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The manifesto

It does not have to be this way.

It does not have to be anxiety and fear-inducing, addiction feeding, attention-seeking, always-on, omnipresent.

It doesn’t.

Under a pragmatic lens, webchat has not changed much since its inception. Yes, we added a splash of colour. Yes, we polished it with emojis, stickers and GIFs, we included cute little indicators such as “Now online”, “Last seen at noon”, “John is typing...”, “Seen by everyone”, alas the song remained the same. The core concept has not fundamentally changed. It remains limited. Repainted yes, but limited by the technology of yesteryear.

Then social media entered our lives and the idea of togetherness gained a whole new depth. There was so much new information to digest, so many new ways of keeping in touch, of being seen and heard. It was a big party and everyone was invited.

This new way of the world has us digitally connected, always-on, so much that we should be all be feeling socially fulfilled, right? Yet, this does not happen. Yet, we are increasingly isolated. Increasingly depressed. The tools that promised to showcase the best of ourselves, created idealistic versions of an impossible life. All because we can't fit into the slots they give us. We're complex by nature. We're multiple different people. We're someone when talking with colleagues from work, we're someone different when catching up with our family and we're someone else entirely when hanging out with our buddies. How can we fit that into a perfect little profile?

Moreover, the tools that promised to help us were instead fighting for our attention, inducing addictive mechanisms into our brains, raising walls between us via tailored feed algorithms, constantly reprogramming us to check our phones for novelty, to feel the need for connectivity, to feel the fear of missing out and, ultimately, to constantly compare ourselves and to beat ourselves over and over again.

It does not have to be this way.

Technology is a tool to help us, to empower us. Technology cannot be the new drug on the block. That’s why we want to bring people closer.

This trend means that actual conversations are becoming increasingly rare. There's mounting evidence for it. Check your phone for social media and social messaging apps. How many notifications do you have that ended up being ignored? How many unreads? How many unwanted notifications? How many times is your phone begging for your attention? Only for that to keep you away from people and push you further apart? The most ironic part of social media and social messaging is that despite the “social” in their name, they mainly focus on the individual.

If you open your conversations, you’ll find most end up being one of these:

Mendes · CEO & Founder
1 hour ago
What time for dinner again?
Gabriel · CTO & Co-Founder
1 hour ago
Are you cool with 9pm?
Mendes · CEO & Founder
1 hour ago
OMG! 🙈
Gabriel · CTO & Co-Founder
32 minutes ago
First Black Hole Ever Detected Is More Massive Than We Thought
Mendes · CEO & Founder
30 minutes ago
Huh, that's actually really interesting!
Gabriel · CTO & Co-Founder
30 minutes ago
Right! I wasn't expecting it!
Rafael · Designer & Co-Founder
24 minutes ago
My AC is broken, can't stand the heat here right now!
Mendes · CEO & Founder
5 minutes ago
So uh... About dinner?

Or maybe:

Mendes · CEO & Founder
20 minutes ago
What time for dinner again?
Gabriel · CTO & Co-Founder
2 minutes ago
Are people cool with 8pm?
Seen by everyone
That’s not how we communicate.
We don’t sit around a table shouting random topics, trying to make some sense of it. In the "physical world", that would be pure chaos. However, it's what happens in the so-called "digital world". It happens daily, it happens every time you receive a flurry of notifications. We never truly have actual discussions, we barely have any deep connection with someone else.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The main problem behind current digital conversations is that they are iterations over an old concept that hasn’t been rethought properly. The first chat came out in 1973. It was called Talkomatic and it was implemented given the technological limitations of the time. That same almost 50-year old format has barely evolved since. We're at the dawn of Web 3.0 and we're no longer bound by those same limitations. We want to bring conversations and interactions forward to this new age. We want to usher in the age of DAOs, embrace the pseudonymity and the complexity that constitutes each one of us, we want to redefine the concept of online identity and bring it into a new era of digital interactions.
Furthermore, friendships have evolved beyond the group of neighbours and local connections. The Internet tore down the walls and now we have more opportunities than ever to find communities we relate to, regardless of being physically near to them.
When we think of conversations in our daily lives, the current digital model is not what we imagine. Think about a conversation with your group of friends. What do you picture? We picture happy times in an outdoor caffé with them. We picture sunny days, joyful and carefree moments. Not mindless swiping on a feed and chaotic shouts. That sunny caffé is the experience we want to give you. Joyfulness. Peace of mind.
Closer is our take on how digital interactions should be.
It’s not a social media app and it’s not a social messaging one either. It lives somewhere in between. It's not an app that sucks all your attention but one that is there for you when you need it. It's a tool you can use, one that places the collective interactions in the centre, not the individual.
Closer is for your close friends and your communities.
Closer doesn't have extraneous noise. Less is more. But Closer is also more, adapting different multimedia formats to help you communicate better. Closer is for content creators. Closer is for your pseudonyms, for the complex person you are, for the private person you are and for the public person you are. Closer is for the new web, a decentralised social hub, backed by Web 3. Closer is for the new age of digital interactions.
Closer is for everyone.
We don’t care for advertisement companies. We don’t care about hoarding your data to sell to the highest bidder. We care about you. We want to build a product you love, one that helps you feel the difference in your relationships. A product that helps you connect, that is by your side when you need it, not one that concocts a need.
We want to reimagine the concept of social messaging. We want to rethink how people connect online. We want to show you there is another way. One without anxiety, without the chaos, without making relationships a hurdle. One where the conversations you have online are similar to real life. One where you can be who you truly are.
We want to bring people closer. Not divide them.
To do this, we need you. You are the most important piece of this adventure. Join us, help us shape Closer and make tomorrow happen sooner.
Forever yours,
The Closer Team
Rafael
Gabriel
Mendes