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Open (USA): Finding an anonymous social app's product-market fit


Background:

Open was a California-based company that developed an app that enabled users to chat anonymously with their friends. The app aimed to help users open up more easily and connect with their friends in a more meaningful way.



Challenge:

The main challenge for Open was to reach product-market fit. Product-market fit is the point at which a product satisfies the needs of its target market and achieves sustainable growth. For Open, this was defined as having customers return to the app regularly. The team realized that the app needed a feature that would encourage users to return more frequently and engage with the app on a regular basis.


Product-market fit is the point at which a product satisfies the needs of its target market and achieves sustainable growth.

Solution:

As the product designer, I worked closely with the team to come up with a solution. We decided to design a feed section within the app where users could browse anonymous conversations initiated by their friends. The feed section would also include a feature that highlighted popular conversations, which would be determined by the number of messages.


To ensure that users returned to the app regularly, we decided to send push notifications to users when their friends initiated a new conversation or when a popular conversation was taking place. We also designed the feed section to be dynamic, meaning that new conversations would appear at the top of the feed, encouraging users to check the app more frequently.


Results:

The introduction of the feed section and notification system was well-received by users. The number of daily active users (DAU) increased significantly, and users were spending more time on the app. We were also seeing a higher level of engagement, with users participating in more conversations and interacting with the app more frequently. However, despite the positive feedback from users, the company ran out of funding and had to shut down.


Conclusion:

The Open app was a promising concept that aimed to help users connect with their friends in a more meaningful way. The introduction of the feed section and notification system was a step towards achieving product-market fit, with users returning to the app more frequently and engaging with it on a regular basis. This case study highlights the importance of designing features that encourage user engagement, as well as the challenges of operating within a startup environment where funding can be limited.

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