The Monthly Thread | January 2018
Now that we’re live in the App Store, our focus now becomes adding new features and building content for our users. To expand our efforts with these items, we’ve hired an additional full-stack developer, as well as brand ambassadors in several key cities around the USA. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2018.
Ambassador Program – Our ambassador program continues to expand, as we now have content creators in Austin, Seattle and Chicago. Each month, these ambassadors are responsible for not only creating new content, but also sharing what they create to their established networks. We plan to add ambassadors in more cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, and Miami.
This month, we’ll be working with them to feature local businesses in the strings they create, which helps us open conversations as we begin to think about partnership opportunities.
Facebook Ads – Through using Facebook ads and A/B testing, we’ve created several feature-based ads to help us both gain users, as well as understand what features resonate most with potential audiences.
iPad Support – Due to feedback we received, you can now use Strings on your iPad.
Revamped Trending Section – The trending section has been adjusted for a better browsing experience. Strings are now separated by recent, trending now, and top active, so users are now more easily able to find what they’re interested in.
Snooze Notifications – While this feature has been available, users can now snooze notifications on the notification itself, without having to go into the app to do so.
Custom Strings – String settings will be much more customizable, allowing users to adjust the presentation and feature set of strings based on the type of story they’re looking to capture.
Onboarding – Now that we’re starting to bring in more users, we’re adding a brand new welcome tutorial for when people launch Strings for the first time. This polished guide will interactively take them through the app’s main features, as well as help them create their first string.
Meet our Newest Member
As a full-stack Developer, Eddie will be working with the team to further enhance the user experience and functionality of the app. In his spare time, Eddie is interested in creating his own apps, and always approaches his projects from a user’s perspective. Eddie graduated with honors from UT and comes to us from his recent job at Retail Me Not.
Let’s Talk Soon
We’ll let you know when the next version of Strings is available in the App Store. In the meantime, be sure to follow Strings Tips & Tricks for new updates throughout the month. ➰
The Monthly Thread | December 2017
App Store Launch
In case you haven’t heard, we’ve officially launched in the App Store! Strings is available for download here.
Since launching, we’ve been working hard to polish the experience for our growing user base, while continuing to populate the app with quality content.
Our initial goal is to build diverse content on the platform. By targeting the creators first, it gives us an opportunity to not only curate quality content, but also truly understand how people will use Strings to tell stories. In-turn, this will help us gain valuable feedback and refine our messaging for when it’s time to open it up to the consumers.
With that said, here are our main areas of focus in the coming weeks:
Ambassador Program – We’ve launched a new ambassador program, which will help us increase both our curation and brand awareness efforts. We’ll soon have ambassadors in place throughout several major cities around the US, actively creating diverse content that they can then share to their own networks.
Market Segments – We’ve identified a handful of segments based on specific criteria, and will be launching ad campaigns for each. Through granular A/B testing and tracking, we’ll continuously adjust these efforts over time to ensure that our outreach strategy is as efficient and as cost effective as possible.
iPhone X Support – Strings looks polished on Apple’s new 5.8″ screen
Toolbar – When posting a moment or comment, our new toolbar lets users bold, underline and/or italicize text. We’ve also added the @ symbol, so users can quickly mention friends without having to search through their keyboard.
String Activity – When inside of a string, users can now tap on the eye icon to see all recent activity for that string.
Smoother Scrolling – Enhanced scrolling makes for a much cleaner, more seamless browsing experience.
Custom Strings – We’ll be adding an entire suite of customizable settings for Strings, giving users the ability to create strings in dynamic ways for certain situations (birthday surprises, story mode, road trips, etc.).
Featured Strings – Popular strings with quality content will soon have the opportunity to be prominently featured in the trending section as a “Featured String”. This will allow us to further engage and incentivize our users.
Let’s Talk Soon
We’ll send a newsletter out next month. In the meantime, keep an eye out for upcoming feature announcements.
As we gear up for the official launch of Strings, here’s the inside scoop from the team, including feature updates, top Strings to check out and more. Let’s get into it ➰
Have We Met?
Being that this is our very first newsletter, let’s start with an introduction.
