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Interview: Radiate – Social & Event Discovery App’s v2 Debut

Radiate is the go-to platform for connecting festival-based communities, and it’s already helped create 15 million new friendships, growing to 1 million registered users with close to 200k monthly active users. Users can find friendship, a ride, advice, and whatever else they need from the festival community they love. 

Radiate v2 went live this year, on the 18th of January, introducing advanced mapping, AI for event discovery, and new social tools to the platform.

To mark the launch, Social Discovery Insights spoke with the platform’s co-founder to find out more about v2’s new features, and what we can expect from Radiate moving forward.

Celine Raynaud, Junior Reporter at Social Discovery Insights, had the pleasure of speaking with Radiate co-founder Philip Butler to learn more:

Celine: Can you tell us about Radiate v2, and the standout features of this new version?

Phil: It contains the best map for social and event discovery that anyone has built to date, expands our use of AI, and goes far beyond connecting people at music festivals. This new version is an all-encompassing platform for meeting new people, discovering parties and venues, while enabling users to fully immerse themselves in their city’s nightlife scene.

We’ve figured out how to create a 3D-first map with interactions and motion layered within and on top of it. This lets us build something that not only feels and is truly alive, but is able to show to you as much relevant data as possible, going far beyond the traditional collection of 2D dots with no text.

Our v2 map easily shows what events are happening, which people are out, what they’re doing, where they’re going, and so much more (we even have little easter eggs, like boats going around New York and Miami – it’s a really fun experience to just explore). It’s important to note that we don’t use real-time location either! The map is populated based on user check-ins and event RSVPs.

We’ve always used AI to determine which events, content, and people to show you first based on what you and other people like you engage with. But v2 brings this to the next level, as personalization within the map is far more important with so much more data and ways to visualize it. We also have our own AI models in the works – imagine an AI that knows what shows you should go to, can help you find tickets, recommends people to meet, venues to visit, hotels to stay at, and so much more.

Product image of the new social vouch feature in Radiate v2

We’ve introduced a new social vouch system, where people can vouch for each other, letting other users know a bit more information about their friends. Whether looking to meet up at a concert or buying a ticket to a sold out show, allowing users to vouch for each other in-app is another way to ensure we continue to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone on the platform. 

Celine: How does this expansion build on Radiate’s core mission?

Phil: My cofounder Michael and I have always wanted Radiate to bring people together for whatever reason it is that they want to be brought together for. Whether that’s a giant music festival, an anime convention, a night out, or an intimate invite-only event. Radiate is all about creating friendships and new connections through shared experiences.

We noticed it becomes increasingly harder to make friends and expand your social connections after graduating, and by incorporating local events and venues and other third spaces, Radiate v2 aims to take us closer than we’ve ever been to bridging this gap in human connection.

Celine: What’s your approach to Radiate’s partnerships? How does it feed into your business model and marketing strategy?

Phil: We work with our partners to help them grow their Radiate communities while providing a place for their community members to ask questions, meet each other, split costs, share rides and more, overall helping make the experience of attending an event better.

You can join the Ultra Music Festival Community and interact with 50k Ultra attendees and prospective attendees, asking them everything from ‘what should I wear’ to ‘does anyone want to split an Airbnb with me and my friends’.

People share stories, photos, videos, and generally spread what they love or are most excited about attending the event. The content people make is then shown to the greater Radiate community and helps to bring in new community members and potential ticket buyers.

We want the event to sell out so that there are more people who can connect with each other on Radiate and meet IRL. Our partners want more people on Radiate so the next event they have the more people we can tell about it and connect around it. It’s a perfectly mutually beneficial relationship, which is why our partners work with us.

Radiate is a free app and we don’t charge our partners for our usual collaborations. In contrast to the majority of social apps like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter, our primary revenue comes from users paying for enhanced tools to meet new people, not from ads.

This allows us to give a lot of our B2B benefits away for free to partners in exchange for marketing support and making ourselves an asset to them in the long-run as opposed to a short-term cost on their balance sheet. 

Celine: What are your goals and targets for Radiate in 2024?

Phil: In 2024, we aim to solidify Radiate as the go-to platform for social connectivity not just for music festivals but for going out and the live event space in general.

Our goals include continuing to grow our community, expanding on the ways we help connect people locally, deepening engagement through gamifying the experience of going out, and further developing our custom AI solution for helping people figure out what to do and who to do it with. 

We’re excited to raise our Series A later this year and expand the team too – we’ve had so many people reach out to work with us and we’re excited to work alongside the talented individuals we know and those we have yet to meet.

Celine: How can our readers learn more about Radiate?

Phil: Readers interested in discovering more can visit our website or email me at Philip@RadiateTheWorld.com. I’d also invite them to download Radiate on iOS and Android to experience the future of event discovery and social connectivity firsthand. For regular updates and to see some of the best event and festival memes, they can follow us on Instagram or X @RadiateTheWorld.

Learn more about Radiate on its website here, and you can also catch Phil speaking at our upcoming Social Discovery Conference New York 2024!

Social Discovery Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769