The Internet needs an open communications layer—cross-platform, and free from an advertising supported business model.
Developers that have tried to build rich, secure, scalable communications in their products know that it’s extremely hard to do right. Solving authentication, security, sync, offline messages, push notifications and a plethora of other problems is a challenge by itself. And then there’s infrastructure. It’s immensely difficult to build and expensive to set up high performance, global infrastructure. Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are the only companies that can afford to spend millions, deploy huge teams, and cover the cost of a global infrastructure. Their platforms are not open, platform dependant, or rely on an advertising business model.
We started Layer to make rich, secure, scalable communications easy. Layer is the open communications layer for the Internet, enabling the power of communications in any mobile or web product.
We have designed Layer for fellow developers, we built it to solve all the hard bits of rich messaging, voice and video calls. Developers can focus on the core of their products.
We built it for all of us. Communication is a basic human need, and Layer will enable people around the world to better communicate. Layer is about giving developers and designers the freedom to dream up new app experiences, to delight their users and scale with confidence as their creations take off. We can’t wait to see what new, engaging, innovative products you build with it.
At Layer we’re developing full-stack communications. The open-sourced Layer UI kit helps developers provide a great user experience, fits nicely on top of the Layer SDK that exposes a series of Layer cloud services.
Just like you don’t have to build maps from scratch to add locations services, or an entire payments processing stack to collect a credit card payment, you no longer need to build a communications stack to send messages or make calls as a native part of your product.
The Layer team
We know a lot about building communications infrastructure.
Tomaz started Vox.io, a real-time communications company, with the singular aim of delivering a rich communications experience to its customers. He soon learned the lesson described above. He got sidelined building the infrastructure to support the service. In total Tomaž spent six years thinking through seemingly every complex detail of how to do it and do it well. Being a product designer, passionate about providing an amazing experience to his users, he had to learn more than he ever could have imagined about both the client side and the infrastructure required for a great communications service.
Ron was critical to the beginning and success of Grand Central, the much-loved telecommunications service. When Grand Central was acquired by Google (and became known as Google Voice) back in 2007, Ron temporarily shelved his many ideas for how to improve the communications landscape. But Ron too, learned a massive amount from his Grand Central experience and never stopped obsessing over it and the opportunities it left on the table to build a truly open, global communications platform.
The Layer team is full of engineers and designers with a strong passion for making people communicate in a better way across all the products they use.
As we introduce Layer, we want to share our core beliefs and commit to them publicly.
An open communication layer is good for everyone
We created an open platform where any and every service is welcome to play, where communication data can be easily migrated from service to service. People should be able to pick their preferred mode of communication without having to be locked in a walled garden. Open means we will all win.
Trust, privacy and security
We understand that developers and their end-users demand absolute privacy and security for their communications. We take this responsibility seriously. That means industry-best practices on all layers and active participation in making industry standards better.
It just works
We are committed to providing the easiest way to integrate communications in any mobile or web product. Layer takes care of the hard bits and the infrastructure so developers can focus on the core experience of their products.
Enable creators of great experiences
Some pricing models of developer-geared communications services are less than perfect, making quick growth extremely expensive due to per-transaction billing. At Layer we will always offer a free tier for low volume products, and only charge once an app gets meaningful traction. We succeed as our developers succeed.
Developers love Layer
For the past few months we’ve been working closely with tons of developers building amazing products — from productivity tools, healthcare apps, marketplaces, dating services, games to a series of other use cases. We listened, we worked hard and obsessed with every detail so that they truly love Layer.
Today, we are opening our early access program with the first 50 available slots. If you want to add messaging, voice or video to your product, we welcome you to sign up for early access.
We are excited to see the amazing experiences you will build with Layer!