Barna Hub talks with CEO and co-founder of Sharify Gemma Prenafeta

Barna Hub

Today the Barna Hub team was lucky enough to talk to Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify, a fantastic new app that allows you to share what’s happening, right now, in just three clicks. 

The beta version of the Sharify app launches today, so be sure to head to the iOS and Android app stores to download it.

Take it away Gemma!

Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify
Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify

A quick pitch

Sharify is a shared map of what is happening right now around us. We are a social network that lets people, businesses and brands share moments in the city – like concerts, football matches or even a coffee-break –  in just three clicks: what, when and where.


sharify app launch

Our website and beta versions of our Android and iOS apps is available from today (11 April) – so come and check it out:

We’re also looking for a Backend Engineer and a Chief Marketing Officer – if that sounds like you, you can apply here:

Down to business

How Sharify Works

What does the word “sharify” mean to you?

Sometimes, it seems to me that we are forgetting what the word “share” really means. Sharify is about recovering the word “share”.

I’m not talking about sharing a tweet, a post or a like, but sharing the experience of going to a concert, of playing some sport or of enjoying a few beers.

Sharify is about sharing real life openly, with locals, expats and tourists, through a platform that offers an open map of what is happening in the city, right now.

What inspired you to start Sharify?

When I went to work abroad in the wonderful city of London, I realised I had no way to discover what was going on in that moment.

Of course, I could look for events in Google or even look for other tourists on Couchsurfing or Meetup, but it was not geo-localised and it wasn’t very fast.

I realised it would be much easier and faster if we could share this information in just three clicks, publishing a “what, when and where” so that other people could find events, come along and take part.

The possibilities of this are endless. Sharify can help people who want to visit a museum or art exhibition, it can help people find a team to play a football match with, or even help people get together and share a dog-walk!

Social media can be quite isolating, how is Sharify bringing people together again?

Every Social Network helps us in some way; we wouldn’t know how our old friends were doing without Facebook, we wouldn’t enjoy awesome photos from all around the world without Instagram, and we wouldn’t hear about the latest worldwide news without Twitter.

But in a world where people travel more than ever, where people go to work and study abroad and where cities host a beautiful mix of cultures and events, we realised that now is the time to create the first Social Network for people who want to do something.

We’ve just started, but we will do our best to bring people together through Sharify.

Barcelona Insight

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

The world needs people who believe in change and who will work hard to achieve it. I just started, but the main advice I would give is to be sure that you want to do it.

In my case it has taken endless persistence, a lot of passion for what I do and a good team and mentors to work with.

What online resource for startups could you not live without?

Slack, definitely.

Do you ever attend networking events or conferences in Barcelona? Where should entrepreneurs go?

Barcinno notifies entrepreneurs about all Barcelona’s events. It has been very useful for me from the very beginning. I was studying International Business and Marketing at ESCI-UPF until this July and I attended every event I could after my university classes. Sometimes I didn’t understand almost anything in some of the tech meetings, but it always worth going!

For someone looking for something new and exciting to do or visit in Barcelona this Spring, what would the Sharify team recommend?

I am sure that Barcelona will surprise us, as spring always has plenty of events to discover. Although we will be still in beta for a few months, perhaps Sharify app can help you with that 😉


Find Sharify Online





What do upcoming changes to the Facebook Newsfeed mean for your business?

Upcoming changes to Facebook Newsfeed

At the beginning of the year Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to make some big changes to improve user experience of Facebook:

The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.

My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues.

Source: Facebook

Last night, Zuckerberg went further, announcing on his Facebook feed that user feedback indicates that people are being overwhelmed by business, media and brand posts and that this is “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Referring to academic research, Zuckerberg says that while personal posts and real connections benefit people, reading articles and watching videos may not.

As a result, the Facebook team is concentrating on updating the News Feed. It will soon start to deliver more content from friends and family, rather than from brand and media channels.

In his post, Zuckerberg predicts that time spent on the platform and engagement would decrease, but would bring long-term benefits to people, communities and businesses in time.

Facebook Newsfeed Changes
Mark Zuckerberg, Extract


Facebook & the Big Picture

Facebook is positioning itself as a user-first platform. It aims to regain public trust by limiting the reach of fake news sites and spammy brands.

