

Started by co-founders Alexandra Chong and Alison Schwartz, the Sunday Times recently dubbed Luluvise “It’s Sex and the City meets Facebook.”

“It all started the day after Valentine’s Day in 2009,” says Chong. I needed to give my girlfriends ‘the scoop’ on a date but they were scattered all over the world. The details were juicy, so I didn’t feel comfortable posting them on Facebook. Three telephone calls, many BlackBerry messages and texts, and two Skype calls later, I said: ‘Why can’t I tell this story to all my best friends at once?’ Luluvise was born: a social network dedicated to young women and the central role that best friends play in their lives, health and happiness.”

Looking through their Facebook friends, Luluvisers can create an “Inner Circle” of good friends who she trusts and wants to confide in and dish with. Then she uses the site’s “scoop” feature to issue what amounts to private status updates, just for her and her inner circle. There’s a photo option too, so that the narratives a Luluviser creates for her inner circle can be illustrated. For example: “Should I wear the cotton panties (pic), the black sheer (pic) or a thong (pic)?” or “Should I go out this weekend with Jeff (pic), John (pic) or Fred (pic)?” (Obviously, John is the right answer).

Over the next months and years, I think we can expect many startups to try and capitalize on chunks of Facebook’s massive social sphere, playing off the more and more specific social circles that will inevitably pop up: Bulls fans, hiking enthusiasts, furry fetishists, church groups, etc. But the creation of private circles of women makes possibly the most sense of all: at the risk of perpetuation stereotypes, groups of women are known more for dishing private info than say, Bulls fans (in fact, women account for 70 percent of messaging activity on Facebook and spend 35 percent more time than men using social networks).

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Lulu and Santa sittin’ in a tree…

The holidays are all about family time, winding down, and relaxing (at least, they are if you’ve got your shopping under control, the presents wrapped, the cards written and the parcels mailed).  They’re also a time for one more shortbread cookie, one extra scoop of stuffing, one last glass of red wine.  It’s a marvelous blend of snuggling up in front of a fire and overindulgence, and it all seems to have this wonderfully domestic feel to it.

But life being what it is, we know there’s always some level of intrigue, drama and scandal brewing somewhere.  So, don’t forget that Luluvise lets you find out who’s been kissing whom under the mistletoe.  Stay connected to your Inner Circle this holiday season.  Because, let’s be honest, your family might drive you a bit nuts in all this festive glory… and no one keeps you more sane than your BFFs.

Love,

LULU

The Sunday Times- OMG, Sex and the City meets Facebook

Days after the launch of Luluvise, a private social network for women, founder Alexandra Chong recalls how it took two years to fulfil her dotcom dream

■ It all started the day after Valentine’s Day in 2009. I needed to give my girlfriends “the scoop” on a date but they were scattered all over the world. The details were juicy, so I didn’t feel comfortable posting them on Facebook. Three telephone calls, many BlackBerry messages and texts, and two Skype calls later, I said to Alison Schwartz, who became my co-founder: “Why can’t I tell this story to all my best friends at once?” Luluvise was born: a social network dedicated to young women and the central role that best friends play in their lives, health and happiness. Think Sex and the City marries Facebook.

■ I was working at Upstream, a mobile marketing company, so nights and weekends were Luluvise time. I found a digital agency, Glow Labs, and sent them half my monthly pay cheque to build a prototype. One year and three versions later, we had a model that worked and it was time to find some finance.

■ My first angel investor was Alexios Vratskides, chief executive of Upstream, and with his investment, I went full-time on my start-up. Passion Capital and Profounders, whose backers include Brent Hoberman of Lastminute.com and Bebo’s Michael Birch, then came on board. I raised $1m (£643,000) by July. The investors are also my mentors; they provide much more than cash.

■ Once I had the funds, the next challenge was hiring the team. I’m a first-time tech entrepreneur without an engineering background, so finding talent — and fast — was difficult. I called and emailed everyone I knew for referrals and posted ads on job boards. After hundreds of CVs and interviews, my first key hire was Ole Mahrt, who worked at Skype. Now we are 12. If I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that the team is everything.

■ Eileen Burbidge, one of Passion Capital’s partners, encouraged me to set up our office at White Bear Yard, in Clerkenwell, London. There are 10-plus other start-up chief executives there to bounce ideas off and share best practices.

■ At a Downing Street reception, Rohan Silva, David Cameron’s senior policy adviser, reminded me that when he first visited our offices in August, Team Lulu consisted of an intern and a couple of freelances. By the time Cameron came on his Tech City tour last month, we had grown to 12 employees.

■ Last week we hit our first big milestone. After working days and nights for two years, Luluvise is now live. It’s an amazing feeling. In the next weeks, we will focus on getting members and improving our product. The response in our first week has been incredible, but we still have a long road ahead.

Herald Tribune Latin America- Women’s Social Network Luluvise Launches

NEW YORK — Luluvise, the new platform dedicated to “girl time, all the time,” officially launched its site luluvise.com today.
A month ago, the company announced that it had secured $1 million in financing from prestigious US and UK investors and Alexandra Chong, CEO and Founder of Luluvise, met with UK Prime Minster David Cameron during his Tech City tour in support of startups and innovation in London.

