A pretty cool service coming out of Norway is Fribi— a beautiful app a social marketplace that makes it give, receive and swap things with people near you. Free things are always good, and the app has a really nice design aesthetic and functionality that gets users taking pictures of their products and getting them out to someone who could better use them. The company launched their app last week at DEMO Spring 2012 in Santa Clara, and the app is free to download in on iOS devices, with an Android version coming out in May.
To get rid of your stuff, all you have to do is take a picture of the thing you’re giving away, put a title and description on it, and say how long you’re extending the offer for. You can also extend the free stuff to anyone in the community, or just to your Facebook friends. Users can browse items through a feed of everything around you.
Fribi also has a “perks” section with exclusive benefits from major brands. The company says they’re not trying to move into the deals market, but they would love to get more brands on board to give free things or discounts to their customers. This hints at some sort of move to monetize the app, but Morten Isachsen, CEO and co-founder of Fribi tells us that the company is all about traction at the moment.
On a more local level, Fribi suggests the marketplace to local merchants who wish to promote giveaways in the neighborhood. They give the examples of the hairdresser around the corner who just got a cancellation, or the bakery that has got some leftover bread after a quiet day using the app.
The app has a lot going for it, but even the best designed services have trouble cracking the huge network Craigslist has created in the United States. Free things and easy uploading are sure ways to win users over, and hopefully I think Fribi can show value through their ease of use, design, and private friend networks you can share things on.
“We’re bootstrapped and own our company ourselves, and need to grow by making something that users will embrace and even love,” says CEO Isachsen. “Based on viral social mechanics and people talking about our idea and product, we know it’s possible to grow both big and fast in this world.”
The free app can be downloaded on iOS here.