While Facebook began as a social media platform, it has developed into a fully-fledged marketing platform with a well developed business model. 

Organic reach – or Newsfeed penetration – for business pages has been in decline – dropping 20% in 2017, according to research by BuzzSumo. 

As a result, brands are are spending more on ads; spending grew 23% in the first six months of 2017, reaching $40.1 billion in the U.S. alone.

What might this mean for business?

The Facebook algorithm is now punishing engagement bait, as we outlined in a recent post – 5 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018, and is rewarding higher quality and more relevant content.

Zuckerberg’s announcement probably means that only highly engaged fans are likely to see your content in their Newsfeeds, resulting in an even greater push towards sponsored publishing on Facebook.  

We are sure that as the year progresses Business Page reach will fall further and your strategy will have to adapt as a result. Smaller business platforms and media outlets will likely suffer, and those relying on organic reach alone will see a big drop in traffic.

Start strategising your content distribution and think about your budgets accordingly!

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5 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018

George Chilton talks social media on Hubbub Labs

Is this the death knell for clickbait on social media? How does the new Facebook algorithm affect video reach for Pages? Will we be fully immersed in VR tech this year? What will Facebook AR look like? And more…
VR is coming to mainstream Social Media
Photo by Paul Bence on Unsplash


There’s a lot for digital marketers and users to look forward to as we move into the new year. We will see more relevant News Feed content, a new war on clickbait and engagement bait, greater experimentation in the virtual reality and augmented reality arenas, and quality video content will continue to dominate.

Here are 5 predictions for Facebook social media management in 2018.

  1. We’ll see a shift towards higher quality content

Comment YES if you hate engagement bait! Facebook’s latest announcement that it would start to “demote individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait” is good news for almost everyone. It signals a new beginning for social media as the onus is now one creating content that truly informs people and encourages engagement naturally.

Specifically, the Facebook algorithm will punish pages and posts soliciting engagement in the following ways (scroll through the gallery for examples):

  • Vote baiting: attracting engagement by asking for likes and other reactions to vote for something. “Click like to vote for our page!”
  • React baiting: Asking people to react to a post to indicate their opinion, e.g. “Yes = like; No = Heart”
  • Share baiting: Asking people to share with the friends in exchange for something, or to indicate something, e.g. “Share with your friends if you want to get rich!”
  • Tag baiting: Asking the user to tag a friend – e.g. “Tag a friend who’d do this!”
  • Comment baiting: Asking users to comment a set phrase or two to show support, e.g. “Comment YES if you agree!”

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Pages that use these tactics will see reach on posts decrease, and those that do it regularly will probably see traffic trickle to a halt.

  1. Clickbait will die a slow and welcome death

Facebook wants marketers to know that it takes its “News Feed values” seriously and is also coming down hard on posts that it considers to be low quality, inauthentic, or clickbait-y.

The company says this is to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.”

This is likely to be partly in response to harsh criticism and possible sanctions in the wake of the rise of so-called fake news during the 2016 US presidential election, Brexit, and other political contests. But whatever the reason for Facebook’s shift toward promoting authenticity, value, and quality we can certainly get behind it.

  1. Video and Facebook Live video with continue to dominate

Native video content was big on Facebook in 2017 and it’s only going to get bigger this year, engaging more of the audience than links, images and videos hosted on other platforms.

Again, Facebook is rewarding quality content producers with two new additions to the algorithm, improving reach for videos that lots of users are searching for. If this is the case your video will receive higher distribution in the News Feed.

This is also true if your video is getting repeat views, and people keep coming back to your Page for more, you see increased video distribution.

While it’s important to keep produced videos short, include subtitles (if necessary), and add calls to action, Facebook Live videos still do better when they are longer, as they tend to garner more engagement during the broadcast.

  1. Facebook Spaces and immersive virtual reality will start to have an impact

We were lucky enough to attend F8 early in 2017, at the Mobile World Centre in Barcelona, where Facebook unveiled the innovative Facebook Spaces – an immersive VR experience for users that own Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE VR tech.

