A private app for the most important people in your life

#2 Product of the WeekNovember 26, 2019
Cocoon is a dedicated space for the most important people in your life. You use it with a single group who you want to feel closer with — it's like your home, on your phone.
Would you recommend this product?
34 Reviews3.4/5
Hey, I'm Sachin (the other Cofounder). Really excited to share Cocoon with the PH community and hear your feedback, questions, and ideas. One particular area that I'm really fascinated by — there's a whole world of features that could be really useful within the context of a closed family space, but wouldn't make sense in a general purpose messaging app. The ambient sharing layer is the first example that we've started to explore in earnest — the Now tab in Cocoon offers a window into the life of everyone in your Cocoon without them having to manually share anything. Not only would most of us not feel comfortable sharing at that level with a broader audience, we also wouldn't find that kind of content from people other than our chosen families very interesting :) Our automatic flight tracker is coming soon, and we have a host of other ideas that fall into this category that I'm really excited to explore. What do you think? Are there any features like this that you'd love to have as a part of your family space? A final note: the app is only available on iOS for now but Android is coming as soon as we can build it! If you want to be notified when it's ready, you can add your email here:
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@monga This is a really awesome idea. Really happy to start using it with my family. However, will it ever be possible to join more than one Cocoon? Personally I have my family that I am close with but also another very close group friends.
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@monga @mrwittwer came here to write the same! Would love to have this with family, close friends, and potentially even a small professional group of friends
@mrwittwer @robjbye It will be possible in the not-too-distant future! So you could start with your first, most obvious group who you would want a shared space with on your phone. And know that you'll be able to reside in a handful of Cocoons soon. From our (still largely anecdotal) research on this, we found that most people have somewhere between 1-2 family units and 0-3 friend units that could clearly map to a Cocoon. Older people we talked to tended to skew on the lower side, and younger people could identify more groups that would make sense. From a product standpoint: since you'll only ever be in a few (VS dozens or hundreds of potential chat threads), we want to make residing in multiple Cocoons and switching between them feel a little more heavyweight and intentional than i.e. switching between chat threads in an inbox view. More like navigating between completely different places/settings. After using the app for a little bit, I'd be curious if you have any thoughts/ideas for how you'd like to see multiple Cocoons implemented!
@mrwittwer @monga Hi Sachin, really interesting to hear that research and it does fall in line with my expectations. Love that you want to make it feel intentional, as having multiple groups could quickly become overwhelming (like multiple group threads or slack groups feel currently!). If you're up for it, I would love to chat about this and also Cocoon as a whole - I'm an ex-google PM and past founder, so hopefully I could help! Drop me an email if you would like -
@mrwittwer @robjbye @monga Hi Monga, good luck in your Venture! I’d like to weigh in the topic of multiple cocoons. As I, my family & friends were heavy users of @path. In MENA region (maybe Asia as well), small groups (<10) of very close families and/or friends usually depends heavily on WhatsApp groups. As well as social networks like Twitter. There was a clear gap between very small groups and large social networks. Which was a private place for close-but-not-very-close groups (10-60). Because the Perceived-value to move from WhatsApp group to another app to share same things with very limited people is very low. This was the sweet spot for a private mini-social-networking product. I have few thoughts and statistics on this segment as well as suggested Product approaches that align with local community social behaviors, if interested i can share it in detail via email. Good luck to you and the team!
Any plans on Android version?
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@fedoroveugenework Yes! As soon as we can build it. If you want to be notified when it's live, you can add your email here in the meantime:
@fedoroveugenework @monga hope that’s gonna be really soon, I’m so hyped!
It goes beyond the normal messaging app and makes me feel connected to my family (who’s split across several time zones right now).
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I’d like to hear more about data management policy. the last thing I want is to blindly trust something in sharing my family stuff.
@mohammedalrozzi they worked at Facebook so they'll likely share it
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@mohammedalrozzi @edisonjoao6871 That's a pretty cynical take. Alex said on Twitter that the business model is subscriptions, not ads/data.
@mohammedalrozzi @edisonjoao6871 A few things I'll touch on here. From a system design standpoint, Cocoons are "federated" in that there is no way for users outside of your Cocoon to see what you're sharing -- your other Cocoon members can't forward it, you can't accidentally post something to the wrong thread, and content can't spread beyond its intended audience. From a business standpoint, we have no reason to share your data with 3rd parties or sell it for any reason. We don't even have a reason to build up any internal data profiles since we'll never be serving ads. In fact, we have every reason not to do these things since privacy/intimacy/trust is at the core of why people would want a space like Cocoon. Lastly, from an engineering standpoint, anything you share in your Cocoon is encrypted in transit with SSL/TLS, then stored on secure servers by our hosting provider in the US. We are also exploring full e2e encryption but want to make sure we get a chance to make that decision thoughtfully, with input from our customers.
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@mohammedalrozzi @bryantpeng not a cynical take.. would you have the same viewpoints of an oil tycoon wanting to get in on fixing the environment? The same environment he helped damaged.. come on Bryant
Hello I'm Alex, one of the cofounders of Cocoon. The site and the video do a good job covering the highlights – I'll chime in with sometime I'm particularly excited about, which is the threading model we built into Cocoon. We refer to it as clustered conversations. In a typical message thread, the entire conversation is linear. Every message is added onto the end of a single thread. This makes for a really lightweight exchange that can be contained in one view. However, for group chats in particular this can be chaotic, especially when multiple topics are being discussed at once. By contrast, feeds are organized around posts, which host their own distinct comment threads. This is great for organization, but comes at the cost of navigational overhead, where comments are displayed on separate pages and posts need to be organized algorithmically. Since Cocoon is a dedicated space for a group, we can take unique liberties with the construction of the space itself. We are able to combine the lightweight linearity of a messaging thread, with the organized comment model of a reverse-chronological feed. The main view in Cocoon is a combination of manual and ambient updates, appearing in the order they were created. Each update – each piece of context – is capable of hosting its own conversation attached to it. When you tap on any update, the keyboard will appear and you can reply in-line. Your comment will attach directly to whatever you clicked on, and the order of the top-level updates will remain unchanged. This allows multiple conversations to occur at once, all in a single view. The end result is a cluster of conversations, built on a clear hierarchy between top-level updates and their attached comments.