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A new social network aims to connect people from around the world through their mutual love of coffee.
‘Over Coffee’ markets itself as a site about “coffee, people, travels, and about the shared experiences that take place over a cup of coffee.”
Users can create their own profile page by registering their details or by logging in using their Facebook account.
They can then upload photos, chat about coffee, or use the interactive map to check out coffee shops in their area or upload details about their favourite cafes.
There is also an online store that sells coffee beans, mugs, espresso machines and other merchandise.
Special interest social networking sites are a growing trend, with new sites focusing on Lego and music festivals springing up in the last few months. The popularity of creating mass niche networks has been bubbling under the surface for years.
Just this Friday Meebo CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg told Adweek.
Investors are asking, ‘What are other networks of people?'. LinkedIn owns the professional network. Facebook owns the friends network. No one expects an up-and-comer to supplant the category leaders, so instead, market watchers are looking to niches beyond “professionals” and “friends.”
Over Coffee could prove to be a success as sharing a coffee is already a popular social experience, so in way it is just offering an online platform for a social network that already exists offline. The demand is there already: Philip Wilkinson, co-founder of specialist group-buying site Keynoir, after selling it to Time Out, recently started a gourmet coffee subscription service called Kopi - one of many popping up around the world.
The ‘Coffee Stories’ section encourages users to blog about their experiences and submit them to be published as ‘featured stories’.
Users can also make connections and meet people to share their experiences over a coffee.
There is also great scope for monetisation – as well as an e-commerce platform, the interactive map could be used to sell location-based advertising.
Interestingly the store also has plans to launch brick-and-mortar coffee shops to take its social experience offline. This would surely be the first time that a cafe has sought to build a global customer base before even selling its first cup of coffee.