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Chris Messina@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
There have been many attempts at future check in apps. None seem to have achieved critical mass. It just seems like most people don't plan that far ahead, or at least think about posting their plans via an app. How will you address this behavioral problem? What will you do to help people remember to pre-post their plans or, more challenging yet, change their behavior to do so?
Ruben Martinez Jr.@rubencodes · Engineering & Design at WELL Health Inc.
@chrismessina Not entirely true: the only successful future checkin I can think of are FB Events. As I read through their site, I just kept thinking this is like a Facebook Event, albeit better and more dedicated, but still derivative.
Panos SpyrakisMaker@be_panos · Co-founder & CEO, bethere
@chrismessina Thank you for that Chris! That is totally true, people won’t plan far ahead or spontaneously share something that’s not happening in the immediate future. This is why we designed the app based on the importance of short term scheduled tasks from upcoming activities to going outs (please have look at our UI – only 3 upcoming days appear besides Today). Most of our users’ activity is about what they’re up to for the next couple of hours or the next day. And of course, the behavioral change is even more difficult to happen! We want to offer real value & reward users for actually sharing their location with friends and this is what happens with bethere. Once they start using the app they actually realize they can influence their friends’ schedule offline. And that’s what reminds users to get back in the app and post! In addition, it’s not about just a future check-in, it’s about an interactive experience where a post creates expectation to friends while they’re waiting to see how planned moments will look a little later once the user is prompted to upload a photo when he’s there.
Panos SpyrakisMaker@be_panos · Co-founder & CEO, bethere
@chrismessina @rubencodes Just wanted to add that betheres are supposed to be quick, easy & spontaneous posts (not necessarily organized events). All of them displayed in your dash as a shared calendar with friends (...but not only)
Nick O'Neill@allnick · CEO, Holler Inc.
@chrismessina @be_panos It's been incredible to see so many new attempts (via ProductHunt) that are doing something in the future check in space. All have failed though for one simple reason: people want personal invites, not passive invitations. Sending you a passive notification that I'm going out is not really an invite. Instead it feels like you weren't invited. The key takeaway that previously drove remarkably high response rates for me in the past is sending personalized invites on a broadcast basis. In other words it becomes a utility for the person sending out the invites in a light-weight manner. I think @chrismessina's comment about behavior change is incredibly important and what's not clear is how any of these differentiate from past attempts. For a quick throwback, take a look at this article about Forecast, one of the first future check-ins, that did the exact same thing: http://mashable.com/2012/02/27/f....
Panos SpyrakisMaker@be_panos · Co-founder & CEO, bethere
@chrismessina @allnick Hey Nick! Although other attempts have been made in the past around future check-ins we believe that ours differentiates through its implementation and the user experience itself. Specifically, in bethere we focus on image sharing and the going out story created (post a bethere, later show how you spend your time there – reminded by a geo/time-triggered push). The app’s main goal is not to become an event planning tool neither a direct one-to-one invitation platform. It’s all about inspiring your circle with future actions, create an influential vibe and even indirectly allow people to bump into each other. Still, you can see a recent integration of bethere with Facebook’s Messenger allowing users to send betheres as funny animated illustration invites (GIFs) to friends through Messenger. You can see how it looks: https://www.facebook.com/bethere...
Joe Anderson@anderson760 · Designer
Cool idea! I think the main trouble points will be around marketing this to groups of friends that will use it consistently. If you can solve that and grow around friends of friends it will help with the critical mass problem. I think gender will also play an interesting role here like with the events you show, who you pair, who you suggest to invite. A few things I would explore, in the onboarding, you ask for email or facebook. Curious why you chose email over phone #? Phone # allows you to leverage the contacts book with unique numbers. Then based on who signs up you can match friends with friends. You can also do things like connecting people based on location and number. For example if my friend signs up while in SF, and I have that same person's number in the contact book, you can match us. I'm not sure what the FB api offers but again I think this part of the onboarding is really critical for the product you are making (mainly bc of what I described at the top of this post). Right now I'm seeing random people which makes sense since their aren't many people on the platform but I think there could be better ways to go about this. Another thing I would do is pull in FB events and try to use those to get people to help with the cold start problem. When I post for the first time the screen is blank, I think it would be nice to help guide the person into something they are doing next like getting food (simplest) or doing something on the weekend. Anything that can help the user not think too much about what's going on while first understanding the app. Grats on shipping!
Panos SpyrakisMaker@be_panos · Co-founder & CEO, bethere
@anderson760 Hey Joe! Thank you for your thoughts & for checking out the app. You're right about building the community, i agree. Also, for the phone number integration we have already this in mind. Facebook integration is really helpful offering useful data for friends & places suggestions. A how to "tutorial" is currently being developed. Thanks again!
Panos SpyrakisMaker@be_panos · Co-founder & CEO, bethere
bethere is a cool mobile way to plan great moments with friends. It lets you keep track of friends & others future check-ins while you can spontaneously share whatever you're up to next. Our challenge is to take the check-in concept even further adding true value & introducing social planning as it should be. Would love to hear your feedback!
Martin Shen@martinshen · UpOut
Yea there have been an insane number of these startups. Local/Events is an incredibly challenging space. It's just not engaging enough Just start here: is foursquare a runaway success? Is foursquare's Swarm a runaway success? Ok. A derivative of this therefore it can't be runaway success? Simple question: what's wrong with the current "text someone to invite them to an event" mechanism? Quick answer: nothing
Tim Johnsen@timonus · iOS at Pinterest, formerly at Flipboard.
Like Swarm Plans or Facebook Events?
Nadine SpyrakiMaker@nadine_spyraki · Co-founder bethere
@timonus Hey Tim! Swarm plans look like a space to chat with & message friends in order to arrange something, while our approach in terms of UI and experience introduces a dashboard as your shared calendar of friends and others scheduled activities (for every new plan there is a venue-centric tile added to the specific date)