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I don't know if this is too self promoting, but I'm part of the YC SUS 2019 program and I'm building a product that addresses the issue of messaging lock in, as well as data privacy.

I'm building Thread - an ad-free, private social network for groups. It's an alternative to Facebook (Messenger and WhatsApp), iMessage and GroupMe. It's the best way to connect with, share content to, and interact with the people in your life.

It's a limited release right now (still in alpha), but please sign up and check it out at https://thread-app.com/register. EDIT: it only is available on desktop web at the moment to US based users. Anything else will most likely give you an error.

E2E encryption is something we are considering building. Right now, the promise is no-ads, no front-end tracking, and no selling data to third parties.

Happy to chat more about it and answer any questions (maybe this isn't an appropriate place for that discussion).




Seeing as apps like Signal and Telegram already exist and seem to do exactly what you say... What is different about Thread?


Sounds like a great idea. I'm a huge +1 to E2E encryption and mobile support – I'm looking for something good to replace WhatsApp.

Minor bit of very biased feedback – the name "Thread" is quite overloaded. Thread (my employer) is a clothing recommendation service, ThreadsStyling is a luxury fashion concierge, Thread Group are an IoT specification, Open Thread is an implementation of that spec I believe.


Yeah, I figured it was. I'm quite open to a name change (http://www.paulgraham.com/name.html). I have some ideas in mind. Thread is temporary at the moment.


How about Message.in?


or yMessage?


Can't seem to access the site. Could you elaborate on how Thread solves the problem of messenger lock in? Is it federated like Matrix?


What do you bring to the game now that Matrix exists? It's federated, E2E encrypted and clients are coming up nicely.


Site is currently broken.

Are you using ActivityPub &c?

Even if it is somewhat bulky, these linked data standards are the way to ensure you are creating the most open, reusable data possible on the largest stage.


FYI, the website is broken in Safari. Syntax error in the JS, totally blank page.



Love this XKCD. My response, as it might apply to what I'm working on, is that I don't just want to build a new messaging standard. It has to be radically better than alternatives to be sticky.


Yeah, I hear you -- but it was just so perfectly set up for it..




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