Facebook Spaces is an app that allows you to enter a VR “space” and talk and interact with your friends via customisable avatars (characters that represent you). Look at these happy people:

As VR headsets become more pervasive, we predict that the social media space will be a petri dish for VR initiatives.

Not only will we see VR games being developed for real time fun with your avatar friends, but as it develops there will be amazing sponsored opportunities for marketers in the real estate industry, as well as in design, leisure, travel & tourism related industries (and many others, we’re sure).

  1. Facebook’s Augmented Reality Camera Effects Platform will rock your world

Even more exciting and accessible is Facebook’s Augmented Reality (AR) Camera Effects platform. It is currently still in (closed) beta, but open for developers to experiment: offering artists and developers  the opportunity to “create effects for the Facebook camera” via Frame Studio and AR Studio.

Frame Studio lets you design frames to use on your profile pictures, or on the Facebook camera. Somewhat more excitingly, the AR studio will allow you to look through your smartphone screen via the Facebook camera app and see a new augmented world.

According to Facebook, developers in the beta trial are currently working on ”animated frames, masks, and interactive effects that respond to motion, interactions during Live broadcasts, or third-party data”.

The AR studio combines three main elements, including a Face Tracker which can fit masks to faces in real-time, Sensor data which allows you to move your phone around and explore a virtual or augmented space and Scripting APIs which let developers use data to change effects and “respond to user interactions” in real-time – including in Facebook Live broadcasts.

Opportunities for brands abound. Imagine your product being displayed in place in a sponsored AR post on the Camera Effects platform. You might model those new sunglasses you like in the mirror at home, before clicking “buy”; your sports shoes could tell you how many kilometres you just ran;  you can check out that new sofa and how it looks living room without leaving home; or perhaps as you pass an ad on the underground and a presenter will jump up out of the screen and give you more information…

Social Media in 2018

2018 is going to be the most experimental and exciting yet for marketers on Facebook – and we’ve only just scratched the surface in this post. What are your predictions for the year to come?

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Barna Hub: Startup Interview with Spitche’s Matthieu Astarita and Kévin Markowski

Barna Hub

In this installment of Barna Hub we are lucky enough to talk to the co-founders of Spitche. Kévin Markowski (CEO) and Matthieu Astarita (CMO) have recently launched their brand new social media management and ambassador engagement tool all rolled into one.

As if that’s not enough, the pair are also the co-founders of the popular Meltin’ Afterwork Event – a regular Barcelona networking night where you can meet other entrepreneurs, startup founders, and a lot of great people.

Take it away guys!

Spitche social media and ambassador platform

140 character pitch:

Spitche gamifies social media management for brands & their ambassadors, offering rewards to fans who share content with their friends.


Come and meet us Tuesday 24th of October at the next Meltin’ Afterwork Event

Listen to some great talks and meet like-minded entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts based in Barcelona! Our partner AmoVino will be present as usual to serve you some top Catalan wines.

Down to business

Kevin and Matthieu from Spitche
Matthieu (L) and Kévin (R), co-founders of Spitche
Why did you want to found your own startup?

Before Spitche, we both used to work for large companies. Making changes or improving procedures would take forever and often needed approval from above. This lack of freedom was frustrating, because we are the kind of people who are full of ideas and want to create new things.

We like it when things move quickly and make things better for everyone. So we decided to partner and create our own company.

What’s the best startup resource or tool online and why is it useful?

For us, the best resource is our network and the people supporting our startup. We know people with a lot of experience in creating startups and successful businesses, as well as in fundraising and digital marketing.

That’s why we created Meltin’ Afterworks networking events here in Barcelona. It has allowed us to meet new people in the same industry who can give us feedback and also find potential partners who we can work with and exchange ideas.

The startup scene is growing fast here in Barcelona, let’s all hope it keeps going like this!

If you could have more of one of these things in your life, what would it be and why: money, time, contacts, coffee?

Definitely Time.

It’s horrible to see how fast the days go by – it seems like we don’t have enough time for anything. It’s essential for us to prioritise tasks every single day and make sure the business is moving forward. If a day could last 48 hours, that would be amazing.

Hubbub: Tell us about it!

Barcelona Insight

What’s the coolest place to work in in Barcelona?
cloud cowork
Startup Event at CloudCoWorking, Barcelona (Photo: Dan Shepherd)

There are a lot of places with great work environments here in Barcelona.

