Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Belarusian quits job at Facebook to launch a video app rivaling one of its services


Belarus-born Vadim Lavrusik has launched Alively, an app that allows people to share recorded or live video privately with friends and family, and can potentially rival Facebook Live and Periscope. He told about the app in an interview to Mercury News.

Vadim Lavrusik used to work as a product manager for Facebook Live but decided to leave the company this year and launch Alively. The idea behind the app is to enable people to share private moments with a limited number of people.

On Facebook you could technically go into the settings and select a few people, but its not easy, so people dont end up using it, Lavrusik explained.

SJM-SVCHAT-0926One of the things Ive learned is peoples perception of how they share on Facebook has evolved over the last three years. People over time have become very fixated on how their content is performing, so they wont share things that have a low number of likes, for example.

Theres not a way to like a video on Alively. The only feedback you get on a video is you can see whether someone has watched it and has commented on it. It was all intentional. We dont want this to be about people feeling like they have to perform or theyre putting on a show. Its more about capturing everyday moments and sharing them live.

The list of contacts on the phone will serve as the built-in user base. At present the beta version of Alively is available for iOS.

The three-person startup, which was also co-founded by Ray Lee and Vincent Tuscano, has raised just over $1 million in seed funding from Greylock Partners, SV Angel and other venture capital firms.

Vadim Lavrusik emigrated with his mom and three siblings from Belarus to Minnesota when he was 8 years old. He speaks Russian fluently and loves to cook Russian food, borrowing recipes from his mom.After receiving his masters from Columbia University, Vadim started his career as a reporter and journalist and used to work in social media teams for Mashable and the New York Times.

He now lives in California.