A new site called uberlife hopes to solve that dilemma for you by connecting people in the real world. Whether you’re looking to find out where the hottest Happy Hour is, or you’re at a convention and want to find out where people are meeting, uberlife can lead the way.
Uberlife is based in London with employees across the globe. I recently spoke with its CEO, Sanchita Saha, about their site and plans for the future. “Uberlife is our new location-based, real world socializing community to help people find friends and like-minded people to hang out with offline, as frequently and spontaneously as they do online.”
“Wherever you go, you can gather friends and friends of friends using uberlife wherever you want to hang out. You can go for a drink, go for coffee, go shopping, go to a concert. Whenever you want company, uberlife is the place to search for friends to hang out with,” explains Saha.
Uberlife has a gaming element to identify and reward the social Connectors in a city. The site gives a member a point for being a Connector, that means setting up a hangout where at least two people gather. The idea is for a business, such as a restaurant or pub, to give discounts to uberlife Connectors to encourage hangouts to be organized there.
Uberlife is planning to have local and global leader boards of Connectors so you can see who the Connectors are in your area and how they rank globally.
According to Saha, the most popular type of hangout so far has been concerts, followed by drinks after work. The third biggest type of hangout is at festivals and conventions, people wanting to get together and connect. “People are coming from all over the world and already have a like-minded element so it’s a great opportunity to meet other people.” About half the hangouts are spontaneous and the other half are planned up to a week ahead of time.
Uberlife is free to join but is invitation-only. To sign up with the site, you need to connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts and wait for an invitation to join. You can also download the iPhone app to see if there is a hangout near you. Showing up to a hangout and checking in with the app earns you a membership in uberlife. You can also join uberlife by getting an invitation to join from a current member. Each member can invite up to five other people.
The uberlife iPhone app has been out in beta, but the full-fledged app was launched this week and allows you to search for a hangout, check in, set up a hangout, post about a hangout and take pictures at hangouts for posting on the uberlife website. You can also search by #tags if you want to find a hangout with a special interest. (Owners of other types of smartphones can visit the mobile site for uberlife.)
Hangouts are open to all other uberlife members, there’s no option for private hangouts. The idea is to connect with others and meet new people. “When a hangout is posted on Facebook or Twitter, the prefix is always ‘Come join,'” says Saha. “The more the merrier.”
Saha says the company is mindful of safety concerns. To restrict access, uberlife is invitation-only. A member can’t follow another uberlife member unless he shows up at a hangout and meets the person. There is no people search feature, you must show up at a hangout to see who is there.
If you’re visiting London, Uberlife has a treasure trove of hangouts for you. Other cities in Europe, New York and San Francisco also have hangouts listed. The site is global and has had hangouts organized in places such as Paris, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, South Africa, Berlin, San Francisco and New York. “You can travel wherever you want and know that you can have a community of people to hang out with, to welcome you,” says Saha.
If you’re headed to the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, be sure to stop by the uberlife booth and say “hi”. Also check for uberlife hangouts in the Austin area during the festival as plenty of hangouts are already posted.
Uberlife is quickly expanding into new cities and is looking for people to be Ambassadors, using the app and reaching out to others to get the site established. “If you’re new to a city, being an Ambassador is a great way to meet people,” says Saha. “You don’t have to introduce yourself. When people show up to a hangout, they already know who you are.”
If you want to be one of the first Connectors to start an uberlife hangout in your city, contact uberlife at firstname.lastname@example.org and offer to be an Ambassador.
Do you like the idea of connecting with people in real life? Would you like to meet new friends through uberlife? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Carolyn is currently enjoying some time in the real world, away from the Internet, and will return to post comments on Tuesday, March 13.
The uberlife iPhone app has been out in beta, but the full-fledged app launched this week and allows you to search for a hangout, check in, set up a hangout, post about a hangout and take pictures at hangouts for posting on the uberlife website. You can also search by #tags if you want to find a hangout with a special interest. (Owners of other types of smartphones can visit the mobile site for uberlife.)