Below is our recent interview with Tobin Brogunier, CEO of USpace:
Q: What problem is USpace solving?
A: Publishing networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook efficiently centralize information fast enough to bring down governments. Meanwhile at work, we’re bogged down in cluttered, dysfunctional email inboxes, where any email can easily be sent to the least secure server on the planet without anyone’s knowledge.
There’s a certain kind of matrix reality we’ve all accepted when it comes to online inefficiency at work. I admire the old school nature of business, and I believe strongly in phone calls, but we are 20 years into a new decade and business is dependent on a patchwork of technology from the last century that is not secure or organized.
By re-engineering the social network from the ground up to protect user identity and allow for totally discreet interactions, USpace makes it possible to use a powerful global network for work and real life business.
Q: Who can use USpace?
A: As a business product we had to accomplish what email has accomplished: Accessibility to the global public. So our design choices were based on making the experience of USpace something anyone could adopt. To that end, my retired mother has been using the USpace iOS app on a 2013 iPad for over a year from her Maine farmhouse.
Facebook and other networks made the public fluent in Post and Comment structure. So we took the new language the public now understands and built a useful privacy service in that language. Now you have Facebook for brag, stalk, and argue; and USpace for getting work and real life done safely in private.
We do everything within our power to protect you as a user. We have no third party access, because that is the source of most platform breaches. We encrypt your data twice on dedicated servers, which are not Amazon Web Services. That makes us more sovereign and accountable to you, the customer. We don’t take your data, and we don’t control what’s in your feed, because you are better at deciding what’s important than an algorithm. With enterprise business, excellent customer service is a must. You benefit from that as well.
Our business model is based on providing businesses privacy, great service, and efficient outcomes. As a Public Member, you have the same privileges. Instead of capturing your time so we can serve you more ads, we want you to get your business done easily to free up your time.
By building an app where we govern every aspect of your experience within our control, we have been given this amazing opportunity to create that new space for people to experience a new digital freedom. It’s very humbling. I take this responsibility seriously.
Q: How is privacy possible on a social network?
A: On USpace all the spammers, scammers, stalkers, randos, mobs, propagandists, politicians and programmers pulling algorithm strings and soaking up your data – all of this clutter and invasion that is baked into our online and connected lives right now, what we call Unwanted Guests – are blocked from USpace by default.
USpace is the most discreet and private communications network available to the public, including Telegram and so-called privacy apps like WhatsApp. We have replaced user discovery with total privacy for our Public Members using a proprietary connection protocol Advanced Permission Design. No one can even be certain you are on USpace until you accept their connection request. And to connect, you are identified by an email address you use in real life, so your connections know it’s really you, a human.
When you start USpace, you have only one connection to USpace Support. Once you remove that connection, no one and nothing in the world can see you on USpace. I guess it’s a bit like outer space, a bit lonely at the start. Early adopters set up USpace for high priority tasks where email, messaging, phone and text are failing. Businesses use USpace because they need a dedicated channel to their clients and a way to organize work.
For Public Members just trying it for personal communication, I suggest a group of 3 or 4 people, like a family or friend group. You can send out multiple connection requests at the same time using just email addresses. For your personal business, USpace is useful for even a single purpose. If you are a client, get your lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor on USpace to secure your communications, just to protect yourself.
As you see the benefits of privacy and an efficient system of information exchange, add more tasks to your USpace command and control over time.
There’s no rush and USpace is not for your extended network. We say keep Facebook for acquaintance maintenance if you want that. USpace is simply a great online place to safely conduct important business.
Q: Why did you make USpace?
A: As an adult, I’ve moved around a lot, but I grew up in Bangor, Maine, literally in “Little City.” I’d say I’m unusually close to my high school friends and my family as well. So for years, I was using Facebook to “connect with family and friends,” which is said to be the primary mission of Facebook.
Around 2016, I realized Facebook was actually uniquely bad at fulfilling this mission in my life. Given how charged things were at the time, every major news story was a fresh nightmare and loyalty test. Facebook made my important relationships worse and my unimportant relationships far too important.
At times like these, we need the insights of people like my late father, an editor and English professor who spent a lifetime trying to understand human nature. Back in 2008 when I explained how publishing on Facebook worked, he thought a minute and said some prophetic words: “That’s going to be a problem.”
Back then I thought he was being a snob. But it was his understanding of how people mix with a powerful tool like publishing that gave him insight into the endgame of social media.
Ten years later, I started building a network with my own understanding that any media amplification chamber with hundreds of millions of people; no walls; and a business model that financially rewards published deception creates a market for a sane alternative.
What we need right now is a place to safely be human online. So I built that place. On USpace, many common platform features are removed to protect you. No user search. No access for Google search, web crawlers and online data scrapers that build surveillance databases without your knowledge. No data mining. No algorithm programmed with shady priorities to sort information your brain can probably sort better.
USpace is technology that accommodates humans on our terms. You aren’t locked into 2D version of yourself you try to make acceptable to all 891 of your “Friends.” USpace was built with personal boundaries we use in real life. You are free to be yourself in different contexts.
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Q: What role do businesses have on USpace?
A: Imagine if you just expected your bank to share your data with your creditors and insurance company. That’s the kind of expectation people have in China. Businesses in the U.S. understand privacy makes business possible and profitable. Who better than businesses to lead the way? So in building this ultra discreet and private network, putting business applications front and center was a natural fit.
Soon we will be introducing features that allow multi-employee businesses to organize their own employees and private rooms within USpace. USpace enabled businesses will also have reasonable access to the data generated in the rooms they host, like any business hosting you in their conference room would. Everywhere else on USpace, Public Members fully own and control their data.
Enterprise services will be available to any business starting at just $36 per month. The monthly subscription is based on the number or rooms your business uses on USpace. Businesses will need to apply at USpace.co to launch a USpace enabled business and begin using the advanced features. Access to our three apps, iOS, Android and web app at www.unpublished.space, are always free to everyone using USpace.
Just like our Public Members, businesses structured around one individual, like independent contractors, can use USpace to host their clients for free, but do not have access to the full feature set paying businesses get. Right now we are onboarding mostly independent contractors and small organizations.
USpace gives businesses something we feel is more valuable than ads. We give your business a direct channel to high value privacy-focused customers like myself, who are more likely to choose your service because you’re on a privacy network. As a businessperson, that is the kind of client I want.
Our business partners help promote privacy and reap the benefits of bringing their clients into a discreet, secure environment at the same time. Paying businesses enable access for all our Public Members, who pay nothing. The USpace logo on your business website literally indicates that not only are you a business that has privacy enabled for your clients, but that you are enabling a much broader system that gives anyone, in any country where privacy is legal, access to this premium privacy service.Activate Social Media: