Push it jumps to # 1 on the App Store by promising a way to send push notifications to friends – TechCrunch

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A new app called Push it sits at the top of the App Store, promising little more than the ability to send “push notifications to your friends.” The app only has two screenshots: one of a big red button and another basic black and red screen with text that says ‘send’. What’s going on? And how is this app # 1 in five countries when many people who install it can’t even use it yet?

As it turns out, Push it is the latest creation from the creators of the Snapchat platform app, Sendit, which features AR games and anonymous Q&A.

Image credits: full shippers

To understand what Push is, you must first understand the company’s original application, Sendit.

Popular with a younger demographic, Sendit is steadily gaining traction with Snapchat users who use the app to play games and have conversations with their Snapchat friends. To date, Sendit has been downloaded nearly 9 million times worldwide and has generated nearly $ 3 million in consumer spending, according to data from Sensor Tower.

The application recently won millions of new installations following Snap suspensions of Sendit’s main rivals YOLO and LMK, which were the subject of a lawsuit brought by a mother whose son committed suicide after being the victim of anonymous bullying by users of these applications. Sendit has, so far, escaped a similar fate despite its own anonymous features – like its “Ask Me Anything” game, which prompts a Snapchat user’s friends to ask questions without revealing who they are. are.

Some negative Sendit reviews also mention the bullying, but Snap has yet to take action. When we asked Snap to detail its policy on anonymous apps for minors, we were told the company was reviewing its app ecosystem and policies, following the hiring of its employees. the world’s leading head of platform security.

Additionally, some Sendit users believe the app uses bots to post questions their friends would never have asked.

Writes a user in an App Store review: “This app randomly sends you fake / automated questions. For example, me and all of my friends are in their mid-twenties and over and we’ve all asked ourselves the same question, “Do you have trust issues? “,” Who is the best person to copy the homework? ”

Another reviewer complains: “Okay I can say the questions don’t come 100% from anyone I know, in fact I’m pretty sure it’s wrong. I am convinced the questions are coming from AI. These are just random, cheap questions that no one would ask like “who would you pick to be your team in a zombie apocalypse?” How stupid. Nobody just asks that. Create a real app.

Sendit founder Hunter Rice denies any robots are involved. He also rejected the idea that the adoption of Sendit by adolescents is motivated by anonymity.

“Our users gravitate to Sendit because of its great augmented reality experiences,” says Rice. “Our mission, and what we’re looking to do, is to find new ways to reduce the friction associated with starting conversations with friends. We discovered this really engaging format through these AR games. This is really the magic behind Sendit and that is why it has been so successful, ”he says.

Today, Sendit offers games like “Never Have I Ever”, “Truth or Dare” and others that appeal to a young audience. It also allows users to ask questions such as “Who were you shipping me with?” Or “Confessions – say who you have a crush on” and “Compatibility Test,” which reflect the kinds of things a teenager would want to discuss with friends.

Likewise, Rice says her team’s new Push it app is also about coming up with new ways to encourage conversations.

Except, in this case, it’s not about promising AR Lens games and Q&A for Snapchat, but a basic tool for sending notifications directly to friends’ iPhones.

Image credits: full shippers

“With Sendit, we’ve found this great format within these AR interactions and it’s going really well. So we wanted to reproduce this same mechanism using a different format, ”explains Rice.

In case it’s not clear from its minimalist App Store list, the new app features a basic follower / follower model and allows users to send a push notification to anyone who subscribes to you on the app. ‘application. These subscribers can then respond to this notification to trigger a one-on-one conversation, similar to Sendit.

It could be something adopted by a group of friends or even used by designers or brands, the company believes.

To work, Push it requires full access to your contacts database on your iPhone. It also offers tools for inviting friends via text messages. It puts an “OK” button next to the name of a friend who needs an invitation which, when pushed, will create a text that you can send them to join.

Amid today’s push for increased privacy, SMS-based growth mechanisms are generally looked down upon after years of spamming overzealous app invites have become the norm. Fortunately, however, Push it doesn’t automatically text your friends. (However, the app’s privacy policy does little to allay fears about what it does with your personal data. Clearly the data will be used for marketing purposes and shared with others. Push it suppliers and business partners, indicates the policy.)

The app also cheekily craves 5-star reviews. When you tap the star icon, a pop-up will appear that promises you a “special message” if you rate the app 5 stars on the App Store.

Image credits: full shippers

The Push it iOS app was released to the App Store in late October, previously under the name “Project Red,” according to Sensor Tower data. This Only available in select markets since last night, including Australia and California. Seeing it already at # 1 constitutes a suspect launch – a launch that typically indicates relying heavily on pre-launch marketing or growth hacks, as is now common. (See also: the top of spring Poparrazzi, that growth has made its way to # 1).

But Rice claims that’s not the case.

“All the excitement around Push it has been completely organic,” he says, while admitting that the company used social media to promote the app’s launch. Currently, the Push it Instagram account has around 32,000 followers, for example.

But data from Sensor Tower indicates that the app has already gone viral in five countries so far. It is number 1 in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, Ireland and Norway, according to the company. It is also in the top 10 in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, Finland and New Zealand. (Many of these countries are not listed as launch markets by Push it’s Instagram, let’s note that).

Image credits: full shippers

The odd thing about the app’s # 1 status is that the app is fundamentally not functional in markets where it is not yet live, which today includes most of the American states. You can use the app to claim your username and… well, that’s about it. Then you have to wait until your market is activated.

Rice says the phased rollout strategy was to ensure Push can handle the traffic, but that seems to have confused a number of users, who are commenting on things on Instagram like “Bruh when is this going to work” Where “What’s the point” Where “I am so confused lmao.”

“We’re just making sure we can deploy it in a fluid way where our users can get the best possible experience. We want to make sure that everyone has access to it, and it’s coming very soon. But yes, we also want to make sure our servers stay alive, ”Rice says.

Push it and Sendit are built by a small team of 10 at fullsenders, based primarily in Santa Monica. The company has an undisclosed amount of funding. But we guessed at least one of his angels correctly:

The test for Push it now is whether it can maintain such a high ranking in the App Store – organic or otherwise – something that has proven difficult for other newcomer social apps. It may also face the next regulatory crackdown on social experiments designed for minors and young adolescents. If Push it gains traction, it may need to rethink its privacy policy and future revenue models.

At the moment, however, Push it is not making any money.

“Right now, we’re only focused on building an amazing community and creating great features that users want to engage with,” Rice said. “And if we can add value to the product itself, we will be able to come up with a business model that works best for the company.”

Push it is only available on iOS.

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