Jason Shellen, founder of Thing Labs, the startup formerly known as Plinky, is keeping details about its new social media product tightly under wraps — except to say that initially it will only work in conjunction with Twitter. While other application developers focus their attention on multiple social network sites, Thing Labs decided to develop its latest application for the API friends and fellow ex-Googlers Biz Stone and Evan Williams created.
Thing Labs is primarily familiar with the Twitter API via the friendships of Shellen and VP of Technology Chris Wetherell with Stone and Williams, so it seemed natural to start building its new application on that platform first. Wetherell, a former senior software engineer at Google, even spent a few months working on projects at Twitter after he left the search giant earlier this year.
“Chris and I have been using Twitter for about three years now — we were in the first group of users.” Shellen said. “We’re big fans and believers in Twitter as a platform and it’s a great place to invest our time.”
The upcoming release of this new social media product — which is expected to launch in a few weeks — was also the impetus behind Thing Labs’ name change. Shellen’s startup was originally named after its first social media product, Plinky. Launched six months ago, Plinky is a web application that prompts users to answer a question — topics run the gamut from movies to travel — and lets them to post their answers on Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
Shellen said the Thing Labs’ social media application will roll out in a few weeks. In addition to Wetherell, who joined the company a few
months weeks ago, Dolapo Falola is leaving a senior engineering position with Google and will join the startup in July, making Thing Labs a popular destination for the growing network of ex-Googlers.