A new app for a new chapter.
Today marks a milestone in the history of WeTransfer. We’ve released a new iOS app which is the first step in moving from being that ‘file transfer thing’ to a company that’s about making sharing simple. I’m mega proud of everyone at WeTransfer for taking this step together.
You see, sharing is a vital skill. And even though we originally created a service back in 2009 to “transfer files” from A to B, it was always really about two things ; helping people share and helping them discover.
In the mean time I became a parent, which reminded me again how important knowledge is. You’ll need to collate, collect and organise your thoughts, experiences, values, doubts and ideas to prep your child for life. You cannot drown them in a brain dump, they need to be organised and like most people mine used to be everywhere.
By collecting, organising and then sharing, you are giving someone information that could completely change the way they see things. Every now and then, this results in mankind’s greatest achievements.
As you embark on the journey of sharing, you quickly learn things about yourself. You get a better understanding of the way that you process ideas. However, if no-one shares their story, their thoughts, their opinions or their ideas, you will have nothing to work with other than your pre-conceived notions, your prejudices and preconceptions.
Without new information to change the way you think, you will be stuck in whatever mindset you already have. That’s a dead end. I’ve been there. But, I’ve learned that by sharing, we enable each other to excel.
That’s why here at WeTransfer, we are more committed than ever to help people share. At the same time we are, and always will be, motivated to keep discovering new artists, musicians and other amazing talents because we’re a team of curious individuals determined to support creative work.
Today, mobile ate the world. And, like Benedict Evans points out, content is not only consumed on mobile devices — it’s also created there. The mobile ecosystem is heading towards being ten times as big as the PC industry, which makes mobile the tech industry’s center of gravity. That shit cray! Obviously, it should become WeTransfer’s center of gravity too.
Our current apps aren’t living up to that potential. So, last year we embarked on a journey to go back to basic and rethink how WeTransfer does mobile.
With 40 million monthly users we can say we’ve succeeded in building a seamless sending and receiving experience on the web. This was never about us, it’s the ideas (the content or files) that count. Recognising this allowed us to define what kind of workflow we facilitate online for mostly desktop users.
We understood and designed for this creative workflow on desktop. Now we needed to understand our user and their journey in the context of mobile. We’re proud to be part of people’s creative process — we weren’t (and aren’t) a place to share memes, snapshots or emoji. This is an important distinction.
More than two million apps are available on iOS alone. Any and every kind of content is created on mobile — from taking and editing photos and videos to recording voice notes, creating music and writing text. At the same time, we are already used to sharing in multiple ways via Slack and email and Facebook and Whatsapp and WeChat and Twitter and SoundCloud etc.
Because of the way the mobile operating systems are built — and the way these services operate — content is created and consumed in silos.
Apps box us in to keep us on their own turf. We want to break down those barriers and empower people to collect and combine content from all sorts of different places. Gathering your ideas (big or small), and getting them across to other people in the best way has not been made easy on mobile.
Our app is designed to be flexible, to fit whatever you’re working on — creating a mood board for a client, planning your dream wedding, composing a storyboard for a video, or mapping out your business year.
To kick things off and hopefully get a few ideas flowing, we’ve created a board with some creative highlights of 2017 which you’ll find inside the app.
Put simply, WeTransfer on iOS makes sharing visual and more varied content easier for everyone (especially when using that nifty share sheet). It is the connective tissue between content creation apps and social platforms.
Yes, we’re excited. Yes we’re scared. But we’re just getting started. People doubted us when we first started out and we dealt with that. And now, as our audience has grown to tens of millions of people every month, we doubt ourselves again. Is this right? Is this good enough?
Doubt is ever-present. The key is to make it a creative, rather than a destructive force; a fuel to think harder, to fail, to fail better, to iterate, re-iterate and iterate again. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do next.