Experiment 1. Finding Purpose
Finding core purpose for your app/product is of utmost importance in any business. Sometimes we have to try multiple times, talk to potential customers and pivot to figure out if our product actually solves the problem of end users or not. Vidzy is created out of the users’ need to upload and share their videos seamlessly with friends, family and others (Learn more about how we experimented relentlessly to find the right product market fit).
No platform today motivates users to share their full length, personal videos in a social environment:
Mobile video space. Vidzy finds a unique space of its own- Personal+Long videos+Social+Recorded videos
The way users record, save and share videos (current behaviour)
- Videos of events, attractions, places while travelling.
- Videos showcasing life, talent, activities (in colleges) etc.
- Videos of kids (cute videos or showcasing talent).
- Videos of parties/marriages/family gatherings etc.
Most of these personal videos are shareable, but not necessarily have viral nature. Also, these videos are typically between 30 secs to 5 minutes. Today, users either send these videos via personal messaging platforms or do not do anything and later store it on cloud, hard disk or simply delete those videos to free up space.
Why these videos matter and can we motivate users to share these videos?
With improved smartphones and internet bandwidth/speed, users’ appetite to record, consume and share life’s experiences will keep on taking leaps. From text messages to photo sharing to full length video sharing, users will keep exploring better ways to share their life’s moments and experiences. 2.6 billion smartphones are currently in use and it will reach 6.1 Bn by 2020 (TechCrunch). Even if we assume each user is going to record 1 shareable video per month in next 5 years, that number is going to be a humongous 6.1 Bn videos per month.
At Vidzy, we are envisioning a world where people will share immersive videos of personal experiences- a snapshot of an afternoon at Burning man, starry night in death valley, an amazing goal at a preschoolers game and more, so that friends, family and others can “experience” what the creators see. We are building Vidzy to motivate and help users bring this vision into reality and make this world more open (yes there is scope ?), better connected and beautiful.
Experiment 2: Can users relate to the problem?
We used TechCrunch Disrupt as an opportunity to find out the problems users can relate to while recording and sharing videos and if Vidzy makes sense. We tested people’s reaction on the following problem statements-
- Wish you could upload and share longer videos on Instagram/Vine?
- Want to record more videos, but keep seeing “Storage almost full”?
- Hate “Autoplay”?
Whoever read and came to the booth to know more, was getting a “passionately curious” T-shirt. I gave away 60 T-shirts, spoke with all the curious people coming to the booth and was able to verify that users could relate to the problem and wanted to try Vidzy out.
Experiment 3: Implementing hook model
The hook model by Nir Eyal explains how a new behaviour turns into a habit and how we can build products with “hook model principals” to increase their chances of being used by millions of users, everyday. Below is an illustration of original “hook model” by Nir Eyal:
The Hook model by Nir Eya
In a nutshell, hook model essentially talks about 4-core principals- Trigger, Action, Variable reward and Investment, and how when a product is able to keep users in the loop, the chance of getting her hooked improves. Here is how Vidzy follows “Hook model principals”:
Vidzy uses hook model principals
We are now able to see hook model in action on Vidzy app and early signs are promising-
- Trigger: “Record and share video” trigger is a strong trigger, although, we still need to see how soon users get into the habit of recording more and more videos. External trigger like “notify me when someone views my video” is a very strong trigger to make user come back to the app.
- Action: Minimum action required to use Vidzy is to register/sign in to the app. We keep it simple by using Facebook/Twitter/Email and a fun way to build your profile (gender/age). You can use Vidzy as a creator (by uploading first video) or an explorer (by skipping the step and following suggested video creators). We are still working on to make the new user experience better based on feedback, data and user testing.
- Variable rewards: As more and more users share their life’s/world’s experiences on Vidzy, the reward for users keep on getting better. Like, revid and share works as “rewards of tribe (making users feel accepted)” while hashtags and people suggestion work as “rewards of hunt (discover endless content)” & people following you back, badges for view count work as “rewards of self”.
- Investment: Recording/uploading a video and creating an interesting teaser “Vid” in 3 steps is a user’s investment on Vidzy. As if today, registration to Vid creation percentage is 60% on the app. This investment improves the chances of these users coming back to the app via external triggers like someone Reviding, liking and viewing those videos. Vid is also an interesting output which helps in better sharing and discovery of videos. To some users, creating a Vid in 3 steps might sound a bit too much, but it works in our case because we do it while the video is getting uploaded in the background. Note: We are also working on to make Vid creation process simpler (in 1 step).
Product Hunt launch and validation
Nir Eyal upvoted us on Product Hunt
On the day of TechCrunch Disrupt, we also got hunted on Product Hunt by Misbah. We were trending among top 3 products before finally settling for 4th spot. But for us the biggest thing was an up vote from Nir Eyal himself ?
We have been carefully growing our community, reaching out to those users first who can relate to the problem and help us curate some great videos. We have some fascinating early user data which suggests that we are going in right direction:
User activity breakup – PERCENTAGE of users who did an activity out of total installs:
- Out of the people who watched a video, the average is 18 video views per user.
- Out of the people who uploaded a video, the average is 5 videos per up-loader.
- 73% Users are watching more than 1 video
Cohort Analysis- People who watched a video and then launched the app again in future
People come back because of right hooks and triggers.
Future Experiment: Start small
Just like any other social content app, Vidzy faces the classic “chicken-egg” problem-
Unless there are enough users sharing videos you care about, it won’t make sense for you to consume or share videos.
But once we are able to reach out to a specific community and seed videos which that community cares about, network effect will take place and Vidzy will explode. We are doing following experiments for same:
- College clubs & events: There are various clubs like dance, sports, arts, music etc., inside colleges where students are doing tons of activities all the time. We would reach out to those clubs and get few video creators from each club. As students start sharing videos, they would invite their friends & family members to watch those videos.
- Target people who travel, eat and go to lot of events. Most of the travel videos are going to be about nature, places, monuments, activities and food; which others (interested in similar activities) would like to watch.