I think what I feel like doing (for the benefit of people out there) is to recap our discussion this week with the gift timer, one of our exciting features coming out later this month. The gift timer is important because we want to provide an experience for users that is fast-paced, vibrant and exciting. We want to be able to cycle through our 86 gifts faster, and in the early days of JellyChip, with our userbase small and "discovering" JellyChip, we don't want them to get stuck with one gift that never gets earned for 4-6 hours. No thanks.
Let's delve a little deeper into the message I gave to our users this week after the feature dropped:
Well I saw a lot of discussion mid-week on the gift timer as its first iteration launched on iOS and Android, which was a really good thing. Ironically by turning on the gift timer we "forced socialisation" because JellyCitizens set Lifeline Chat ablaze with messages. Do we win? 😉
Now onto the timer. JellyChip was designed to be a social experience. Users are expected to join forces in some capacity to overcome challenges and buy gifts, whether that be in groups, direct chat, or via talking in Lifeline. Chat, Snaps and Lifeline are a huge part of the experience. We recommend that if those don't appeal to you, go and spend real world money on charities. Also, since you're not paying for any of the charity gifts yourselves we are at liberty to experiment as an app to work out new ways to encourage users to donate. To this end, we turned off in app purchases so users do not lose real money when using Lifeline. If you may have noticed.
JellyChip is a social app which requires people to "get together" for the cause. But we also understand that not everyone can be social or wants to be. Personally, I would feel the same as many of our users, to begin with. In a few months I bet them (and me) will feel differently about connecting with strangers when we see the HUGE positive impact that JellyChip is having. I believe it will make people think differently.
Now it's true, we have a long way to go improving the app - we have 12 Developers working full time on making JellyChip faster and better. We will get there but it just takes time because nobody has done what we're doing here. JellyCitizens are all making history by being in JellyChip and changing lives, and that requires us to be courageous and bold, it also means we'll make a few hiccups on the way. We'll get there.
That said, we constantly listen to logical user feedback and act on that accordingly. I hope our users know us by now. Therefore what I think we'll do is keep the gift timer, but refund users their points if a gift fails. I think a time challenge is important, to cycle through gifts faster and create a "deeper" JellyChip, but so is the need to respect users and their earnings. This will allow me to keep the timer and allow JellyCitizens to donate whenever they fancy. If a gift fails, they'll have your points refunded for the next time. Sounds good?
So I'll keep thinking about how the gift timer can impact JellyChip in both positive and negative ways. And I know a number of our users are also providing quality feedback to help tweak the gift timer. Thanks and it's appreciated. The timer is one of the many features we're rolling out in the next couple of weeks - it's going to be a crazy period as we "finish" the core version of JellyChip and look towards scaling our platform for the world.