The OneCowork at the marina has amazing views of all the yachts. Then there’s CloudCoWorking, which hosts a lot of international events.

In terms of cafes we are very fond of Generator and Bicioci bike cafe in Gracia. But don’t tell anyone, we want to keep them just for us 🙂

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you have your last meal?


This is where we like to take our friends who come to Barcelona on holiday. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a great Maradona Burger, stunning views of Barceloneta beach and some cool drinks.

Hubbub Team: Sold.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Just go for it! It costs almost nothing to start a business today – you can even do it on the side while working or studying.

Our motto is you never fail, you only learn! The only thing that you need to start is a good network – you’ll only miss out if you don’t try.

Leave us on a cliff hanger:

We’ll soon have some great news about Meltin’ Afterworks for people who are at the very early stages of their businesses.

Hubbub team: We’re intrigued! It was great talking to you guys. We’re off to MakaMaka right now. 

Follow Spitche online


See more from Barna Hub with this interview with Bida’s Priscilla Lavoie.


4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Social Media Followers

social media

Social media startup tips from George Chilton, Creative Director of Hubbub Labs.

If you have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, you’ve probably bumped into a bot or two. You may have even received messages from them offering you thousands of new social media followers, or dozens of fake likes a day, for a couple of hundred dollars. While most people ignore it, this can be tempting if you represent a brand, especially when your demanding boss expects you to grow your company’s online communities and “increase engagement”.

But don’t do it.

Buying followers is like making a presentation and filling half the auditorium with cardboard cutout people. It looks good when you take a selfie from the stage, but the applause is pretty weak.

It’s far better to have a small group of engaged followers, who represent your target market, than thousands of random accounts who pay you no attention.

So please, for the love of Zuckerberg, don’t make this horrible social media mistake. Here are 4 reasons why you should never buy online followers:

1. Fake social media followers hurt your marketing objectives

Think about why you set up a social media account in the first place. You want to be there for your customers, reach a wider audience with your content, potentially advertise your services, and talk to real people. It’s great branding and helps build your reputation.

Now imagine, for a moment, that instead of your customers, their friends and wider networks, you have a series of fake accounts following you.

What value will you give them? Absolutely none. At the end of the day it’s a vanity project that helps no-one but the people getting paid to follow you.

2. Zero engagement kills your visibility

Fake followers suck; they won’t ask you questions, they won’t like or share your posts and they certainly won’t get or give any value. All they’re doing is swelling your numbers and lowering your engagement ratio.

The numbers might look good at first glance, but this lower engagement ratio means your content will get rated lower by social media algorithms, and will therefore be less visible to real followers.

Fake likes don’t count as engagement, either. See what Facebook has to say about it:

Facebook takes into account Page engagement rates when deciding when and where to deliver a Page’s legitimate adverts and content, so Pages with artificially inflated like counts are harming themselves, making it more difficult and more expensive to reach the people they care about most —

3. Buying fake social media followers and likes harms your reputation

You wouldn’t pay actors to come to your dinner party and pretend to be your friends. It would be humiliating if you were ever caught. The same goes for buying fake followers.

First of all, like fake dinner guests, fake accounts are obvious. They:

  • Are clearly not part of your target audience
  • Often tweet or post in unrelated languages
  • Probably live on the other side of the world
  • May have no photos (or weird photos)

Once you’ve been rumbled, people will have a hard time trying to trust you. Not only does it make you look vain, it shows that you’re desperate and unable to run a valuable social media account (I mean, who are you trying to kid, Donald?).

4. Breaking the rules could get you banned

Every platform has its own terms of service. Buy buying fake followers and likes you could well find yourself in hot water. Having a suspended personal account looks bad, having a suspended brand account is worse – particularly when you’re being paid to run it.

Twitter, for example, may temporarily block or permanently ban you from using the service if:

You are selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, likes, etc.).

You are using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast”, or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account).


Don’t take the short cut

A strong social media following can take time to build. Aim to deliver consistent value to your audiences you’ll begin to see more engagement. Speak to real people, ask questions and lead the conversation.

Tell us how you get along – you can get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!