Peach On.

I wrote about Peach when it first came out. As every product needs time to iterate and mature, after using Peach for another two months, I’m rewriting about Peach with less excitement at first sight, and more observation and product thinking around its evolvement.

Let’s take a bite.

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Yup. Another social media app.

Don’t take me wrong. We human are social animals. It’s always great to see new social apps coming out with a positive impact on our lives and bring us joy and value.

In case you haven’t read my first article about Peach(or you can’t read it because it was in Chinese), I’ll quickly go through the major features.

Peach has four screens. Ordering from left to right, first screen: friends of friends. Second screen: friend’s timeline. Third screen: your timeline. Last screen: notifications.

Four screens of Peach, ordering from left to right.

Simple, right? Not so much different from other popular social media apps. My first impression of Peach: It feels like the then-popular Path! Remember Path?

However, the light-pink-and-blue palette and omnipresent emojis and gifs make Peach cheerful and lighthearted. After playing around with Peach for a while, you’ll find the user interaction radically different and creative. So I never felt any repetition or that Peach was a copycat of Path.

User Registration

Social logins are widely adopted by startups. But the seemingly-convenient buttons really aren’t worth it. Now more and more smart products are aiming to build a separate, untouched user pool without giving an option of logging in through Facebook.

Snapchat is an extreme example of this. No import friends from Facebook. No people nearby. No people who are similar to you. It only allows the user to scan her address book or find people by username. Another way is to scan the Snapcode, which makes adding friends a part of the user experience.

I created too many accounts to replay the steps. Key learning: screenshot every screen when you adopt a new product next time.

Same with Peach. You can only create an account using email but it’s just three steps away till you reach the main product page. So it won’t cause you any botheration.

User On-boarding

The user on-boarding process is also slick. You can add friends by username or through phone contacts. When you first register and login to Peach, you see nobody. As soon as you add the first friend, the friends of friends page will be filled with funny creatures.

Peach also updated a new version that allows you to add friends from its “Who to Follow” page, which is a curated list of active users of Peach.

As Peach abandoned the Facebook login, it ensures that your friends on Peach are not overlapping with your auntie on Facebook(Sorry auntie I still love you). You can use Peach within your friend circle, or to follow and interact with interesting strangers. Or both. Similar to Snapchat.

Magic Moments

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As many product managers have addressed, every product needs to have at least one magic moment that makes users feel — Holy molly, this is cool!

Peach’s magic moments are scattered all over the products. However, one of the biggest magic moments of Peach is the keyword trigger mechanism. Type the magic words and according function will be triggered by leveraging the APIs of your phone.

List of magic words:

It’s not surprising to see weather or movie. Path has done something similar. The most popular magic words I see so far are gif and draw. Type “draw” in the box and there would be a sketchpad popping up. I was struck by this guy’s talent revealed by his drawing —

Gif is also not new. There are some gif plugins that could be inserted into your iOS keyboard so you can chat giff-ly with your friends through messages. Facebook Messenger recently released gif too. But gifs in Peach are so aligned with the product value and user experience that I feel gifs are born for Peach.

When I search “happy” in the gif search box — Man, that’s exactly how I feel!

You can also type “noise” to check the noise level around. Type “move” to check steps you’ve walked today. Type “throwback” to randomly post a photo from your phone along with the date it was taken. Much more to be explored.

APIs may seem trivial. Not so many social media apps are using API trigger as a major feature of their products. But these APIs are perfectly fit into Peach’s playbook that it becomes one of its product attributes.

So how should I play Peach?

I personally hold the opinion that good social media products should have its core value. Under that frame or formality, every user can be creative and personalize the way she’s using this product, to show off her identity and uniqueness. By all means, social media apps go viral because they hit people’s mental need of expressing themselves and seeking for recognition from others.

Here are some fun ways that I found users using Peach:

Make an emoji list. Be a graffiti artist. Document precious life moments. —

Brand your product. Post your content. Display your Instagram artworks. —

This can’t be missed: a professional puppy feed. (Still trying to find Peach accounts that feed cat videos.) —

Great social media products provide an outlet for self-expression and creativity through creating a sticky network, no matter it is friend circles or based on similar interests.

It’s never social media apps that make people addicted. It’s the psychology that behind the app makes people addicted.

We Lonely Humans

Humans are lonely. Countless social media apps are sneakily targeting at the human needs of craving for the feeling of being important. Guess what, they never fail. People are dying to get rid of boredom so they are willing to spend the time to learn and get used to new products(think of Snapchat).

Many users spent a very precious chunk of their lives to earn a status or followers(such as the elite squad of Yelp) and become free ambassadors for brands. Brands are giggling. Users get what they want, either the emotional needs or the monetary value. Win-win.

To be sure, I’m nowhere near an expert on products. But I personally think if products do not win due to its technical superiority, mostly they would rely on owning content, and as a result of which, owning a highly concentrated community. Contents that users produce themselves(e.g. Instagram), or contents that have value and could be consumed(e.g.Twitter), will make users stick around.

The richer the content is or the comprehensive the circle is built, the higher the sunk cost is for users to leave. The richer the content is in the ecosystem, the harder for the late-comers to steal your thunder. Google and Facebook are working on something similar to Yelp but they’re not having an easy win. Users are lazy to change their behaviors if your app is not 10x better.

On the other hand, products that hugely rely on functionality need to keep up its superiority in technology. Dropbox is still able to capture a scoop of the market, given the fierce competition from Google and Box, because it’s doing its job great. If not, it’s easy for products to be taken over by affluent incumbents who has great technology and resources.

“Is Peach Dead Yet?”

It’s interesting to see user’s reaction to Peach’s gradually coming down fire after one week, two weeks, one month… At each stage, there were people asking, “Is Peach dead yet?” or joking like “Remember Peach?”

But things are like that in the real world. In the beginning, it’s a huge hit that your server breaks down every day. After some time, as the moon waxes and wanes, users come and go. However, I was able to stick to it till now and I can say I’ve successfully adopted it(open the app 3 times+/day for 2 months+). I can also see myself using this app in the long run as a supplement to other social media apps and serves a different purpose.

Judging from its instant reply to user’s feedback and frequent product updates, I suppose the Peach team is really rolling their sleeves and sweat-working. It probably won’t be the next Facebook. But it’s definitely a legit product. Let’s see how far Peach could go.

Peacheers,

Yuqian.


Hi. I’m a data analyst who is amazed by the beauty of products. I’m looking for a job in the product and analytics space in tech. I love to work with smart doers who are willing to learn, fail and grow fast to create value and make an impact. Pin me if you’d love to learn more about me. :)

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