Because in-person events are postponed until who knows when, the recent announcement that IRL — a calendar app for events — is pivoting to online event promotion and has launched a web product intrigues us.
IRL: In Real Life to In Remote Life
IRL first emerged on the app scene as a “social planning app.” IRL, initially known as “In Real Life,” was created to help people find friends who have similar interests in their communities, TechCrunch reported.
Recently, however, the app has changed its approach because of — no surprise — COVID-19. The app now “aggregates live virtual events,” and on May 6th, the company released a web version of IRL.
“Through API partnerships with YouTube, Twitch and Spotify, as well as user-generated content, IRL (which now stands for In Remote Life) wants to aggregate all the virtual events across the globe into a curated, categorized home page,” TechCrunch reported. “That may include an e-sports tournament, a virtual concert, a Zoom cocktail party or a webinar.”
Users also can use the online social calendar to follow their friends, television shows, live streamers, podcasts and more.
IRL Web Presence
IRL’s web presence allows users to do a few new things:
1. Users can follow content producers
2. Users can receive alerts concerning individual events
3. IRL also has added an “Add to Calendar” button that content producers can place on their sites. “For now, that ‘add to calendar’ button embed is only available to select partners, with a waitlist for others interested in adding the button to their website,” TechCrunch added.
In a recent interview with TechCrunch, IRL co-founder and CEO Abe Shafi explained that in the future, IRL would focus on making money, but his “current focus” is to gain “ a critical mass before flipping on the monetization switch.”
“The way we think about making money is around monetizable intent,” Shafi said.
“When you’re on Facebook or Instagram, your monetizable intent is pretty low because you’re interested in what your friends are up to. Whereas, when you’re on Google your monetizable intent is really high because your intent is to find something and go somewhere else. Our monetizable intent is much closer to a Google search than it is to a Facebook or an Instagram in the sense that people come to IRL to go to other people’s content that they’re monetizing in one way or another.”
What This Means for You
Content producers, cam models and clip makers could use IRL to plan online events and gatherings with friends, fellow creators, business partners and fans. IRL’s one-stop online event planning and tracking capabilities could prove useful to some people.
However, we have one main concern about IRL …
So, as it always is with apps and other online platforms meant to help you manage your life and calendar, consider your privacy before signing up, and if using a new app is worth your time.
Access IRL’s app at the Apple App Store, or Google Play. Check out IRL’s web presence here.
Abbie Stutzer is a queer, non-binary writer living in Kansas City, MO. You can find them doing witchy stuff at home with their numerous pets or at the local animal shelter saving lives. Contact Stutzer via firstname.lastname@example.org.