Evolving our identity to better say who we are
We’ve long contemplated changing our name from Pop to something more straightforward.We decided that it was time to finally do that before we transitioned our focus from product discovery to product growth. After weeks of contemplating name ideas, we settled on our new name: Superlocal.
The name of an app gives you a sense of what’s in store for you. Superlocal accomplishes this by subtly telling people that they’re about to download a local community app. Ideally the prefix ‘super’ also hints that it’s meant to be a fun, relaxed environment; not another crime and safety local community app like Nextdoor or Citizen.
Expanding beyond colleges
We launched initially as a community app only for colleges and universities. We saw schools such as UCLA and Syracuse rocket past over 50% of freshmen joining on our app when we launched a new community, with great retention. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday usage spiked like clockwork. Students use our app to find parties and meet up every weekend when school was in session.
Because of coronavirus, school abruptly went out-of-session. This threw a wrench in our product roadmap to work towards Summer Break, a time when we knew traffic would likely drop. Summer Break effectively started a few months early -- students went off campus before we were ready.
The wrench in our product plan feels like it’s ultimately a positive thing for our company. It has pushed us to launch bigger communities that have more potential to drive us forward as a business: cities and neighborhoods.
Superlocal is a new type of local community app that brings you together through the topics you care about, not using fear such as crime and safety alerts.
When you join your city on Superlocal, you join two general chats. One for your city and another for your neighborhood. We also have you join at least one local, topical group chat in your city (such as LA Fitness, LA Cycling, LA Startups, etc).
You and your community get local news delivered to you in your general city chat, every morning in your neighborhood chat you’ll see the weather for the day, and in topical group chats you’ll have recent/relevant links dripped in throughout the day. All of these are meant to do two things: (1) keep groups active and (2) provide a strong utility.
News as our utility
I decided that I wanted news to be a core part of our product going forward because I recently had the realization that every major social platform must be a pathway to consuming news.
Let’s look at the types of news people get from the current major news platforms:
- Facebook is a general news source.
- Twitter is a general news source.
- Snapchat is a general and pop culture news source for Gen Z.
- Instagram is a celebrity and pop culture news source.
Superlocal now sends you local news and topical news constantly throughout the day. Best of all, you can easily have conversations with those around you in the same group chats as you about the news you care about.
Whether you use Superlocal to look at content relevant to you or use it to have discussions with people nearby who love the same things as you, we hope this update allows you to feel like you’re a true part of your real-life, local community.