Atmosfy is making inroads as a platform that specializes in live video content focused on dining and nightlife with a mission of aiding local businesses by providing a medium to display their offerings to an expansive audience.
Michael Ebel, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Atmosfy emphasized the underlying mission of the platform, stating its centrality both to the brand’s essence and its creator community. “The platform’s mission is inextricably woven into our brand’s DNA,” he noted.
“I’ve seen firsthand how punishing the review landscape can be,” said Ebel. “The imbalance between positive and negative feedback online is heavily skewed. And with negativity bias, where it typically takes seven positive experiences to overshadow one negative, the issue becomes even more glaring.”
While at Instagram, Ebel had an epiphany. Video, with its immediacy and authenticity, could be the perfect medium to overhaul the system. The pandemic then acted as a catalyst. With businesses facing unprecedented challenges and traditional review platforms struggling to keep pace, the timing was right for a change.
Inspired by a mission to support local businesses, Ebel and a passionate team in San Francisco launched Atmosfy. The concept was straightforward yet revolutionary: creators would post video experiences of local establishments, giving viewers an unfiltered glimpse into what’s happening there. It could be anything from showcasing a cafe that’s still open to a sneak peek into a shop’s latest collection.
And the response? Overwhelmingly positive. Atmosfy has scaled impressively to 150 countries and covers 10,000 cities, boasting a community of creators who have highlighted over 1 million businesses. The platform recently celebrated securing a 14 million round of funding.
But it’s not just about numbers. It’s about the people. Atmosfy has attracted talent from some of the biggest names in the tech industry, including TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, Netflix, and TripAdvisor. With a promising roadmap for the upcoming quarter, the focus remains on supporting both local businesses and creators.
Ebel mused, “Atmosfy is not just a platform; it’s a movement. We’re here to support businesses and creators alike. For those looking to build their following, Atmosfy offers something truly special.”
While there’s a bevy of platforms serving potential dinners and the nightlife enthusiasts, Michael believes Atmosfy stands apart, and here’s why. When asked about what makes Atmosfy unique, Michael responded with an insight into the platform’s core. “At its heart, from a product perspective, Atmosfy is crafted with a clear intent: utility,” Michael said.
Drawing a parallel to his time with social media giants like Facebook and Instagram, Michael highlighted a crucial difference. “Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are phenomenal as entertainment platforms,” he observed. Indeed, many of us have seen the burgeoning tribe of food bloggers and nightlife enthusiasts using these platforms to share snippets of their experiences. But Michael emphasizes that’s not their primary purpose. “They’re not really built to serve as high utility platforms,” he remarked.
And that’s where Atmosfy seeks to carve its niche. It’s not just another app where one passively consumes content; it’s a platform built to actively guide and enhance the user’s experience. Atmosfy is geo-located, inherently centered around video, and specifically designed to help users uncover experiences, whether they’re exploring their own city or diving into adventures abroad.
It’s this distinction in intent and functionality that Michael sees as the game-changer. “Atmosfy’s foundation is different,” he affirmed, pointing out that while other platforms may serve as great mediums for sharing experiences, Atmosfy ensures those experiences are discoverable and accessible.
According to Michael, the distinction between Atmosfy and traditional review platforms like Tripadvisor and Yelp is even more stark. “Our platform is so closely knitted with our mission to uplift local businesses,” he began, emphasizing the platform’s dedication to genuine, positive feedback.
Their edge? Atmosfy is “socially injected.” What does that mean? It’s inherently tied to users’ real identities, which means reviewers are less likely to wear the mask of anonymity that can sometimes cloud judgment and foster negativity. “On Atmosfy, creators are overwhelmingly eager to share delightful experiences,” Michael explains. This enthusiasm, he feels, stems from the transparency of the platform. There’s no room for mysterious, potentially mischievous reviewers with questionable motives. Everything’s out in the open, fostering a sense of trustworthiness.
Then there’s the matter of quantity and quality of reviews. Unlike platforms where a user might leave a singular review for a venue, Atmosfy’s video-centric approach encourages repeated sharing. “A user could upload numerous videos from a single favorite restaurant, each time showcasing a new dish or highlighting a different experience,” Michael elaborated. This offers a richer, more multi-dimensional insight into venues and also supplies Atmosfy with robust data to analyze customer behaviors and preferences.
Diving deeper, Michael points out another unique feature—analytical depth. Atmosfy’s design doesn’t just log reviews; it tracks patterns. “We can determine if an eatery is a local’s favorite or if it’s more popular among visitors,” he shared. Such granular data, when paired with the platform’s emphasis on social proof, leads to tailor-made recommendations for users, making the discovery process seamless and enjoyable.
The Atmosfy UGC Flyhweel – Powered by Low Friction, High Reward Sharing
Michael explains the pressing need for a platform like Atmosfy, stating, “The current digital ecosystem, especially on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, is turning into a race for algorithmic popularity. This has significantly raised the bar for creators, demanding polished and algorithm-friendly productions.” Indeed, the persistent demand for high-quality content means creators often have to sideline many of their authentic experiences.
