There’s not a lot of privacy on Twitter. You can DM someone but it’s easy to mess that up, and you can only send private messages to people you’re already connected to.
Moped (pronounced Mo-Ped) is a German startup. It has raised $1 million from Earlybird, Betaworks, SV Angel and Lerer Ventures to make a more private social network using @ symbols, Twitter handles and hashtags.
On Moped, you can send a message to anyone using their handle whether you know them or not. There are no public status messages to follow. Messages on Moped can only be sent to other people, and only the people tagged in the messages can read them.
There’s no character count either, so messages can be as long or short as a user wants. Sharing files is as easy as dragging and dropping; Moped automatically turns them into Dropbox URLs.
Currently, Moped doesn’t allow group messaging/conversations, but founder Schuyler Deerman says that’s in the works.
Deerman has been working on Moped since last August. He began his career in Berlin; he moved there to attend its university. But instead, he was offered a full-time job at an open source platform company and he chose that opportunity over school.
After five years there, Deerman resigned and moved to San Francisco. He spent six months in California but returned to Germany to start Moped. “I decided Berlin is a better place for me to do a startup than San Francisco — it’s so much more competitive and I don’t really know anyone there,” says Deerman.
Moped is now 6 people. It has been in private beta since January and it’s launching publicly today.