Inspiration

Tertu comes from the Spanish word for gathering and conversation, which is our vision for the app. We were inspired by our own nostalgia for meeting strangers and becoming fast friends. We want to evoke the same sense of spontaneous conversation and discussion offered by coffee shops prior to COVID 19, while giving our users complete control of their personal information.

What it does

Tertu is a platform that enables connections between complete strangers based off of their shared interests. It's part chat app, part friend finder and entirely anonymous. To show the story, let's follow the story of IN24M56 and 21SD54G, two members of the Tertu community.

Both of these Tertu members have been assigned unique IDs registered to the Tertu public directory, neither of them had to provide an email, phone number or even a name to join this community. However, 21SD54G chose to provide their email address, allowing Tertu to partly verify their account.

Neither of these members have met, but both have indicated their interests in DJ Khaled and music history. Once they hit the find a new friend button they are quickly matched based on their interest. At the top of their screen they see a prompt based on their shared interests, 'What do you think DJ Khaled would say to Antoni Vivaldi?' 21SD54G is a quick texter and sends a message about their thought's on DJ Khaled and the four seasons. This is the spark of a new friendship and twenty messages later, both of these members have hit the boldBecome Friends*bold* button.

Once both of these friends hit the button, their chat is no longer anonymous, the information they've chosen to give and make visible is shared. 21SD54G becomes Taylor and IN24M56 is revealed as Alex.

Tertu has brought two people together from across the world, based on their shared interests. Taylor and Alex continue to talk to each other through Tertu because they know that Tertu is both private and secure. Taylor feels empowered by the fact that he has total control over his private data. Every piece of personal information is optional to give and revocable at anytime. Alex enjoys the security provided by Tertu through end to end encryption. All messages are encrypted and sent directly to their recipient, stored only on that recipients device.

Tertu is built on the principles of bringing people together while ensuring they have complete control of their privacy.

How we built it

Tertu is built by a team of five members from around the world using Miro for research and wireframing, and Figma for design and prototyping.

Challenges we ran into

The greatest challenge for the team was creating a system that allowed for private and anonymous conversations while still being a safe and welcoming community. Our solution for this challenge was a unique per contact verification system. Our team chose to make anonymity the default, every piece of personal information is freely given and revocable by the user. Personal information is used to verify the identity of our community members, increasing the safety and trust of every community member. On Tertu we all begin anonymously, an email or phone number verification allows the community to know we're human and by providing additional personal information, the community's trust in you increases. Members can search by trust level, knowing they remain anonymous until they hit the Become Friends button.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud to have created an online experience that combines community with superior privacy settings. Through Tertu, anonymity is a vehicle to friendships. We created an experience that empowers people and returns them control of their personal information. Tertu turns the table on data privacy and returns control to the people.

What we learned

Creating Tertu has taught us so much. We learned about cryptography and how to protect anonymous users. We researched ways to provide user verification while collecting as little data as possible. To create Tertu we had to rethink our assumption on privacy, social media and personal information. We learned that people can and should have the power to control their personal information and the giving of personal information should be a revocable choice.

What's next for Tertu

Tertu has the potential to create millions of new connections between complete strangers from all around the world. Our team has created a potential marketing plan using influence marketers to drive app downloads. Imagine connecting randomly with celebrities and influencers from around the world. We hope that Tertu allows people to see that privacy is a right. Instead of having to search for hidden privacy settings, privacy settings should be easily accessible. Privacy policies should be written in plain English and not a boring legal piece. Our personal information is our currency in this digital age and we should have the right to give it and take it back.

Built With

  • figma
  • material
  • miro
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