I know as an entrepreneur you prefer as long of a runway as possible — I’ve never heard an entrepreneur argue for the opposite. But in my experience having a healthy tension of NEEDING to show progress / hit milestones has a forcing function of getting companies hyper-focused on results.
The key is forming a value proposition that encourages people to share the app either via word of mouth or easily giving people a way to add friends within the app. If people find value, they’ll want to share it — simple as that. During the onboarding process I would encourage the adding of friends. I would also come up with clever push notifications that can serve as a retention and referral hack for people to reengage the app and add their friends. Social sharing with creative copy via the app can be a strong engagement tool as well.