Antem will be a new messaging platform, launching next year, that will provide an alternative for people who want a different kind of social network.
Here's an overview of the main features which are as follows:
- Interest-based networking
- Professional and personal use
Antem will feature a simple extension system that downloads extensions directly from GitHub with a fully featured API and permissions system to protect user data. Antem will explain what capabilities extensions will be given before installation. Only permissions you grant will be given to the extensions.
The first hackable social network
Power users will also be able to write their own extensions that, for private use, will have even more internal access3 to Antem, making Antem the first hackable social network.
Antem will use modern features to provide a smooth experience on the web, and on mobile apps.
Antem will use a proprietary shell (the "Antem Shell") for web and mobile experiences. This will take advantage of local caching to provide instant update delivery and offline4 support (even in your browser!) without draining your data plan.
This also means that Antem will load nearly instantly on mobile and the web, regardless of your internet connection.
Say goodbye to loading screens
Antem will include a directory of "networks" that people can join based on interests, hobbies, or locations. Within each network, friends can be made, groups can be created, and public channels can be opened for a variety of communication options. Notifications can be configured on a weekly schedule, so we won't wake you up in the middle of the night or interrupt your Sunday drive.
Professional and personal use
Antem will provide premium subscriptions for groups, schools, and even large companies. Rather than making people install a separate app, your members and employees can simply use the same app that they're already familiar with from their personal communications. And yes, you still get the same end-to-end encryption that Antem prides itself in. And yes, you read that right.
Professional and personal in one app
You can still the same organization and management features you've become used to from apps like Slack, without teaching users a new service.
When does this launch?
Within a few months or so, Antem will launch a crowdfunding campaign. The results of that compaign will largely determine when Antem launches. I do not intend to rush the launch; I have been developing Antem since January 2018, and I want to take the time needed to ensure that Antem is stable and sustainable.
What's the business model?5
The current plans are to display non-intrusive ads within Antem. I hope to implement an in-house ad system that won't compromise user privacy (for example, ad targeting would be handled client-side). As well, premium subscriptions would be available for private/managed networks and for increased user storage capacity (limits on photo/video storage).
Monetization that won't interrupt the user experience
Antem doesn't have the starting capital that other services run by massive corporations have, so we can't afford to lose money for a few years to get off the ground. However, the goal is to develop Antem such that the subscriptions don't interrupt the user experience. Antem will still be free and usable at the free level. Most users will have no trouble staying on the free tier.
Why make Antem?
The original idea of Antem was going to be a simple quick-and-dirty chatting app that simply used the Slack API to process chat messages. This app would be for my own private use so that I could add my own small features to the app. I needed something I could modify and hack, but since no other apps provided that, the best option was to make my own. The first plans for Antem were super primative, but I eventually got thinking that maybe it could be a cool public project.
A different kind of company
Over the past year, the plans for Antem have morphed significantly from being a primative two-week side-project to being a fully independent social platform. This is where the second motivation comes from: privacy. I used to rant so much about Facebook (and sometimes other companies) that other people grew tired of hearing my ramblings, so I found a new way to satisfy myself: solve the problems.
Today, my goal with Antem is to be a different kind of company. Since I'll be in college for the next few years, I mostly need Antem to just pay for itself for now. This way, I can keep Antem at it's roots without becoming "poisoned" by profits. I also want to prove that things like targeted advertising and random-access data can be achieved without infringing on user privacy.
Antem is small. Really small. A one-man-army trying to challenge the biggest of the biggest, while praying it surivives the inevitable attempts to embrace, extend, and extinguish. However, I plan to embrace Antem's small size and connect more closely with users, while also focusing on efficient code (rather than simply throwing more programmer-hours into the app). With a simple, intuitive user interface, Antem should be a breath of fresh air for technical users, while also being a new interest-based social experience for casual users.
More information about Antem will be posted on this blog.
Contact Antem: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Applies to private communications only. Public (including "unlisted" or "non-indexed") communications are not encrypted.
3 To reduce risk of malware, extensions downloaded from external sources will be restricted to a limited set of permissions.
4 Initial setup, sending and recieving messages, and other network-dependent operations require a network connection.
5 This is a draft which may change significantly before and after launch.