FOUNDED BY businessperson Berker Gurcihan in February 2020, the new-generation social media platform Mirket aims to provide a platform for those who want to voice their opinions on different matters. Although the platform was only recently released, it has already begun to receive demands to go global from Latin America, according to Gurcihan. “I’ve always asked myself why we don’t have a competitive social media app that appeals to the end-user in Turkey,” he says.
Gurcihan came up with the idea of Mirket (meerkat in English) when he saw the need to easily express opinions. Inspired by the curious-looking meerkats, Gurcihan decided to name the app Mirket to express how the platform will address curious people who want to comment on developments and see other opinions. These opinions are called mirks and users can create their own mirks, as well as reading and commenting on other users’ mirks. Currently employing six people, the company received seed investment from a group of angel investors through a TRY 3m valuation last year and began working on the software. The Mirket platform was completed in October and was launched for friends and family. “We’ve received very good feedback in terms of how the platform can evolve and be adopted by everyone,” Gurcihan said. Following the first set of reactions, Mirket continued to work on the application and launched it on Google Play Store and App Store last week.
PROVIDING DETAILED ANALYSIS
Mirket differs from other social media platforms in terms of the data usage of their users, according to Gurcihan. “We live by the motto of by the power of information,” he said. “We provide much more information and content for users but we receive the same amount of data from them like other social media platforms.” The platform requires users to specify their sex and age and select their fields of interest to provide more targeted content. Through this model, the platform provides detailed information about people and their opinions based on their age, sex and location. “For example, users can see how an opinion on a topic can differ in terms of sex, location and age and how many people are interested in the topic,” Gurcihan explains. “The users can see percentage data about a certain agenda. When we go global, we aim to provide regional and country-based data about the opinions of people. We want to see how the opinions differ in Turkey, Europe and even Africa,” he said.
Gaining global attention Although the company is still in its early phases, it has already begun to attract attention from overseas. Mirket aims to go global after registering 1.5 million users domestically but the plans to offer the platform in other countries may be pushed up, according to Gurcihan. “Even though the platform has only been active for a week, it has begun receiving requests for a Spanish version on Google Play,” he said. “Although we haven’t begun marketing on a large scale, we have received demands from the Latin American region. This is intriguing to us. We believe we can go global a little earlier because Mirket can easily be scaled. For example, when we offer the platform in Italy, the platform’s infrastructure is ready for the launch.”
“Mirket does not have any filter at the moment,” Gurcihan said but that doesn’t mean the platform is an opinionated wild west. Gurcihan would like Mirket to become an unfiltered platform “as long as the content does not disturb users”. Right now, the platform runs an algorithm to determine offensive content. At the same time, users can complain about undesirable content and when specific content receives a high number of complaints, it alerts the developers. “In principle, we want people to freely express their opinions,” Gurcihan said.
Three-way profit model
“We want to show our investors that this model can quickly make profit,” Gurcihan said, referring to the way Mirket aims to generate revenues from three sources. The first will be sponsored mirks. The company aims to make revenue and simultaneously offer content for users by allowing sponsors to answer questions. The second revenue source will come from sponsorships through regular contests. Lastly, the company aims to hold physical events for its users. “We have a dream to integrate offline and online,” Gurcihan said. After the restrictions regarding the pandemic ease, the company hopes to make partnerships and receive income through these events. “But whatever the case is, I can guarantee that Mirket will never become a platform where users will have to watch ads,” Gurcihan added.
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