Timehop + Me + Monetization

I’m excited to share with you — yes you! — that I’m going to help Timehop out in their advertising efforts. I’ve been a giant fan since the beginning CEO Jonathan Wegener, his Co-founder Benny Wong and Timehop in general. I met Jonathan and Benny back when Jonathan had built Timehop’s predecessor, Foursquare and Seven Years Ago, and they had a meet-up in Boston! I think there were three people there.

I became an early investor (shit, maybe even the first!) in Timehop. Jonathan pitched me on a simple premise: nostalgia. It’s a loaded word for some people, I know. People give it a bad rap. I have one friend who refuses to ever be nostalgic. But it’s an important part of the human experience, and research is showing this to be the case. Research, according to the New York Times, has shown that nostalgia “nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer.”

Plus I just love the whole gang over there. Jonathan is awesome and there are two ex-Barbarians there who I’m particularly fond of. It’s a small team, but an awesome one. I’ll still be living down here in NC, but traveling a good amount. It’s a consulting gig, not full time, and I won’t be there forever, but it’ll be a fun project to get everything up and running. And after being hunkered down and doing almost nothing but writing for the last year, I’m excited to work with OTHER PEOPLE again. YES.

Timehop, of course, is a wonderful tool for nostalgia. 20 million people have downloaded the app, and more than 5 million look at it every day. It’s user base is passionately attached to it. I’ve talked to parents who love the experience of looking back on their children growing up — especially in the early years where kids can grow so quickly. Personally I love it, right now, as I live in a new state and in a new house, far away from many of my friends. I love flipping through and seeing that a year, two years, eight years ago I was with some friends. It gives me a great excuse to get in touch with them again.

Nostalgic Advertising

I talk about this not just academically, but because Timehop is looking to continue the nostalgia theme into its advertising. We’re still working out the details, but we’re looking at developing several different advertising opportunities around the theme of nostalgia. We think there’s a unique opportunity here. Here’s what Entrepreneur Magazine says on the topic:

“…Nostalgia has proved effective at loosening consumers’ grips on their wallets. A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people who were asked to think about the past were willing to pay more for products than those who were asked to think about new or future memories; another experiment showed an increased willingness to give more money to others after recalling a nostalgic event.”

We’re still working out all sorts of different ideas, but we think that there could be a huge opportunity for running vintage ads. Nostalgia is a great lever for brands who have a sense of history — film franchises that have a rich history, media properties, brands that are looking to re-launch products all seem like excellent partners. Plus vintage ads are awesome! There’s a whole world of fandom around them on the web, and millennials love them. And you can’t complain about the low production costs.

We can also see some brands working with us to create a unique ad piece featuring Abe, our mascot, celebrating various days of the news. This could be a great offering for brands when they want to talk about their most important moments in history.

Finally, we see a ton of opportunity around brands who are purchased on a recurring basis — vacations, light bulbs, batteries, etc. What better way to remind someone about taking another vacation, for example?

There are a million possibilities, and over the next few weeks and months we hope to launch some amazing partnerships. If that seems like something that could be of interest to you or a brand you work with, let me know! Let’s talk.