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    Treetins.com is trying to make social networking a�?stranger-friendlya��

    If your resolution this year is to make as many new friends as possible, youa��re in luck. Taking the a�?ickya�� factor out of striking up conversations with complete strangers, treetins.com is a new social networking platform that is gaining ground. Treetinsa��an anagram of the word interesta��was born out of the serendipity of meeting strangers. a�?Remember the early days of Yahoo messenger?a�? asks Prince Jacob Thomas, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur who founded Treetins with his three friends. a�?We connected with total strangers half way across the world. But then the a�?creepsa�� surfaced and people closed off. We restricted our network to friends and family.a�?

    Now, fatigue has set in. a�?We scroll through timelines, seeing the same faces and giving pictures mandatory a�?likesa��,a�? he says. a�?Where is the excitementa��that zing when two like-minded people meet?a�?

    On Treetins, you start off anonymously. You follow people with similar ideas (through blogs, photographs or videos), and as conversations progress, you can reveal your identity. a�?You never know who youa��ll bump into. And this anonymity makes the whole experience less creepy,a�? says Chandy Thomas, one of the other co-founders, along with Mohit Narwal and Aditya Dhull.

    The site, which went live on December 5, is already attracting a lot of attentiona��partly due to their fun offline promotions. They collaborated with restaurants to place little jars with flags that say a�?Hi :)a��. If anyone wanted to share their table with a stranger, they just had to flip the flag up. a�?The idea has caught on so much that we have places like Hard Rock Cafe wanting to take it outside Mumbaia��to Bangalore and Chennai,a�? laughs Thomas.

    Log on to treetins (you can use Facebook, Twitter or your e-mail address) and flag off a new experience.

    Surya Praphulla Kumar



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