The easiest way to get together with friends

Would you recommend this product?
No reviews yet
Hey Product Hunt! I’m stoked to show you Down, an app I built with @virajsinha and @mikekolodny. We created Down because we want to make getting together with your friends as easy as checking Facebook. We find all of our best memories come from hanging out with our friends in real life, not sitting around scrolling through feeds on our phones. We think existing social apps are great, but they focus too much on replacing our lives with digital equivalents, and don’t do enough to encourage actually getting together with friends. We have been working on Down for the last couple of months with our friends as Beta testers. Our 1.0 release just hit the App Store and we want to get more feedback from the PH community. We will be on PH all day so feel free to ask any questions or share any thoughts. Thanks for checking it out!
@virajsinha @mikekolodny @jfeldstein Nope. Only relation is that we apparently both like the name "Down" for apps
Congrats on the launch! Down is one of the simpler invitation systems I've seen. Biggest issue I see here is that getting users to invest social capital into onboarding their friends is a big ask if they feel like no one else is using it and you haven't been able to prove the app is worth the endorsement yet. I'd venture a guess that this hurdle is what kills most social connection apps' growth. How do you guys plan to handle the first-in-network user issue?
@savvy_suarez Thanks! I totally agree that the biggest hurdle with social apps is getting your friends to use them. We're really excited about the solution we came up with: If you're the first one of your friends who's using Down, you can use the app exactly as you would if all of your contacts already downloaded the app. Just add your friends from your address book. Once you've added them, you can invite them to do stuff the same way you would if they already had the app. Only, rather than getting a push notification, they'll get a text message.
@savvy_suarez thanks Jesse! We 100% agree, it's a tough problem. We are trying to make the app compatible with people who don't already have it installed (see the above comment for implementation details). We think it should help but it still doesn't completely solve the user endorsement problem. We were thinking about adding group/list features so that we could focus on onboarding leaders in certain communities by reaching out to them manually and asking them to help spread adoption in their community. An example of this would be if we asked the Product Hunt team to create a Product Hunt group with people in the community. Other members of the group would then be able to send a Down to the list and every other person who is nearby and loves PH would get the invite. This would allow Product Hunt fans in any city to get together and meet each other. This would be a huge win for Product Hunt and for us. Do you have any other ideas? Its a super huge problem so I'd love to hear any ideas you think we should test out.
What's the easiest way to onboard my friends? That's always the hardest part for me when using a new app. I can see Down having potential for hanging out with people I don't hang out with too often. When inviting friends, does it sync with a calendar or have reminders?
@cattrestini That's a great question - we've heard that's a problem for a lot of people. To make it super easy to onboard your friends, we added the option to add friends from your contact list. Just tap "Add from address book". Once you've added a friend from contacts, you can invite them to do stuff even if they don't have the app yet. So you can even invite friends who don't have iPhones. Syncing with your calendar is definitely going in the next release. Hopefully reminders will be in action in the next couple days! Great feedback Catherine!
@cattrestini the easiest way to onboard friends would be to add them from your contacts. This will let you send them a text message which will create an account for them and add them as your friend. From there, you can start sending them invites. If they don't download the app or are on Android, they will receive a text message from us with all of the event info when you invite them to things. We are working on sending links to a mobile site where they can actually respond without downloading the app so Android users have something before we put together a full Android version. Right now, it does not sync with calendars. :( A few people have asked for that now and we are working on that for the next release. We were thinking of adding a button on each event that has date/time info to add it to your calendar. What do you think the ideal calendar integration would be?
@andrewlinfoot Thanks! For me personally - Google Docs and Plan. I already sync my Fb events to my calendar. Others may use ical, Sunrise, etc.
@cattrestini Good to know. Could you link me to Plan? I've never heard of it but would love to look into what it would take to set up integration with it. What do you think about how FB events handles sync? We were looking into trying to emulate their process but I am curious to know if you like their solution
@andrewlinfoot easy peasy inside google docs. basically, google docs is the actual reminder and set up for me - I get email notifications, push notifications on my cell, etc. for whatever I set up. I currently chose to view events manually on my calendar. fb I just use the events tab, and notifications within fb itself- it doesn't remind me of events outside of fb, basically. which I like because otherwise I'd be getting double notifications, if I were to set that up. Plan:
Congratulations, guys on the app! Down might be one of the easiest apps ever made available to organise hangouts and making it easy to get with friends. I know this might be not the suitable time, as you continue to gather feedback for the MVP. However, any plans on making "Down" available for Android?
@m_3abwahab Thanks Mohammad! Yes, we definitely want to release an Android version. We are all iOS developers so it might take us a while to get Android done but its on the roadmap. In the meantime, we want to partially support Android users by allowing them to receive invites via text with links to a mobile site to view the invitations and respond.
Is down down?