Sebastian Brock co-founder of Chattoo explains what led to the creation of their group networking app for teens.
When I began working with my co-founders on Chattoo, we had a determination to do something fundamentally different for the 16-24 year-old market. So with Chattoo, we followed the spirit of being ‘different’ by building a social product for groups, not individuals.
Chattoo is a mobile application where groups of up to four friends have one profile. Once part of a ‘group’, users may connect with and message other groups around them, expanding their social circles. We call it ‘group networking’, but whatever term you give it, Chattoo is a simple, safe and fundamentally different way for teens and young adults to chat to new people.
We found that 16-24 year olds (especially teenagers) can be shy and uncertain when meeting new people, but that most solutions to this problem come in the form of one-to-one platforms. This trend largely ignores that teenagers and students often feel most comfortable meeting new people in groups.
Our solution to this was simple. We built a mobile app for groups to meet other groups…in group chats. Chattoo thus mirrors the real-life interactions of teens and young adults, making it easier for them to bridge the gap to first introductions, while also giving users a safe social environment (for girls in particular) in which to engage with strangers.
Instant messaging grew by 203% year-over-year in 2013 and continues to grow, especially among teens. In our product discovery phase at the back end of 2013, we realized that we had underestimated the breadth and uniformity of instant messaging apps. And we also quickly recognized the enormous energy with which teens and young adults pursue meeting new people. It became apparent to us that the ‘group’ dynamic is a badly under-served market as far as tech products for teens are concerned, especially given the importance of friendship groups to the age range’s sense of self.
In our view, ‘group’ focused products would solve a myriad of problems for young people, but time will tell if we are correct in making those assumptions. Since launching our MVP to a small sample of Reading-based student users in May 2014, Chattoo has been pretty effective in helping our target market to meet new people – a trend that we hope continues!
Sebastian Brock is co-founder and CEO at Chattoo
- Chattoo is available on the App Store at https://appsto.re/gb/LLyGZ.i.