Twitter legend plans social network that 'feels'

23 June 2015 - 02:01 By ©The Sunday Telegraph

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone may be one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, with an estimated net worth of $200-million (over R2.4-billion), but he is still a hippy at heart. A college dropout and a vegan, Stone lives in a place called Marin County, north of San Francisco, which is known for its natural beauty. He has a philanthropic foundation that funds charitable projects in areas such as education, the environment and animal welfare.It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that the purpose of his latest venture - a visual social network called Super - is to "inspire empathy".He said: "I know it sounds eye-rollingly, hallucinogenically optimistic and hippy dippy, but I feel like emotion is missing from other social networks. There's a space in the world of social media for a more nuanced, more emotional, more emotive way of communicating with one another." Super is an app based on the idea of expressing emotions using superlatives.Stone, who has a strong interest in graphic design, is particularly inspired by the art of Barbara Kruger, whose work consists of black-and-white photographs overlaid with declarative captions.With Super, the user can choose a starter phrase like "the best", "the worst", "the craziest" or "the sexiest", and finish the sentence however they like. The statement is then turned into a colourful banner and pasted across an image of their choice.He said: "The science behind the idea is that an image plus a few words or a phrase increases cognitive and emotional comprehension by more than 40%, compared to either one alone."He said the deciding factor in its success was "fun"."If something is fun then people are more likely to use it."

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