Luluvise is a private social and communications platform helping young women keep connected with their best friends. It allows young women to hand pick their closest friends and create a private network of girlfriends they actually care about.

Female friendship is about sharing, gossiping, shopping, chatting and supporting each other. With its unique features, the Luluvise platform streamlines “girl time” activities to safely re-create the patterns of close female friendship, targeted at the most expressive and communicative demographic online: women, who generate more than 70% of the messaging activity on Facebook, spend 35% more time on social networks than men, and drive 80% of all consumer spending.

After a particularly successful Valentine’s Day date in 2009, Chong wanted to share the juicy details with girlfriends, many of whom were scattered all over the world, but she didn’t feel comfortable posting on Facebook. Three telephone calls, a slew of BBM messages, a few text messages, and two Skype calls later, she said to her friend Alison Schwartz, who became her co-founder, “Why can’t I tell this story to all of my friends at once?” And Luluvise was born.

“Best friends are essential to health and happiness for young women. We created Luluvise because sometimes life (work, school, family and other obligations) gets in the way of that ever important girl time. I knew that if I needed something like Luluvise, so did other women,” said Chong.

“Luluvise chose December for its public launch because between all the retail insanity, eggnog excess, mistletoe action, and family drama, girls need their friends to survive the holiday craziness,” said Schwartz..

“Launching while the holidays are in full swing is a great way to show how useful Luluvise can be to young women around the world,” said Chong. “If you need advice on how much to spend on a gift for a new-ish boyfriend, a place to vent about crazy Aunt Judy, or if you need in-depth analysis of which New Year’s Eve party will have the cutest guys, Luluvise is there to keep you sane and totally connected with your best friends this holiday season. You might be in London for Christmas, she might be in New York for Hanukah, but Luluvise lets you shop, gossip and obsess just like you’re sitting together in a Statistics lecture.”

Luluvise.com is targeted at young women ages 18-35. Each “Luluviser” can create an “Inner Circle,” which is a private and secure space accessible only to the friends she trusts the most and with whom she is comfortable sharing private details. The “Scoop” feature allows users to share their latest news, dilemmas and gossip in four different ways.

The Text and Photo Scoops let girls share their news and pictures with friends in an easy-to-use format that encourages discussion of the minutiae of any saga (“I bumped into my ex-BF at Starbucks and he looked c-u-t-e. Look at my Christmas tree! So, I kissed my brother’s boss last night… do I have to tell him?” explains Chong).

The Poll Scoop lets Luluvisers create their own Q&As, complete with photos to illustrate the options, for quick, gut instinct advice from their BFFs, wherever they may be. For example, you can create a poll for New Year’s Eve outfit options: (a) strapless lace, (b) miniskirt and tight turtleneck, or (c) black jeans, high heels and a sparkly top. Or a poll for that most classic holiday dilemma: to return a gift or not.

“Polls can also save the day when you’re doing last minute shopping but running out of ideas. I need a present for my dad, help! (a) golf balls, (b) a tie, (c) books – any suggestions? or (d) a session with a trainer,” says Schwartz.

And then there is the notorious WikiDate Scoop. “A WikiDate Scoop is a pre-set quiz that enables you to review a guy – your current crush, your BF, your ex-BF, or your best guy friend – and let your Inner Circle know what you really think about him,” says Chong. “When you create a WikiDate Scoop, only your Inner Circle will know that you reviewed a particular guy and only your Inner Circle will see any additional comments you make. The guy will never know it was you. Luluvise.com takes the score from your review and averages it with the scores from other ‘Luluvisers’ who have also reviewed the same gentleman. Your score contributes to Luluvise’s ever-growing database of dudes.”

“Think Sex and the City meets Facebook,” says Chong.

read more here…

A love letter to Lulu- Red Rook Digital..

Luluvise: a love letter

Confession: I love Luluvise.
It’s not something I’ve used, nor will I (having entirely the wrong set of gametes) but I think it’s a game changer.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of it yet, Luluvise is a Facebook-integrated women-only social network created by Alexandra Chong.

Let me break that down:

This is a new social network. Been done before, right? Lots of times? Not like this.

How do you create a new take on the idea? It turns out that it’s simple. You change who builds the network.

Luluvise is the brainchild of Alexandra Chong, who set out to design a network for women by women.

Luluvise’s registration process is tied to Facebook accounts. This allows them to screen applications to enforce their “girls only” policy, safeguarding the key concept and easily differentiating the site from the myriad of other social networks.

It’s aimed at women, to the exclusion of men. Quelle horreur!  It’s a site where women can go and talk about things that they share an interest in, without male involvement!

There has been some hand-wringing about excluding half the population. At last count, Facebook had something like 800 million active accounts.  So, in context, this means that it’s a social network that will “only” ever be able to reach 400 million active accounts.

