I don't often have the chance to sit down and reflect on the success of textPlus. So it's a treat -- just six months after we announced 10 billion messages -- to announce we have reached our 20 billionth message. And we have you, our awesome textPlus community, to thank.
So how did it take us 24 months to reach our first 10 billion messages, but just 6 months to the next 10 billion? Our focus this year was in two key areas: improving the quality and experience of the app to make it better for you.
To address quality, we rewrote our Android version from scratch (we’re currently doing the same for iOS). We squashed bugs and crashes, sped up our back-end platform, expanded our customer service team, and updated the look and feel of the app. You’ve noticed: every version of textPlus is rated above 4 stars (and you’ve rated us more than 600,000 times).
On the experience side, you can now find your Facebook friends who use textPlus, get your own free phone number, use textPlus like a walkie-talkie by sending Voice Notes, and find your friends or meet new people using search (we’ve had more than 80,000,000 searches). The result: you’re in the app more than an hour each day texting friends and family.
And that’s not all. We have one final feature for you in 2011 - the ability to make and receive free calls with textPlus! Starting today, you can call other textPlus users for free. Additionally, for less than a buck, we'll give you 40 minutes to call anyone in the United States. If you compare that to cell phone plans that start at $25 per month, it’s a significant savings.
The service works with your current textPlus phone number to make or receive calls. There’s no contracts, minimums or termination fees. You can make 3G or WiFi calls from iPhones, iPod touch, iPad, Android phones and tablets. And, one account works on all of your devices at once, so you can make or receive a call on any of them. In fact, I’ve been using the calling feature via WiFi from my house for several weeks now, and it works better than my traditional phone service because I have poor cell coverage in my neighborhood.
The ability to make calls has been your #1 most requested feature, and delivering this feature puts us closer to fulfilling our vision of building a virtual operator that offers you choice in how you communicate. Because our service is free of commitments or contracts, it will succeed by earning user loyalty -- your loyalty.
So what’s next? We’ll continue to work to earn that loyalty. Now that we offer both texting and calling, we’re going to expand textPlus to more platforms and geographies. This expansion benefits all of our users because as the textPlus network grows, so does the value of the service. And of course, we’ll continue to release more exciting features. In fact, this year alone we released 25 major textPlus updates. We don’t plan on slowing down.
I wanted to thank our incredible textPlus team for a wonderful year. They’re a talented and tireless crew. I know they look forward to knocking your socks off in 2012.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.
About the author:
Scott Lahman is Founder and CEO of GOGII, Inc. GOGII’s mission is “freeing communication.” Its flagship product, textPlus, has been downloaded almost 25 million times on Android and iOS alone. Scott lives in Venice Beach with his wife and two children and spends free time with them pursuing a variety of “ings.” These include traveling, fishing, cycling, hiking, skiing, reading and surfing (web only).