Lyra: a conversation service which respects language

In today's fast-moving world, it can seem that words are being replaced by images, memes and clickbait. Lyra is a communication service which values language, authenticity, and messages written by people you care abo
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LONDON - Feb. 9, 2017 - PRLog --

Lyra: a conversation service which respects language

Dr Fintan Nagle
Lyra Communications


5 February 2017

It's special to receive a handwritten letter from a friend. On the Web today, there's nothing like that experience. You can talk on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Whatsapp - but your messages are not shown with the respect they deserve, and your news feed is ruled by algorithms. Linguistically, social networks are the fast food of communication.

Lyra isn't a social network: it's a conversation service. Lyra is built for deep and meaningful conversations with people you care about.

We're not aiming to disrupt the industry. We're not trying to kill Facebook (we believe that will take care of itself). We're aiming to support and respect something which is as old as the hills: deep, meaningful, distraction-free conversations with people you care about.

Lyra values language

Lyra takes care to properly display the messages you've written. We don't hide most of your messages, forcing you to continually click "Read more." We use first-line indented paragraphs, an indicator which has stood the test of time, to guide the eye through a message.

Lyra values attention

Research in psychology and cognitive science points towards a worrying trend: using the internet is shortening our attention spans[1] and teaching us to find information rather than remembering it[2]. Most web pages contain a bewildering amount of widgets designed to capture attention and generate more page views. This constant effort to recruit the reward system can lead to problems with web addiction[3]. Lyra respects thousands of years' tradition: like a book, the service is designed to allow you to focus on the conversation you're reading.

Lyra doesn't use popularity algorithms

Reddit, Snapchat and Facebook use popularity ranking algorithms to show you what they consider the most interesting posts. These algorithms set up a rat race, homogenising the community, as well as encouraging  reposts. With Lyra, you follow p  eople rather than topics or "what's hot" lists. Algorithms are no longer the brokers of fame and popularity: people are.

Lyra values privacy

We don't sell any of your data. We don't buy any data about you from external organisations. And we don't use your activity or your profile to target adverts to you. We use a securely encrypted HTTPS connection.

Lyra values control

Traditional social media networks don't give you much control over a) the audiences of your messages or b) your news feed. (Some do, but the features are clunky and hard to use.) Lyra uses groups of people to control audiences and news feed. There is a difference from other networks: on Lyra, groups are private to you. Only you can see what your groups are called and who is in them.

● When you read your news, you can select one, some or all of your groups to read news from. This allows you fine control over your news feed.
● When you make a new conversation, you can select one, some or all of your groups as the audience. If you set the conversation to private, only people in the audience can see or comment on it.

Our business model

● Lyra is a non-profit: we charge the amount it takes to run our service and pay our engineers, which is currently £3 per year.
● Lyra is not seeking investment and does not need to find a route to monetise. It offers a service to clients, and charges a fair price.
● Lyra does not display (or sell) advertising. Lyra does not earn money by collecting (or selling) your personal data.

Our team

Lyra is designed and built by specialists with extensive experience in web development, cognitive science and online community building. Our main contact is Dr Fintan Nagle, a research scientist at UCL's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Please write to


[1] Krishnan, S. Shunmuga, and Ramesh K. Sitaraman. "Video stream quality impacts viewer behavior: inferring causality using quasi-experimental designs."  IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking 21.6 (2013): 2001-2014.
[2] Sparrow, Betsy, Jenny Liu, and Daniel M. Wegner. "Google effects on memory: Cognitive consequences of having information at our fingertips."  science 333.6043 (2011): 776-778.
[3] Hadlington, L. J. "Cognitive failures in daily life: Exploring the link with Internet addiction and problematic mobile phone use."  Computers in Human Behavior 51 (2015): 75-81.

Copyright 2016, 2017 Lyra Communications Ltd, UK registered company 10534260

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