Interview with Khaled Ismail, Co-Founder at 1TAM, UAE’s First Emirati Vlogging App

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1TAM – One Thing About Me – is a vlogging platform for unfiltered conversations taking social media back to basics

1TAM is a UAE homegrown vlogging app which aims to tackle the issue of authenticty problem that is inherent in social media, by offering a platform which encourages users to produce and share authentic content.

Launched in late 2018, by a young Emirati tech-guru, Anwar Nusseibeh, and UAE-based serial entrepreneur Khaled Ismail, 1TAM is the first Middle East homegrown fully-fledged social media app featuring raw videos that allow users to connect through genuine and real conversations.

1TAMER’s (the users of 1TAM) can create 60-sec unfiltered videos to express themselves, seek opinions, and interact with like-minded individuals from around the globe. What is unique about this app is that it has got an ‘Answer Back’ button, which allows 1TAMER’s to have direct video dialogue either the public or private sphere.

“We wanted people to have a real dialogue on 1TAM. With the Answer Back feature we are able to create authentic conversations for our 1TAMER’s and connect our community in a unique way”, said Anwar Nusseibeh, Co-Founder and ‘Let’s Do’ Officer at 1TAM.

1TAM also introduces a point system encouraging community building and engagement that will ultimately allow users to redeem points against goods, services, and discounts.

Khaled Ismail, Co-Founder and ‘Let’s Talk’ Officer at 1TAM said: “People are amazing, and when you give them the right platform to be real and express themselves genuinely, they can create a global network where everyone can share knowledge, learn something new, and get entertained. This is what 1TAM is all about: genuine, fun, and value-adding content.”

We had a chat with Khaled to know more about the app and their plans to take on the ‘biggies’ – Instagram and Snapchat.

Here are the excerpts:

What problem is 1TAM trying to solve? 

We’ve been told that social media is a ‘two-way communication street’. Influencers will no longer be able to only ‘talk at/to’ their followers, followers will now be able to answer and respond back to them on the same platform in the same format (video), which drives transparency and authenticity.

We’ve also been told that video is the future of social media (we see that emerging faster than a Tesla Roadster) – and 1TAM is a 100% video platform.

People have been ‘paying lip service’ to the issue of being real and authentic. So we are solving the authenticity ‘lip service’ problem with 1TAM.

How exactly does 1TAM plan to take on the biggies such as Instagram and Snapchat? 

The biggies remain the biggies and we respect them and learn from them. We are trying to carve a niche for ourselves around authentic two-way conversations. In fact, we believe we compliment what the biggies offer, close the social media offerings loop.  When users are looking for more than the glossy filtered pictures, they can come straight talk on 1TAM.

The ‘Answer Back’ feature may be something new and lacking in popular Apps. But, won’t that be an easy functionality to copy by your competitors?

Absolutely yes, but we feel we are catering to a different conversation. The biggies can surely copy our unique ‘Answer Back’ button, but what does that say about their innovation and their knowledge of the users?

I say – small as we may be – now with this interview, we have the first mover advantage.

How does the ‘Gamification’ on 1TAM work? 

Bringing users back to the App is key for our success. We have the standard notifications and we have introduced a point and ranking system, which enables users to be rewarded for their activity and interactivity on the App.

The more points, the higher the rank. The higher the rank the better chances of users to be selected by brands to review and promote their products…because they are active influencers. Eventually, users will be able to redeem points against goods, services, and discounts.

Who are the target users for 1TAM? 

Labeling a specific target user for 1TAM is not the point. This App is open to all, the DJs, the artists, the politically inclined, the movie buffs, the chefs, the skydivers, etc…

Brands can engage with 1TAMers on the platform in a unique and relevant way, to promote their products, services or events.

How do 1TAM make money? how much does it charge from users? 

1TAM is free to download, but we have server bills to pay too!

Our monetization strategy is clear:

  • Brand advertising and promotions
  • Users and brands can promote their posts to get more viewership and more engagement
  • ‘Question Of The Day’ can also be sponsored by a brand or a user for a small fee, where results and analytics can be made available

Any new features that we will see on the app soon?

Social Apps are constantly changing and evolving to meet user needs and demands. We have a couple of surprising incremental features which will be revealed soon.

What are the short, medium and long-term goals for 1TAM? 

Short-term – bring as many users on board as possible, create a community, a place to return.

Medium-term – secure additional funding to keep going. We are currently looking for investors to support our exciting journey. From grass-roots to global!  

Long-term – to become a ‘biggie’ or join forces with one! 

1TAM is available on IOS and soon on Android, the 1TAM founders are now seeking forward-looking investors for the second round of funding.

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