If the name “Plag” sounds similar to “Plague”, that is by design. We have Twitter and other mass-communication tools, but this Lithuanian startup has put their own spin on the idea, creating a platform that allowing users to create messages and watch as that information spreads around the world (or doesn’t, if nobody else finds it useful).
Plag is available for free on Android or iOS, but it is possible to try it out here. The idea is that users can create a short message and send it out into the world, where others will pass it along, skip it, or leave comments. What seems to separate this from other services is that you are not able to follow specific users or hashtags. Rather, you simply receive the messages (questions or statements) as they come to you. Although users have the ability to shoot messages around the globe, they can also focus on a local audience whenever entering into a specific geofenced area.
CEO and founder Ilya Zudin tells me that they are more worried about continuing to develop the service than monetization at this point. The startup is able to focus on expanding the business as a result of external funding, to the tune of “lower-seven-digit” million Euro, from a group of investors that includes IMI.VC and private backers.
The platform has proven to be a hit since it launched in late November 2014, picking up 100K users just 6 weeks after going live. Although they are not revealing their total number of users until the next big milestone, Zudin says that 11% of users log-in at least 10 times per day, while 5% of all sessions last more than 30 minutes. The service is dominated by Europeans at the moment (59% of users), while 26% of users come from the United States and 10% are based in Asia.
Going forward, the startup is continuously seeking out partnership opportunities, such as with universities, event-organizers, and other groups, offering them this geo-fenced tool. They have also rolled out “folded cards”, which allow users (such as news organizations) to connect cards to stories.