Shiny Happy People Have a Site to Call Their Own
Social networks can be a great platform to vent out your daily frustrations. But your Facebook friends or Twitter followers may not actually like hearing you complain.
For people who want to surround themselves with roses on raindrops and whiskers on kittens while on the Internet, there's Happier.
Founder and " chief happiness officer" Nataly Kogan was inspired to create Happier when her achievements, which includes working at Microsoft and selling a multimillion-dollar company to Paypal, still didn't make her truly happy. She then read some research that said people who focused more on the positive things in life became healthier and more productive.
"I had a big 'holy crap' moment and realized that I was doing it all wrong," she told ABC News.
That realization led to the birth of Happier. The company's first product was an iPhone app released in February 2013. The app lets users share happy moments with their friends. In addition, users can visit the "discovery area," a collection of happy moments as curated by Happier's staff. The Happier website is currently still in beta.
A good Happier post will accrue "smiles," similar to a Facebook like or a retweet. However, Kogan stresses that it's not a contest to get the most smiles.
"We chose smiles as our social action because it's gentle and supportive," she told ABC News. "Also, users are probably physically smiling when they see a post."
While there's nothing to prevent an Internet troll from posting exclusively negative thoughts on Happier, they won't get very far.
"We leave it up to the community members to moderate themselves," Kogan told ABC News. "We don't do anything to prevent you from posting something negative, but [negative posts] just aren't going to get any play."
Kogan has also enlisted the help of social scientist Nicholas Christakis, one of the first social scientists to show that happiness is contagious. He is slated to join Happier's advisory board later this year, according to Kogan.
In addition to the social networking aspect, Happier.com also publishes original content in the form of how-to articles and interviews with famous people on what makes them happy.
Kogan said, "It may seem kind of crazy, but we're out there to make millions of people happier."