flat.social — Fun virtual spaces for online meetings & remote socials

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Hey Product Hunt! I’m Paweł, the maker of flat.social 🙂

Quick note – we will be hanging out in the flat.social demo space – click here to visit the live demo and say hi!

🤔 Back in 2021, I was a tech lead of a product team at an old-school FTSE 100 company. Like many other teams worldwide, we moved to a full-remote operation rather suddenly and without much preparation. While I was happy to see how productive we got in the new setting, the spirit and social aspects of our daily work were hurt. We had communication tools to keep us productive but using them in attempts to connect better as humans wasn’t the most playful way to go.

💡 So I thought – what if I make a video meeting app that puts playfulness above productivity and focuses on creating connections between online guests instead of trying to turn them into digital worker bees? Serendipity, creative anarchy, good fun? 🙂

Flat.social lays at an intersection of a classic video call, multiplayer game, and a real-time whiteboard that allows hosts to customize the space (we call it a flat) that they are in. It brings freedom of movement into online meetings – everyone can fly around and speak with others in their proximity. This core mechanic brings up organic serendipity in digital conversations and allows them to flow naturally in a casual manner. Each flat runs a physics engine that makes the experience more interactive and playful.

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Even though the first MVP happened in just a week, the product has been in the works for over a year. It’s entirely bootstrapped and the feature set is driven by a collective of users, friends, and users who became friends. The name was inspired by Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott.

What are the core features of flat.social?

🔊 Spatial Audio & Video + Movement: Participants can move around as they would in any multiplayer game (use WASD or drag around). Proximity audio and video allow for spontaneous conversations that spark up organically. Want to speak with someone? Simply fly up to them 🙂

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🏠 Permanent Virtual Spaces: Every team is special and so is every flat. Guests will be able to access the flat with a permalink. You can also customize the floors, rooms, and activities that will be the best fit for the team.

📅 Slack integration: Integrate your flat with Slack workspace to set up weekly event reminders. Start a part with just one slash command – /flat!

📝 Real-Time Whiteboard: Add drawings, sticky notes, fancy stickers, and images wherever you are. See the digital tentacles of other users that are interacting with the whiteboard!

Team Building Activities: Trivia, Football, Youtube watch party, and much more!

👋 Interactive Reactions: Wave a hand to say hello, emit digital flying balloons or maybe start a tomato fight?

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🖥️ Simultaneous Screen Sharing: Each of the users that is screen sharing can move around the virtual space at the same time!

Also, a fun fact: A couple of months ago, when testing, we accidentally hosted the most creatively chaotic and impromptu virtual Xmas party on Reddit. It went viral and the traffic got a bit out of hand (but the servers survived just fine 😎). In a time of 24 hours, over a thousand guests joined from r/internetisbeautiful. It was an open invitation that brought Redditors from all kinds of backgrounds – from truck drivers (on a break, not behind the wheel!) to FAANG employees and internet philosophers. One of the guests even gave a very long concert playing an African mouth organ which was rather unexpected.

We’re very excited to put flat.social in your hands today 🙂 If you have any feedback, requests, or ideas – please comment or let us know at [email protected]! We’re constantly trying to improve and your input is of huge help!

– Paweł Borkowski

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