A London and Boston-based startup is setting out to help facilitate the world’s most popular ice-breaker, and has built a social app in its quest to do so.
In the simplest terms, Weathermob is a real-time social weather app that merges human reports with good old-fashioned weather forecast data. You can share videos, photos or simply words with friends, describing what the weather is like where you are. If you’re sharing visuals, you can select icons to show how the weather is affecting your mood:
Naturally, any social app worth its salt connects with Facebook and Twitter these days, and Weathermob is no different. Its in-built weather reporting system lets you create your own weather reports, with as much or as little detail as you like.
Hell, you can even earn points and grand titles such as the ‘Bureau Chief’ for your area. But if you simply want to know what the weather will be like over the next 8 days, it will let you do that too:
Weathermob is supported by some of the original investors behind ASOS.com and lastminute.com, and it seems that the ‘international language of weather’ is the key selling point behind this free app. In its short lifespan so far, it has seen reports from the US, UK, Brazil, India, Japan, Australia, UAE, Mexico…and even from the Himalayas, with a picture report posted from Nepal.
“The stereotype might be that only Brits are obsessed with the weather, but the truth is that the weather is one of those universal things that everybody’s got to deal with”, says co-founder Julie LeStage. “So we’re confident that this is the probably the first social network on which everyone – whether it’s your mother or your neighbour – always has something to say.”
The startup was founded by former Channel 4 (UK) executive Julia LeStage, media magnate, tech investor and Chairman of ASOS.com Waheed Alli, CTO Ben Griffiths, tech investor Tori Hackett, and social media specialist Frank Lampen.
During the beta testing phase of the app in October, a freak snowstorm hit New England. “We discovered that users were reporting the storm in really creative and personal ways, often just as much about the way it was affecting them as the weather itself,” says LeStage. “We saw just as many pictures and videos of cosy log fires, hot chocolate and red wine as we did reports of snow and ice. It was far more fun – and much more meaningful – than only watching someone in a TV studio and suit, talk at me about cold fronts.”
If you think the concept behind Weathermob sounds familiar, you may have heard of Weddar before, a very similar app that was released earlier this year.
Meanwhile, you can download Weathermob from the Apple App Store now for free.