Snapchat's developer platform explodes as a gateway for young users of social apps. Hoop is the newest Snap Kit blockbuster, which ranks No. 2 on the entire App Store charts this month with its Tinder -esque swiping interface for recognizing people and getting messages through Snapchat. Hoop generated 2.5 million downloads within a week of the launch of the viral, non-funded French startup Dazz.
The fact that such an astonishingly simple and ubiquitous type of app was able to climb the charts so quickly shows the potential of Snap Kit to foster user engagement for Snapchat. As the developer platform piggybacks other apps on their login system and in Bitmoji avatars, new reasons are created for users to set up and continue to use a Snapchat account. It's the same strategy that has made Facebook an integral part of the Internet, but this time for a younger audience.
In the very first interview about Hoop, the 26-year-old co-founders of Dazz, Lucas Gervais and Alexi Pourret reveal that the idea came from observing user patterns in their previous experiment on the Snap Kit platform. They built an app called Dazz in 2018 that allowed users to create surveys and get anonymous replies from friends, but they noticed their 250,000 users “In the end, we always added up to Snap. So we decided to create tape, the app to find new Snap friends, ”Gervais tells me.
Gervais and Pourret have been friends since the age of two and grew up in a small town in France. They met their two developers in high school and are now marketing students at the university. Hoop's goal was to "meet the needs of everyone, from connecting people from different cultures to helping lonely people to feel better by simply expanding their Snapchat community."
At first glance, Hoop for iOS or Android looks just like Tinder. You create an account with some photos and bio information and swipe through the profiles. If you like someone, tap a Snapchat button to request their Snap username so you can send them a message.
But then Hoop reveals his clever strategy of virality and monetization. Hoop is unable to endlessly swipe right and approach others, but limits your requests by spending the in-app currency "Diamonds" to access them. After about 10 chat requests, you need to earn more diamonds. You do this by sharing your invitation link with the app and getting friends to add people on Snapchat who meet you on Hoop, sign up every day, take a poll, watch a video ad, and complete deals by signing up for streaming – Register services or car insurer. The app store trades diamonds for hoop valuation, although this may be contrary to Apple rules.
This tactic helped Hoop rise to number 2 on the overall iOS charts and number 1 on the social apps charts on January 24. It currently ranks 83 in the overall ranking and 7th on social networks, which means apps such as Discord, LinkedIn, Skype and the new Vine successor Byte. Hoop had over 3 million installations a week ago.
However, there are certainly some concerns. Gervais claims: “We are not a meeting or dating app. We simply offer an easy way to find new Snap friends. "However, since Tinder isn't available to people under the age of 18, they may look for Hoop instead. Fortunately, adults don't see profiles of users under the age of 18 and vice versa, and users only see potential matches in their age group. However, users can change their age at any time to change.
Snap Kit keeps startups slim
Tools like Amazon AWS have made building a startup with a lean team and little money easier and easier. Another step in this direction is Snap Kit's ability to allow developers to skip account creation and management. But the ability to spread virality overnight is something that even Facebook has never achieved, although it has helped build empires for developers like Zynga.
Another snap kit app called Yolo receives anonymous answers to questions shot at # 1 in May. Seven months later it is still in 51st place. The snap kit for shows offers a long service life, not just fast download spikes. Gervais calls the platform "a very powerful tool for developers".
Three years ago I wrote that Snapchat's anti-developer stance was a commitment. It had to become a platform with a group of allies that could strengthen their role as an identity platform for young people and isolate them from imitators like Facebook. That is exactly what it did. By starting other apps with their accounts, stories, and Bitmoji themselves, they don't have to copy the social diagram, sharing format, or avatars, but instead have to draw attention to the originals.
If Snap can continue to create useful developer tools, such as adding real object scanning, augmented reality filters, and video calling, a Snapchat account could become a must for anyone looking to use the next generation of apps. Then the crown jewel of a platform could emerge: discovery and virality. By creating a section to promote Snap Kit apps in Snapchat Discover, developers looking for shortcuts for technology and growth can join Evan Spiegel's army.