Luluvise allows its members to rate their exes. Again, more hand-wringing, ignoring that this happens daily in real life, and on any number of male dominated sites.

What does all that mean? I think its genius. Going back to George Colony’s LeWeb speech, social is running out of people and hours.  To compete with behemoths like Facebook, you’re aiming at a very small number of current non-adopters. Luluvise dodges this pitfall through its relationship with Facebook. Over time, I hope the relationship becomes more weighted to Luluvise’s favour, and (I suppose) the end game must be symbiosis.

Its barrier to consumption is also its USP.

Its USP is its promotion (and people HAVE been talking about it).

My biggest hope (aside from its continued success) is that it doesn’t try to scale too quickly.

Good luck, Alexandra and team.  You’re making something extraordinary.

JB

Vanity Fair Italy- Luluvise, the social network of women

Luluvise, il socialnetwork delle donne 

Luluvise, the social network of women
A social network just for women. It has Luluvise.com two days of life, but apparently it is already gathering acclaim around the world. A private place where women can talk freely withmen, and even where you can vote.

Some people called it “A Sex and the City of social networks,” FORBIDDEN fun and the boys.If you are already members of Facebook, you can use your user name and password of the social network by Mark Zuckerberg, and in a few seconds, you find yourself in a world of pink: “We tried to make things as simple as possible” , Said the founder Alexandra Chong.

Toronto Star- New social network caters to global gossip girls

First step, kiss. Second step, tell.

Ladies can now share all their salacious dating details with their closest girlfriends on Luluvise.com, a social network exclusively for women.

And in a gimmick that should make any man with a Facebook account sweat, women can rate the men they’ve dated on their manners, attractiveness and sexual prowess — with all results displayed publicly.

The brainchild of Canadian-raised entrepreneur Alexandra Chong, 30, Luluvise (Lulu for her nickname and vise for advise) aims to mimic the patterns of close female bonds online.

“Life is pretty fast paced and it’s just tougher to get together,” Chong said in an interview from London. Luluvise gives women that experience online, and in a few weeks, on a mobile app.

“You can have your girlfriends in your pocket,” Chong said.

Dubbed a “blond bombshell” and one of London’s most eligible startup CEOs by Real Business, Chong got the idea for the network after a particularly successful Valentine’s Day date two years ago.

Frustrated with the amount of effort it took to spread the scoop to her best friends (three phone calls, two Skype sessions and dozens of texts), she decided to create a platform to share gossip in one go.

Chong’s network, which launched Tuesday, not only attracted $1 million in funding from high-profile venture capitalists, but also garnered her a visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron last week as part of his “tech city” initiative.

The network could be an advertising goldmine if it attracts enough users. It’s targeted at 18 to 35-year-old women — the demographic deemed social networking “power users” by Pew Internet research.

Chong envisions partnerships between the site and major brands such as L’Oreal, in which users would dish on mascara or lipstick. Thousands of women from 69 countries have signed up since the launch, Chong said. The average woman has just 4 to 8 friends in her “inner circle,” Chong explained. Women can send photos, texts and polls to their BFFs to get immediate advice.

The most popular feature is undoubtedly Wikidate, where women rate the men in their lives and publish their opinions for all to see — without the men’s knowledge.

“It’s the intrigue and interest — sex sells,” Chong said.

While hundreds of poor men have already been outed as bad kissers, Chong defends the tool. Such evaluations happen anyway and the questions are “lighthearted,” she said.

“The balance is trying to make sure it’s not an evil tool — it’s not going to ruin anyone’s life,” she said.

Men can request to have their reviews removed, Chong said, and the site does not allow for public commenting on men’s profiles. Luluvise is incorporated in the U.S. and operates within its privacy laws, Chong added.

Canada’s privacy commissioner has yet to look into Luluvise, said spokeswoman Anne-Marie Hayden, but referenced the office’s high-profile tiff with Facebook.

“Two significant themes that came out of the Facebook investigation were transparency and control,” Hayden said. “Does it give individuals the ability to control personal information about them on the site?” she said.

Although Wikidates is the “pull” to the site, Chong believes women will stay for the meaningful and efficient interactions with their closest friends.

“It’s going to catch on like fire for sure,” said John Pliniussen, associate professor of internet marketing and innovation at the Queen’s School of Business.

He drew parallels between Luluvise and Facebook’s origins. Facebook was originally a site where people could vote on who was more attractive. Harvard forced Mark Zuckerberg to shut it down.

But the real question, Pliniussen added, is can Luluvise can convince women to stay once the novelty wears off.

Julia Petit- Women’s network

Translation

Women’s Network

More a social network was launched amid the flood of sites springing day after day, to make us more connected. The new network is rather aimed at a female audience and is calledLuluvise - literally a Club of Little Lulu. In this network you can ask her friends to think about more private, post photos and text and make notes for your ex. In this aspect, the idea is to create a database with the scores of boys for all they know exactly where they are getting into.

Even British Prime Minister David Cameron took a break in the negotiations of the crisis in Europe to learn more about the site. 
 Photo: Reproduction.

 


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