Imagine an online environment where you can instant message and video chat with anyone in the world live, create a forum around a sporting event or news broadcast and purchase an assortment of goods—all on a single website.

A team of Ravenscroft High School grads wants to make this concept a reality with a new social media network called HangBee.

HangBee, as described by founder Will Christman, is an organic, living social interface where users can interact in multiple ways beyond what is available through today’s social networks. Christman, a 2014 graduate of the private school in North Raleigh, first thought up the concept during his freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was frustrated by the lack of real time interaction and privacy offered by major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A fan of role-playing video games like the Fallout series or World of Warcraft, which allow players to interact in real time, Christman wanted a social media platform that bridged the gap between social networking and the gaming sphere.

“I thought it would be cool to get online and instantly be with people, which is not like anything you can currently do,” Christman says. “I think other people want this kind of interaction, and social networking is going to morph into this real time space eventually.”

It took a year for Christman to move forward with his idea. Last year, he shared the idea with high school friend and Brown University student Max Haensel, and along with other Ravenscroft alumni Bailey McNeill (UNC-Chapel Hill), Clare Zaytoun (Brown University) and Andrew Ziperski (Stanford University), they mapped out their ideal social media network.  
Creating a completely new social networking site is a daunting task, Christman admits. Nearly 30,000 companies are listed under social media industry in AngelList alone. But enthusiasm for HangBee has stayed strong among the team, even when meetings were virtual throughout the year while the members were away at different schools.

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Note: ExitEvent is a news partner of WRAL TechWire.