Are you looking to be a little more fashionable in 2014? Re.mu is a new social network for style lovers who would rather browse through Thrift stores and Etsy than buy high-end boutique designer clothes. The site was developed by Alvin Woon, the founder of Plurk a microblogging service similar to Twitter that’s big in Asia with 10 million users. Woon says that he wanted to create a site that is attractive to users who are already showing off their outfits via other 3rd party apps anyways like Closet, NetRobe and Stylitics. Users can also get validation on their outfits from friends and other users with similar tastes. Since launching a few months ago, the community now boasts 35,000 highly engaged users who post about 25,000 times a day according to TechCrunch.
Re.mu also offers analytics about local trends emerging in different areas of fashion and is targeting Asian and Spanish-speaking countries along with the U.S. For example, one recent trend discovered by Re.mu over the last two months was the popularity of floral-print leggings in Asian countries like Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand. However, 70 percent of users in those countries prefer to dress in monotone colors like black, white or grey, and Re.mu is excited about the potential of its data for fashion companies and social scientists.
So what will set Re.mu apart from well-established competitor fashion sites like Lookbook.nu, Chictopia, StyleMob, Pose, Tagbrand or the other half million fashion blogs on Tumblr though? Woon believes Re.mu has unique capabilities that include a machine-learning algorithm that adapts to your clothing tastes based on your favorite color combinations, body type and local trends.
Re.mu still has an uphill battle to attract the top fashion brands, though, and building a new community is never easy, a similar problem Woon has faced with Plurk. “I think after a while, I began to realize that I’m good at building communities, but maybe not that good at trying to make money out of them,” Woon says. “But I’m pretty good at building stuff and getting people to come and play with it.”
Re.mu has a clearer path towards monetization than Plurk because of the consistent fashion vertical. “Plurk is a six-year-old company and I think we can agree that at times we lost track of what we were trying to do because people were trying to go for bigger targets, like how many millions or billions of users we could have,” he says.
“It’s a matter of trying to create a medium where newcomers don’t feel left out when they first get a taste of the network. Then after a while, you need something to keep them hooked,” he says. “As their friends join, are they going to get the feeling like if you like an indie band and then it gets popular and then you start not to like them anymore because now even your mom knows about them? We want to preserve a tight-knit social network as we grow.”
Learning from his past efforts, Woon hopes to keep the Re.mu fashion community tight-knit with a strong purpose and sense of intimacy.
Are you thinking about upgrading your wardrobe soon? Where will you go for inspiration?