In June, Misha and I released ‘Flock, a Fun and Casual Way to Make Plans.’ You can checkout the original launch post here. Today we are releasing a new version of Flock. In addition to revamping the design, we added the ability to create private flocks and spent time improving the messaging interface. All these changes stemmed from user feedback and thinking about the problem from a new perspective.
The Problem: Making Casual Plans
There is no shortage of social apps. Between Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook, it’s very easy to stay in touch with friends online. There are also a ton of great productivity apps to help you organize your schedule. But what about making casual plans? By casual plans, I mean asking a group of friends something like:
- “Wanna grab food this week?”
- “Drinks in the East Village tonight?”
- “Wanna go for a run in central part this weekend?”
Social networks and messaging apps aren’t structured enough, and calendar apps are too formal.
The Solution: Event Focused Messaging
The new Flock is a messaging app focused solely on helping you make plans. It combines the casual nature of social networks with the organizational power of your favorite calendar app. Specifically it is:
- More event focused than social apps like Facebook / Twitter.
- More casual than email and calendar apps.
- More efficient than text messaging.
These 3 differences allow you to efficiently get your friends together offline.
1. More event focused than social apps like Facebook / Twitter
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are cluttered with all types of information — Buzzfeed articles, statuses, and pictures from the past. In Flock, events are front and center. All you see is a list of what your friends are interested in doing, and you can join in 1 tap.
2. More Casual Than Email and Calendar Apps
Unlike email and calendar apps, Flock lets you create plans even if you don’t have a specific location or time in mind. Once you figure out an ideal time and location through a built in group chat, you can then update the plan with a specific time and place. We use Foursquare’s API so you can update your Flock with the venue’s pictures, address, and phone number — all in just a couple taps.
Existing Apps → “Dinner, The Meatball Shop, Saturday March 1st @ 8PM.”
Flock → “Who wants to get dinner in the East Village this weekend?” → (focused group chat) → “Dinner, The Meatball Shop, 8PM on Saturday March 1st.”
3. More Efficient Than Text Messaging
There are a few ways that Flock is more efficient than text messaging:
- You can suggest an activity, time, and location in 3 taps (see gif above).
- The activity is front and center. No more scrolling up and down to figure out the purpose of the chat.
- You can join / leave the event whenever you want. No more large group chats where only half the people have any interest in the conversation.
- In addition to manually inviting friends, you can share plans on your favorite social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions for future releases! This is a side project for Misha and I and our # 1 goal is to help friends do more together offline. If you think your friends would enjoy this app please spread the word on Twitter and Facebook!