He observes a stark reality: countless videos and snapshots never make it past the phone’s gallery. The frenetic pace and unwritten rules of social platforms often mean that a weekend’s worth of experiences get distilled into just a single story. Michael notes, “If a creator visits multiple brunch spots over a weekend, not every spot will get its due limelight. A lot of this content effectively dies on their camera rolls.”
But Atmosfy aims to change that. “We’ve identified three core adjectives that embody what creators can share on Atmosfy: authentic, unvarnished, and in-the-moment,” he says. Unlike other platforms that prioritize well-crafted, high-production content, Atmosfy values raw, genuine moments. “There’s an undeniable appetite, especially among Gen-Z, for content that’s more ‘real’—a true glimpse into someone’s life, like the genuine feel of walking into a restaurant or the ambiance of a coffee shop.”
This divergence from the norm is vital for two sets of creators in particular: hobbyists and those who make a living from their craft. For the professional creator, Atmosfy is a haven—a place to share all the content that didn’t fit the mold elsewhere. “Think of a food blogger,” Michael posits, “They might post a single highlight from their weekend on other platforms, but Atmosfy can host the entire culinary journey. If they visited ten places, each of those experiences has a place on Atmosfy.”
Another edge Atmosfy provides is hyperlocal discovery. The platform is geolocated, so content doesn’t just reach someone halfway around the world—it’s seen by those in the creator’s city or by travelers seeking local recommendations. “It’s a chance for creators, especially in saturated niches like food or travel blogging, to effectively grow their brand,” Michael asserts.
But the Atmosfy experience doesn’t just end at content posting and local discovery. The platform also fosters a sense of community. Every video shared lets locals chime in with their experiences, allowing for a collaborative vibe. “Locals can voice their recommendations, bolstering the content’s credibility and enhancing its reach,” Michael notes. This collaborative, community-driven aspect gives creators a distinctive advantage—they’re not just sharing; they’re building connections.
In summing up Atmosfy’s proposition for creators, Michael Ebel captures its essence: “At its core, Atmosfy offers a unique blend—a platform where creators can truly interact with followers, harness the power of hyperlocal discovery, and foster collaboration with local communities.”
Hyperlocal – The Next Influencer Frontier?
“Imagine being a creator who not only shares content but also profoundly impacts their immediate community. That’s the allure of building a hyperlocal audience—it’s akin to the Holy Grail for creators,” Ebel muses. Such a targeted reach enables creators to not just be seen, but to establish themselves as tastemakers within their own circles, building genuine relationships with locals and getting recognized for their unique insights.
But Atmosfy isn’t merely providing a platform for these community-oriented influencers. They’re actively bridging the gap between creators and local businesses. “We’re integrating tools to foster more seamless collaborations,” explains Michael. Through Atmosfy, creators will soon have the chance to partner with neighborhood enterprises. This could be in the form of invitations to review a new cafe or even share in the profits when their content is leveraged by local businesses. “The goal is to organically intertwine the interests of both creators and businesses, setting up a win-win ecosystem,” Michael adds.
Reflecting on the current state of local creator-business collaborations, Ebel observes that these interactions often seem random, with no defined structure. “It’s all rather haphazard today,” he comments, emphasizing the randomness of such collaborations. But with Atmosfy’s approach, there’s potential to methodically connect these dots, enabling creators to amplify their brand precisely where it matters most.
More than just about brand building, Atmosfy is keenly aware of the financial aspirations of creators. “Venturing into the realm of monetization is critical,” notes Ebel. Given that many creators seek not just recognition but also a sustainable income from their craft, the platform’s focus on generating financial avenues is timely and necessary.
What’s next for Atmosfy
“Excitement is in the air,” Ebel declares, brimming with enthusiasm about what’s next for Atmosfy. At the forefront are the Atmosfy trips, a new initiative that showcases the brand’s commitment to promoting hyperlocal experiences. “We’re diving deep into our community, forging collaborations with local businesses to curate precise deals and discounts for our users,” he shares, underscoring the vision of bringing tangible value to the platform’s users.
However, it’s not just about the deals. As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, Atmosfy is integrating more AI capabilities to its foundation. “Imagine logging in and receiving recommendations that feel tailor-made for you. That’s the direction we’re heading,” says Michael.
Yet, amidst the tech enhancements, there’s a heartening emphasis on human connection. “Atmosfy by Friends”, launched recently, weaves in the social graph concept, aiming to bolster the element of trust in recommendations. Ebel elaborates, “If you notice a close friend visited a particular cafe or restaurant, you’re far more inclined to check it out. We’re harnessing that very sentiment, integrating it into our platform.”
Moreover, the team is driving home the idea of interconnectedness within the creator community. Ebel envisions a scenario where creators interact, exchanging notes and ideas. “Spotting commonalities, like visiting similar places, can pave the way for budding collaborations,” he points out, highlighting how the platform intends to foster a thriving, interactive ecosystem for its members.