You’ve seen the headlines. Despite the promise of more personal connection, social media is actually making us feel more alone than ever. Instead of feeling closer to one another, we feel more apart than we ever have. But does this have to be the case?
A 2010 study out of Carnegie Melon showed that when we actively engage with social media, when we post and share and comment, it actually increases our overall happiness. The problem is that most networks make it just too easy to be a passive member, scrolling aimlessly and feeling disconnected from what you’re looking at.
Carlos Carillos wanted to change that.
Two and a half years ago he had a realization. The act of sharing on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and Instagram was missing something. Sure you were seeing what your friends were up to, but there was no connection to the endless stream of images scrolling past you.
But what if you could instantly feel a connection to what your friends had been up to? What if there was a social media site that didn’t want to disconnect you from the world around you, but enhance it?
“Imagine arriving somewhere new, opening up the app and knowing that everything you’re seeing actually happened at a distance which you can relate to?”
This idea turned into Dropcicle—an app that is less social media and more of an experience sharer.
With Dropcicle, users take photos and videos, customize them, and then save them in a certain location. Those images are only viewable if you’re in the vicinity that the user selects—anywhere from 3.5 miles to as small as 50 feet.
Imagine walking past your friends apartment and seeing photos and videos from last night’s party.
Or strolling through downtown London and literally seeing the city through someone else’s eyes.
Think of it like a message in a bottle—a secret message that you stumble upon and changes the way you see the world.
And with commenting and upvoting, you can take it a step further and uncover your favorite memories for everyone to see.
An idea needs action, but building an app’s no easy feat
With an idea locked down, Carlos, a vFX artist by trade, wanted to dive right into production. He bought a Mac, downloaded xCode, and started taking online coding courses.
“About 3 months in I was picking stuff up but I wasn’t going to have enough to have it done at the level I need it done by the next year. It’ll take so long. What if this ships sails by then?”
He decided to take that all important step back. Instead of coding he turned back to the pen and paper, fleshing out wireframes, user flows, and designing just how he saw Dropcicle working.
“I thought, if I’m not going to be able to code it, at least I can figure out how it would work for the coding to be done by someone else.”
Two months later with a solid plan in place, he came to us.
Bringing Dropcicle to life
We connected Carlos with Will who runs a Montreal-based mobile app development studio who’ve worked on a number of social apps in the past.
Their first goal was to define just how Dropcicle would work in practice based on the flow Carlos had defined. Initially Carlos had envisioned it as based of friends you follow, but felt like that took away some of the mystery of the app and also made it too similar to people like Instagram.
The core of the idea was discovery based on location, and so they worked through some of the main features, such as:
- Map view: See where all of the ‘memories’ are located on a world map
- Share to other sites: Bring your memory to traditional social media sites like Facebook and Twitter with one click
- Photo filters: Customize your photo with built-in filters
- Public/private: Choose who can see your memory—whether that’s one friend or anyone in the location
- Profile: Store all your memories in one customizable and shareable place
As a new user logging in, you’re able to scroll through a global view and see where memories are stored near you. Set up notifications so that when you’re within range of a popular or new memory you’ll know it. And then explore. Walk through the city and experience where other people have been. Get tips and suggestions of things to do and places to visit.
And most of all, feel connected to the world around you.
“If I hadn’t started this I probably would’ve been kicking that can down the street. You know ‘oh, I’ll do it tomorrow’.”
A 5-star launch with plans to expand
Dropcicle launched on iOS in the UK earlier this year with plans to expand to other countries (and Android!) in the near future.
And if you’d like to bring your own idea to life, get in touch and we’ll connect you with an incredible developer like Will.
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