New Tokyo-based startup Kayac launched Biru-Tomo (literally ‘Building Friends’) earlier this week, a new mobile app aiming to connect people with their neighbors as well as people working for different companies within the same building. The app is now available for iOS on the AppStore and for Android on Google Play.
Apps boasting internal social networks continue to rapidly explode in Japan, ranging from the useful Sensei Note, a social network for teachers, to the slightly bizarre Amaryllis, a social network where single women can vent frustrations, and a slew of dating apps in between (see Pairy, Between, Couples, and Pairs).
In Tokyo it is not uncommon to find multiple companies housed within the same office building. While many of these companies already boast their own strong internal communities, the Kayac team sees an opportunity for people working at different companies to connect and create small communities. The app wants to help these people connect by enabling them with a quick and easy way to organize get togethers, go out for drinks, etc.
Facebook authentication allows for fairly simple registration and the user interface design of the app appears to be simple and intuitive, with functionality to see people in your network by building floor. Biru Tomo embraces Japan’s work culture of long hours and overtime (unfortunately), by encouraging those stuck working overtime to find solace in being able to find other friends within your network/building that are also working late.