Twitter founders unveil next social media project amid mystery

The company that made Twitter just unveiled its latest project, Lift. There are sparse details about this new venture, and it's already questionable as to where it can fit in.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

The minds behind Twitter are embarking on another social media project, dubbed as Lift. The project is not open to anyone yet, but anyone who is curious about it can already sign up for a notification for when it is ready.

Biz Stone and friends over at The Obvious Corporation have reviewed minimal details as to what Lift will entail. For now, all we have is a fancy-looking landing page with an elevator and the slogan, "Achieve Anything."

So what is this social network going to be for? Business? Creative minds? Anyone? CNET reports that the Obvious Corporation was rebooted this year to produce "systems that help people work together to improve the world." Thus, the business or productivity angle of some sort seems more likely.

If you submit your email address for launch information, you'll get the following hints in your inbox, penned by Tony Stubblebine, CEO and co-founder of Lift:

What is Lift? We're interested in ways new technology can help unlock human potential, especially through the use of positive reinforcement. That's all we can tell you right now.

So, since we don't have a ton to tell you about Lift the product, here's a little bit about Lift the company:

We're a small San Francisco-based startup. There are three of us full time, Tony Stubblebine (me), Jon Crosby, and Connor Montgomery. We also have some part-time support from the folks at Obvious.

It's really difficult to see where the Obvious Corporation is going with this. They've probably made it so confusing and mysterious just to generate a lot of hype, which could turn out to be a real let down. (Remember Microsoft's Project Pink that eventually became the doomed Kin phones? Yeah, that turned out real well...)  For all we know, it might not be a social network at all.

Yet, ReadWriteWeb seems convinced that is the form that Lift will take. Specifically, ReadWriteWeb reports that Lift was originally called "Mibbles," which makes one thankful that they changed the name for all sorts of reasons. (For one, they wouldn't have been able to use the shiny elevator graphic on the front page.)

Continuing on, Mibbles was supposed to be a platform in which users join groups with funny names (Happydog??) and give themselves awards based on achieving goals. It vaguely sounds like a network with features taken from Google+, Facebook and even Foursquare with those awards. (Badges, anyone?)

Based on ReadWriteWeb's assessment, this looks like it could be a social media platform for corporate Intranet networks, somewhat like Salesforce.com's Chatter or Cisco Quad.

Although at least Chatter is known to be doing well, there is still some room for competition in this particular social networking playing field. The battle between Google+ and Facebook right now has proved that social networking for the general public is a crowded market, leading many critics to think one will kill off the other at some point.

It's hard to pinpoint what void Lift could fill that these two already haven't. Thus, hopefully the Obvious Corporation steers clear of trying to compete with Google+ and Facebook altogether or else we might be looking at a big flop when this is finally introduced.


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