April 20, 2023
The technical answer is probably no, but the nuanced answer might include some yes-es. I’ve been calling Tosslet a social media alternative of sorts. A better description might be a one-way social media alternative. Nobody is directly responding to any messages (known as Tosses) on the platform. Instead, community relevant information and events are tossed out to anybody nearby.
Yes (there’s that first yes), there’s a small fee involved to toss a message, but this price range should be reasonable for most community groups. We have both a pay-per-toss approach and a yearly subscription. At this point, we are also an invite-only platform on the tossing side. Despite that, anybody can download the free mobile app and catch messages without being tracked or having to worry about their data being sold. For most people, we collect zero information at all and we don’t track your IP address or use your GPS.
The real ‘yes’ to this question is that the goal of the Tosslet platform is not to addictively have people scrolling through the app, but instead to find relevant events and information nearby where they can gather (ahem, be social) with people in real life. These gatherings will likely be in-person, but they could be virtual or have virtual options knowing that the typical attendee would be interested because they are a local community member.
On the mobile app, the people catching messages never sign-in or create an account. They select a location and a distance surrounding that location. You can’t use your GPS - instead type in a location that interests you. And - if you can’t stand seeing tosses from a particular thrower, you can hide all of their future messages. But, if you really like someone’s tosses and want to be informed when they toss again - you can use the Follow feature and choose to be notified when they toss a new message. This way you don’t have to stare at the app - which we don’t encourage anybody to do for any extended length of time. We want you engaging with your community, not stuck scrolling on your phone.
We think this one-way social media alternative would be especially useful for public libraries, small local governments (or maybe larger ones?), and other community focused groups. Food trucks would also fit in nicely on the platform - so if you have one of those and want to join, send me an email for an invite code: firstname.lastname@example.org
One amazing perk of a one-way social media alternative like Tosslet is that you don't have to hear your neighbors argue! At least not directly back and forth in a long online comment thread like you see on the local Facebook groups or in the Nextdoor app (have you been on there lately?).