At first glance, its not clear what type of company Bunny Burnit is. Nevertheless, the company homepage’s bright neon pink colors, a Donny Darko-esque image of a rabbit with a fire burning above its head and the words BURN in red – can only make one more curious.
Bunny Burnit was founded earlier this year in May by CEO Sooyeon Meang with two other friends. Originally Maeng was researching how social networking records were kept but noticed that leaving a record wasn’t always a good thing.
“I found that having one’s information floating around online forever could result in problems with individual privacy. While trying to find a way to solve the problem through “self-deleting” messages, I met up with some friends who felt the same and decided to create Bunny Burnit.”
Maeng believes that the online world has opened up a new world of communication, but along with new freedoms of expression comes the burden of being responsible for what you say.
“It’s easy to see the effects when you see people getting fired because of something they wrote on Twitter, or the case of the singer who lost their job because of something they had written four years prior.”
The company has released a Facebook app which “burns” messages automatically after a selected period of time. Once the app is installed, the user can choose the period of time they want the message to be viewable for and then update their status from within in their browser or through the Facebook app. Users can select a time of up to 3 days, and once it passes, the message is deleted forever.
Maeng says that this is just the beginning and Bunny Burnit plans to offer more than just this service. The company’s upcoming service “Bunny Forum” is an online discussion space for self-deleting messages.
“Currently, the introduction of the real name system has caused internet comments to decrease by 70% and many people have become reluctant to express their thoughts over the internet.
Just as things that we say offline only remain as a memory to those around us and then disappear into the ether, we are planning to create a free discussion space where users express themselves through messages that will self-delete after a certain amount of time – remaining only as memories.”
Another service in the works is SNS Bunny Burnit, a social network which uses self-deleting messages. Other features of the network will include ‘Bunny Buddy’ to manage friends, ‘Bunny Chat’ for talking with friends and ‘My Bunny’, a place for users to express their individual opinions. The company is also looking to offer similar privacy protection solutions to be used in businesses and institutions.Bunny Burnit plans to expand overseas after establishing a stable system in Korea and analyzing the different factors such as, laws and communication differences which could affect such a service in different countries. Maeng says that because of this, the company will need to make a lot of preparation before the service goes global. Nevetheless she believes that freedom of expression on the internet and protecting privacy is important world wide.
The company expects to release its app on Android later this month. The next step after that is to open Bunny Forum, expected to be online by September this year.