Number 1 in two weeks: The romantic story behind the new photo hype Locket
Sharing images with others has never been easier. But the Locket app makes it even easier – and thus creates a gigantic hype. The developer just wanted to make his fiancee happy.
It’s a little surprise in everyday life: When I unlock my iPhone this morning, trusting eyes suddenly look at me. My colleague Christian Hensen conjured up his dachshund on my home screen. Just like that and without any notification. This is made possible by the new Locket app. And with its unobtrusive way of sharing everyday moments, it is currently causing a gigantic hype.
The app already has more than two million registered users, and in the USA it has already shot up to number 1 among the free apps in Apple’s App Store. And at record speed: the app was released less than two weeks ago – on New Year’s Day.
Locket is the anti-Instagram
The fact that it is so successful is primarily due to its enormously clever basic idea: instead of opening apps, you simply get the pictures as a nice stream when you unlock your smartphone. In times when social media is putting more and more energy into fighting for our attention, the app is reduced to the essentials: the relationship with other people.
This is of course no coincidence. Developer Matt Moss came up with the idea for personal reasons. “I developed the app as a gift for my girlfriend last summer,” he told Techcrunch. “She was about to go back to college, so we started a long-distance relationship. Just being able to snap a picture of her I found very charming. It’s just a nice way to stay in touch.”
In fact, the two lovebirds only used the app for themselves for several months. But all the more intense. They sent each other five photos on average every day, whether they were of coffee, the library or the party. Despite the distance, they let each other participate in their own everyday lives. It was only after the reaction of friends that Moss came up with the idea of making the app accessible to others.
You can still tell how much the app is still in its early stages. Technically and optically it looks round, but the functions are still very reduced. Users log in with their phone number when they first start, and can then add five friends with whom they want to share photos. Finally, you have to add the app as a widget to the home screen and you’re good to go. Once the setup is complete, there are only a few functions: In the main view you can take a picture directly and share it, if you swipe up you can see all the pictures shared so far in a gallery. That’s it.
If you are used to complex apps like Instagram, you will quickly miss functions. So far, it hasn’t been possible to add images from the library, everything revolves around the spontaneous snapshot directly from the app. However, the range of functions can still grow. “We’re definitely considering it,” Moss told Techcrunch. “We will see.” For example, he is considering doing without the previously necessary access to the contacts. Although they are not saved by the app, he actually wants to avoid this impression. It was simply the most convenient method for users, he explains. He probably doesn’t want to earn money with the data, he plans to introduce a subscription model later.
An app for intimate relationships
Despite his plans to expand the scope of the software, Moss is determined to keep the app’s intimate nature. “In my eyes you can build something really meaningful in terms of family and close friends. A lot of people – especially the younger ones – are a bit tired of these apps, which are primarily about advertising and measurable success,” he admits sure. “You have these huge circles of acquaintances there – with 1000 friends on Instagram or 100 good friends who you have to reply to on Snapchat – and at the end of the day it just takes a lot of time and energy.” He therefore sees a real need to share some things only with a few, very selected people.
It seems almost ironic that the biggest driver for the success of the app is probably one of the largest social networks – namely Tiktok. Moss was able to generate the first hype with a self-produced clip for his app, which reached 100,000 users. Another clip that a British user created for the app even reached five million users. However, this should be seen primarily as a kickstart for the previous success. In the end, the best thing about the app is that it multiplies itself – by getting one of a friend’s five invites.
Sources: locket, Techcrunch