Let's talk TipTalk - a newly launched app that connects the general public to major online and celebrity influencers through a messaging service. Recently I stopped by the launch event to speak to one of the creators of TipTalk. Zach Melamed is an avid app creator whose success has lead him to creating numerous of technology based platforms such as LaunchRock, which was acquired by Funable.com. With any of these ideas, the most interesting part is the inspiration and what problem will this exactly solve.
“One of my co-founders was at dinner with a friend and the friend was trying to get in contact with an influencer they were actually friendly with, but couldn’t get a hold of them. So my friend said, off the cuff, 'I wish I could just pay this person to talk to them so they would respond.' That kind of lead us into this process like, oh what if you can do that? Why doesn’t that exist right now.”
The organic nature of coming up with this idea is the reason this app is one to watch. With brands now leaning towards influencers almost over celebrities to expand their visibility on social media platforms, this is not only useful on personal levels, but is also great for both established and start up companies for marketing purposes. It has become difficult to reach out to major influencers as many of them have been signed to huge branding agencies where you now have to talk through other people to reach them. TipTalk gives you a personal connection to the influencer or celebrity you’re trying to reach by cutting out the middleman.
When sitting down with the sports legend, Rick Fox, I wanted to find out more about his background in the technological based sporting arena.
First, I wanted to to find out more about eSports from Fox’s perspective.
“ESports is this generation's professional expression when it comes to professional athletes and their mastery. Because of technology and video game play and how accessible it is because of our devices, there are now massive fans viewing the content. “
You’re probably wondering how massive of a fan base? According to Fox, 29 million people viewed the NBA finals last season, and 32 million people viewed the League of Legends worldwide finals in its last championship. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t experienced it about 5 years back myself. I was hanging out at a friends house and when 2 a.m. rolled around, he grabbed his computer, went on to some website and started to watch a stream of OTHER PEOPLE playing the game. He was a professional gamer himself, but I had never known of a concept of watching other people play online.
With the technology industry a large interest for Rick Fox, it was only natural for him to have a hand in TipTalk. As someone who came from a sports background, I asked him what the most intriguing part about this app is for someone him and what exactly someone on the other end can get out of it.
“There’s a mentorship opportunity there. I didn’t grow up in social media interaction with sports when I played, but I caught it at the tail end. A lot of social media feels like people talk at me, and in some cases it feels opinionated and aggressive. [With TipTalk] I’m feeling that we’re giving a bridge and an entryway where there’s a conversation that’s richer, where there’s a real exchange that happens. I feel like I’m leaving someone with information or a little fuller than when they came in with the question that they may have had. “
The advantage of this app is there is a cost, which may be listed as a disadvantage for some, but I think it’s actually better than if it were free. With this cost, you can assume they are being paid to have a part in the app. This means the influencers or celebrities that you are reaching out to have an incentive to actually respond. And the cost on the users end is practically free based on the direct connection they can have with the influencer.
The interface is also very easy to use. Super simple, straight-forward categories and when you click on the possible person you may want to speak with, you have all of their information there - name, bio and their follower base amount.
Overall I think the idea is honestly useful. There is a need for it and it solves a new problem created by Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. As a person who works in social media and marketing, this is such a great networking app that can help improve communication with someone you may want to work with.