Treetle.com, a location-based interest network has launched its services across the country after being in private beta. The portal lets users to create or join clubs to pursue their interests as well as to connect with people within their neighbourhood, locality or town, who share similar interests.

The homepage currently features a search box along with all the recent activities on the portal including newly created clubs, new members and recent member activity. Users can search for their interests in the search box to browse through the existing events, clubs and people who have listed similar interests. However, one needs to sign up to join to an existing club.

Users can register either through Facebook or via a registration form following which they can either type in their interests or choose their interests from a list on the website and verify their phone number.

Clubs: After signing-up, Treetle offers club suggestions based on users’ interests, and allows them to join any existing club. Users can filter these clubs based on the category and location and choose their preferred club.  Alternatively, users can also create a club by giving requisite details like club name, description, location, club type, and activities. Users can also decide whether the club is invite-only or it is open to everyone, and designate select members to post events in their clubs, if necessary. Besides Interest groups, Treetle also allows users to create clubs for registered NGOs and the company plans to launch merchant clubs which will allow users to interact with their preferred merchants.

Events: Members of a club can post events by providing event details like agenda, location and time. The site also stated that organizers can charge attendees a fee for the event, although there is currently no mechanism to either offer or buy tickets on the portal. To incentivize users to conduct events, the portal also offers appreciation points to organizers based on attendee response for the event. These points can then be redeemed for merchandise on the website or e-Vouchers for various e-commerce sites. At the time of writing this article, the site offered e-vouchers for Flipkart, AllSchoolStuff, CamelBak, PlayGroundOnline among others.

Treetle claimed that it is already running over 70 different active clubs across several interests like biking, flying, animal care and music within three months of the site launch and claims to cater to more than 3400 cities in India with plans to launch overseas over the next two quarters. The company has also raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding in August last year, according to a TechCircle report.

Is There A Need? While current services like Google groups, Facebook groups, Facebook events already offer similar services, one of the advantages of the portal could be the discovery of events and interest groups around a specific location. For instance, If I relocate to a new place, I would be interested to know whats happening in my neighborhood and make new acquaintances. However, it remains to be seen whether users will choose to sign-up for a new service, when existing social networking services already offer these features, and have a large user-base. Also, we feel that the service should make use of location data and offer a mobile experience so that users can track what’s happening in the vicinity.