Tapatalk press release
From Tapatalk’s press release: “Tapatalk’s mobile-first app for forum owners and their members is used by over 200,000 forums in 186 countries. Those forums that have connected to Tapatalk have an aggregate registered user base of 300 million people – in the range of Twitter and Reddit.” When we first read this, the initial thought that came to mind was “there must be a typo somewhere or an exaggeration”. No one at Crypto Insider had ever heard of this forum app that has a user-base on par with Twitter and Reddit. We were intrigued to find out more about the company and its tokenization initiative, so, we interviewed Winter Wong, Tapatalk’s CEO.
The company is based in Los Angeles is backed by venture capital, employs 40 engineers in the U.S. and Asia, and is cash-flow positive. We had to ask Mr. Wong –
“Tapatalk has 300 million users and yet we had never heard of it before, how is this possible?”
– “We are a niche service. We provide an integrated interface and a mobile app for the communities from around the world that before often-time were being hosted on local servers”.
“The introduction of blockchain is quite a natural step for us. We had previously introduced Gold Points as in-platform rewards, now placing them on the blockchain will enable micropayments and make them more fungible,” says Mr. Wong.
“Do you have an ICO in your plans?”
– “No, but eventually, we would like Gold Points to be listed on exchanges to make them more liquid”.
The Gold Point Wallet is being built on the EOS platform and should be released later in February. “The end-users will not notice the change, everything is being implemented on the backend, it doesn’t affect the user interface. We started reaching out to the community managers educating them about the benefits of this initiative [but not the end-users]. We are starting off with crypto-related communities such as ‘Moon Forum’.”
“A lot of times, companies announce about blockchain initiatives for ulterior motifs such as to increase the market cap or investor valuation and to help with fundraising? Did you have any of these reasons on the back of your mind?”
– “No, not really. We have been investing a lot in infrastructure, it just makes sense”. “You are a venture-backed company, did you consult with your investors beforehand?” – “No. We are backed by some of the best VCs in the world, they completely support us”.
“Don’t you have to pre-buy about $2 million worth of EOS tokens?”
– “EOS has good APIs, it’s scalable and affordable… No, not at all. We had to stake a relatively small amount, it’s in five figures”.
“Facebook has been criticized for ‘censorship’, do you censor or moderate content?”
– “We don’t. It’s in the interest of community managers to moderate content”.
“Have you ever had any interactions with the local authorities regarding content that is locally prohibited?”
– “Yes, but not very often. Usually a couple of times a year we have these conversations.”
Our combined user-base is on par with Twitter and Reddit. We are building a decentralized social network with more equitable reward distribution. We are competing both with traditional social networks and decentralized ones such as Steemit. We have researched Steemit quite a bit. Our biggest advantage over Steemit and other decentralized social networks is that we are not starting with zero, we have an existing user base and we are just adding features.”