Strings lets you create interactive stories on any topic using any type of media (photos, video, commentary, GIFs, external links, etc). These ongoing stories, or “strings”, can be public, private between just you and friends, and they can also be collaborative, meaning you can invite others to contribute content to the Strings you create.
Likewise, you can discover, share and interact with other public strings on any topic. This means that your “feed” is fully customizable, and will only feature the stories you’re actually interested in.
The Latest News
App Store Launch
After months of building and planning, we’re about ready to launch Strings in the App Store. There’s more work to be done and many more features that we plan to add (more on that later), but we feel comfortable with the experience and performance, especially after testing the server – we’re running at 250 requests per second!
We expect to launch during the first week of November. In the meantime, you can request to join the beta version here.
With the upcoming launch, crafting our messaging and fine-tuning the voice of Strings has been a primary focus. First impressions are lasting ones, and we want to make sure that our presence in the App Store is polished, attractive and fully-optimized. Here’s are the key features that we want to communicate:
- Publish ongoing stories on any topic, using any content
- String together moments collaboratively with others
- Contribute content to other public strings
- Share your favorite strings inside the app, or externally
- Discover strings on the topics that interest you most
The priority for marketing is curating the best possible content for Strings. Specifically, that means building a large-scale, incentivized ambassador program full of ambitious content creators, and establishing partnerships with micro-brands that are well-connected within their respective communities.
When we shift gears and focus on growth-hacking, there will be no shortage of incredible stories for them to discover.
Mentions – You can now mention friends in any moment you post, just like you would on other social platforms. Users will be notified when mentioned, drawing them back in the app to continue the conversation.
Facial Detection – Strings can now recognize faces and automatically reposition photos accordingly, so that the important elements of any photo are always front-and-center, no matter the layout.
Preview Pages – Sharing strings or moments on other social platforms has been made more seamless, as our content will now be presented on a “teaser” page, encouraging more and more people to download Strings for the full experience.
Repost – In addition to sharing outside of the app, you can now repost any string or moment inside the app, which will notify your followers that you have something interesting to share. You can also share moments from one string into another.
Markdown – Lastly, for launch, we’ll have a more sophisticated texting interface, which will allow you to stylize commentary using bold, italics, underline, etc.
Meet The Team
Time to get to know this handsome bunch. Meet the team behind the dream, and be sure to connect with us on Strings!
Edward’s vision is an inspiring one, and Strings is built upon it. In taking a “pursuit of experience” approach to life, he hopes to expand on this idea through Strings where connected experiences can happen with anyone, about anything.
The “Sous Chef” of Strings, Tim is a visionary product designer with over 10 years of full-stack engineering experience. He’s currently working on the web version of Strings.
Andrew has a diverse digital marketing background and has been in the tech startup scene for the past five years. With Strings getting ready to launch in the App Store, he’s working to build content in the app for our awaiting consumers.
Mark’s been a coder of everything since the Pascal days, and is responsible for several features that continue to level-up the Strings user experience, including the aforementioned facial detection feature.
Rick – Software Engineer
Rick has 20 years experience in software development, from cytogenetics to game development to iOS applications, and has made valuable contributions to the Strings user experience that you have today.
Badges – The last time app badges actually meant anything to anyone? Q5, 2000-never. We’re changing that, with a brand new badge system that actually rewards users with meaningful, unlockable features that will differentiate their strings in unique ways.
Add-on Strings – Soon we’ll start rolling out a series of add-on strings that users can create for specific types of situations. For example, there will be a “journey” string that automatically tracks your trip and features an interactive map, highlighting the places you’ve visited along the way. Much more to come on this – stay tuned!
Be In The Know
Since you’re all new to Strings, we thought it would be useful to share some handy tips & tricks for you all. What better way than to share this through a string:
This is a must-follow string, especially if you’re new to the app. There are always new tricks to learn, and it’s the best way to get a heads-up new features that we’re constantly rolling out.
Let’s Talk Soon
We’ll be sending these out on a monthly basis. In the meantime, Stay tuned for the big announcement when we launch Strings in the App Store next week! ➰