New startup FigTree aims to change the way we use social media

New startup FigTree aims to change the way we use social media

Summary: FigTree could be the new social network users have been waiting for with its promises to revolutionize group communication and empower its users.


Users who are frustrated by the constraints that social media communication imposes might be searching for a new social media platform.

Image: Facebook

It aims to deliver a platform that will allow them the opportunity for self-identity, self-representation, self-promotion, and self-regulation online.

If you think that this nirvana sounds too good to be true, well think again. Four brothers (Robert, Eric, Ralph and Stephen) Hilborn started to discuss the idea last Thanksgiving. They wanted to influence the changing world and the way that we communicate.

The Hilborns came up with the idea of a "group communication system" that "could solve many of the pain points currently felt by bloggers, social media users, group chat users, and every person wishing to explore the online world through conversation".

Image: FigTree Technology

From this idea, Perkasie, PA Tech start up FigTree Technology was created.

It launched itself onto the social media world yesterday with a blog, video and presence across social media channels.

Its Indigogo campaign aims to raise $30,000 through crowdfunding before August 2nd.

The company wants to raise only $6,000 to get to Alpha stage with a further $24,000 to get to complete beta.

This sum seems just a fig leaf in size compared to other tech project funding requests across the industry.

The crowdfunding campaign is encouraging users to donate, promising them a "distinct advantage above other users in promoting their content on the platform". 

Tiered levels of users are able to have an elevated profile that allow them to create more content than their peers. Special privileges in their FigTree profile will enable promotion of content and make it more visible to peers.

The company says that is is dedicated to providing "high-quality, web-based and mobile applications that allow users to diversify their social and collaborative endeavors while granting them unique control and direction over their subjective experiences".

FigTree brands itself as "A social media start up" that believes "we can all grow together" and it encourages supporters to "plant the first seed" financially.

It is "committed to making conversation organic, efficient, and streamlined while birthing a new generation of extraordinary creators and communicators".

Supporters can donate anything from a "Philanthropist" pledge of $5 to a $50 pledge which includes a free campaign "Tree-shirt".

The founders are dedicated to ensuring that the platform — when it goes live — will allow its users to be able to truly connect with each other in a "deeper, more meaningful way".

It would be wonderful to have a self regulating platform, free from jerks and trolls that would allow us to freely express our thoughts without fear of reprisals, bullying or flaming. 

Our friends might benefit if we could have the ability to share what life really meant for us — without editing our posts to portray the best side of us.

We may then have the ability to be remembered as the person that we really are — not the person we appear to be online.

Perhaps you feel that your life could only have meaning when you have the opportunity to exercise your rights such as liberty, expression, faith and love. Perhaps you want to commit do doing good and contributing to something greater than yourself.

If that is the case then FigTree could very well evolve into exactly the social network that you have been waiting for.

And if it does turn into the next Facebook, then you can be assured that you were there — right at the beginning.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Start-Ups

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • this idea smells fishy

    This article is 95% quoted from the vague nonsense that the "startup" provided. Startups for the sake of startups that appear to have no larger plan aside from an abiding conviction that they are entitled
    to other peoples money are why people think tech entrepreneurs are so phony. I would suggest that these brothers explain in greater detail what fig leaf intends to actually do, but I doubt they have any better idea than the readers of this apparently paid-for promotional article.
    • Thank you for the feedback!


      As a company that is extremely passionate about the systems, mechanisms, and designs it has created thus far, you can imagine the intense care that must be taken before sharing our work openly on such a powerful medium as the internet. The last thing a small startup company like FigTree wants is for the countless hours of research, design, writing, editing, and engineering, as well as dollars of legal fees, domain purchases, and tech expenses to all be lost as a company or individual with much deeper pockets and connections comes along and steals our ideas. This is the battle many creators face when they design something new. What should we release? How much should we share? We also understand that our message is quite vague at this time and it is thanks to passionate individuals like yourself with strong opinionated hearts that we can analyze our weaknesses. We will be releasing an infographic in the near future outlining more clearly the functions of the FigTree platform. We are also hard at work on designs for our landing page which will display a slew of information on our company as well as a demo video of the platform's features to help clearly and concisely explain what FigTree intends to actually do. It is also thanks to commenting sections like this very one that we can discuss and receive feedback from outside eyes, shedding light on our weaknesses. It is places like these that we feel users have the most power to be themselves and truly grow through discussion, conversation, and collaboration. We would like to invite you to view our landing page once completed and give your feedback throughout our company's progress. Thank you and feel free to offer your thoughts on what the future of social media might hold and where you're finding your meaning :)


      The Members of FigTree Technology LLC
      • uh

        why would anyone but loved ones give you money? Also, is the video intended to be humorous?