Videochat Messaging. It’s facetime, on your time.

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Yodel lets you can send videos, photos, and gifs to your friends, and as soon as they open your message, the app records them as they watch and respond. It’s a bit like facetime, but with the freedom to talk whenever you like. Super fun, and perfect for my busy schedule. I’ll say more during my LIVE Chat today, but go check it out!
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@hbarnes thanks for the post! We made Yodel to connect friends in the spontaneous conversations we have face-to-face, but never seem to get on our phones. Whether it’s a friend laughing at your dancing, a critic scrutinizing a new logo, or your family’s surprise when you tell them you have investors, there is something special about seeing these moments as they happen. Yodel gives you all the fun of a live videochat, with the freedom to talk whenever you like. We call it videochat messaging, and we think you’re gonna love it. We’re building this for you all, so let us know what you think! BTW you can add me as a friend on Yodel if you want someone to try it with! Username: @seth
@sethforsgren @hbarnes As someone intimately familiar with this idea (I launched a reaction messenger app last year before pivoting) I think the hardest problem is how to create a new habit when the payoff (getting back the video "reaction") is fun, but ultimately not that engaging. Sarah Perez at Techcrunch wrote a great article tackling these questions titled "Battle of the Reaction Messengers" so check it out -- hopefully you guys can figure out how to make this concept succeed, but be prepared for a tough battle: users out there want that "ah-ha" moment much more quickly than you are likely delivering it.
@dannyjespinoza Thanks Danny, we’ve been playing with @getonlow ourselves! We’re working hard to create a habit that people want to come back to every day, but it is a challenge. We view reactions as a valuable part of the conversation, but equally important as the realtime responses and quick back and forth you can have on Yodel. Sometimes the reaction is epic, but sometimes it just gives you the context of what you said last, almost like reading the text you previously sent someone before reading their response. It would be awesome to chat more about your experience with low and blush
@sethforsgren @hbarnes Reminds me of the original blab. Even has the same tagline "facetime on your own time". Seth if you ever want any insights on what worked/didn't work for us, lmk.
@shaanvp I’d love to chat Shaan, I’ll shoot you a DM later. I stumbled upon Blab’s old marketing stuff yesterday for just that reason hahah. I’ve enjoyed blab.im in it’s new form, nice work.
I used Yodel when it was in beta. It was surprising for me to realize that it offered a unique and valuable way to communicate with friends. Personally, I find snapchat too manicured and broadcasted. People take 5 pictures to get their reaction perfectly. Sometimes it's a conversation, but sometimes it just seems like a humblebrag. I also dislike mass-snaps. I like phone calls, but they are hard to schedule and only happen infrequently. Yodel has helped me fill in some of these gaps. One thing I found a bit tricky with Yodel was getting used to such a different form of communication. I definitely messed up my first few. Learning the etiquette for a new communication platform can be awkward, but I think I have it down now.
@eawharton We hope it surprises a lot of people! Great to hear that you got the hang of it. We’ve made a ton of changes to our onboarding to get people over the barriers to entry. Like lots of apps, it’s been all about trying to get people to something of a ‘magic moment’, where they have 3+ friends on the app who use it consistently. Once we get people there, they tend to stick around!
@eawharton Yeah. I feel that the reactions just aren't half as interesting as the initial message sent (which is where Snapchat excels). But on the other hand, it's clear these guys have some money to bring onboard NBA Champs and kickass Yodelers. So maybe their marketing efforts will work. Although, I don't think the average person will have any clue what the app does because the video doesn't explain it well. It looks like real-time video chat but they never show the async video messaging part. Need to clean up the messaging. They could stand to lose the "humor" in the video as it takes away from the unique functionality.
@huntergray Thanks for your thoughts Hunter. The video was a lot of fun to make, and on as tight a budget we could manage ;) We hope it peaks people’s interest enough to click through and learn more. At the end of the day, we could have the best marketing ever and it really doesn’t matter compared to people enjoying the app and wanting to come back and use it again and again. We’ll keep working to communicate the value of the app as we learn and grow!
@huntergray I found the same thing initially when I was Yodeling with other first time Yodelers. People would stare blankly during the reaction. However, as I (& others) got used to it, I found that people started to use the reaction times differently. As we got used to the new technology, social norms formed around how to use the reaction time. As for their onboarding, I really cant comment since a person only gets onboarded once :) FWIW, I do think the video is funny
Here’s our video, starring my favorite yodeler in the world:
There are very few times when I try a new product and think whoaaaa that was differentttt. There is something about reactions that are deeply human. It is one thing to text someone back or to schedule a facetime, it is a whole different thing to see someone smile with their eyes or laugh in real time at some stupid joke you tried to tell them. Yodel's videochat messaging messes with space and time to allow you to have real presence (without disrupting your busy day). Give it a try!
I have been using Yodel for a while now and I love how authentic communication is when using Yodel to share moments with friends and loved ones.