This Startup Wants To Build a Social Media Network for the Diaspora
This piece originally published on March 15, 2019.
Maintaining connections can be hard, even in the digital age. Many people, especially immigrants, talk about their struggles to remain connected to their home community and its culture. One founder, Ikechi Nwabuisi, is hoping to make all of that easier through The TRiBL Network.
Tribl describes itself as a “social network for the diaspora.” It’s a mobile app designed to instantly connect immigrants and multicultural people to their origin communities. The app specifically focuses on African, Caribbean, and South American communities.
Comparing itself to “carrying Little Africa in your own pocket” — Tribl uses people’s national identity and cultural affiliations to introduce them to familiar strangers near and abroad. Nwabuisi’s inspiration to launch Tribl came from some of his own personal experiences.
“As a first generation Nigerian American I’ve lived most of my life in-between two worlds,” Nwabuisi said. “Seeing the opportunity and talent that existed on both sides made me wonder how impactful it’d be to build a bridge between those communities.”
Since 1980, the Black immigrant population has increased fivefold, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2016, there were 4.2 million Black immigrants living in the United States. Having access to tech that caters to a growing community’s various needs is incredibly important.
“By focusing on building connections amongst immigrants here we position ourselves to become the WeChat for Africa, Latin America, and everywhere else,” Nwabuisi said.
Tribl is available all around the U.S., but it’s currently most popular in Houston, New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Cities have their own channels, so people can share content to them and find functions in their cities.
The app is still growing, but it already has plans to expand. The company has future plans to move to some of the origin countries of their primary users, Nwabuisi shared.