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News  25, Feb 2013

Quipio is the Instagram for text messaging

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quipio logoQuipio has launched its app for a global audience since day one, and highlights the importance of optimizing for different networks and environments.

Another app which recently came to our attention is Quipio, an app that provides an effortless way to share beautiful thoughts and moments with people. Jordan Crook of TechCrunch called the newly launched app Instagram for Text Messaging. The user experience is simple: Insert your message or personal quote. Apply pre set filters for the text or add a photo as the background. Share it with your social network. Done. It does all the work for you.

Quipio sees growing traction

Founded by Zubin Wadia, Harshit Surana and Miles Egan, Quipio has garnered a total of 70,000+ downloads since its launch a little more than two weeks ago. From the downloads, co-founder Zubin shared with us that there has been more than 48,000 Quips created. An average user also spends more than 10 minutes per day on Quipio.

When asked about funding, Zubin told us that they are currently 100% bootstrapped and while the team wanted to raise capital, “no one was going to take them seriously for consumer web until they have significant traction.”

You can download the app for free from the iTunes App store.

How Quipio optimized their app for a global audience since the beginning

Perhaps what is more interesting about Quipio is how the app has been optimized for a global audience from the beginning. There are a lot of apps out there which are designed with specific audiences in mind, and when it comes to a stage of expansion, they then go through costly design overhauls to internationalize/localize the experience and transliterate their apps for various audiences. Avoiding this, Zubin shared with e27 how Quipio is optimized for the global audience from the beginning.

There are three ways:

1. Quipio is all about self-expression with scripture and photos, so the outputs from symbolic languages are actually more beautiful than just English or Latin languages. We went to significant lengths to support Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese and other languages natively within the Quipio experience. One doesn’t have to be a native speaker/writer of English to enjoy Quipio.

Key Takeaway: Expression is inherently the output of one’s cultural experiences and history. It’s personal and thus the native language of your audience must be incorporated when possible.

2. Another measure we took was keeping the interface almost entirely symbolic. We strongly believe that a language-neutral interface allows a user to impose their own cultural perspective onto an action or intent, yet leaves the result of the action unchanged. It doesn’t matter whether the “<” icon is interpreted as “distribute” or “share” or “give”, what matters is that the user delivers their creation to followers, friends and family.

Key Takeaway: Let the user interpret the user experience in their context. Persuade without imposition or presumption.

3. Quipio was deliberately made bandwidth efficient so that users on 2.5 and 3G networks can still have an excellent experience. When you create a textual Quip, you are only sending a few kilobytes over your cellular connection. Your friends on Quipio see a very beautiful output but that’s because Quipio reuses common fonts, backgrounds and highlight colors. Once the application knows what it needs to render, it does it in real-time. No 500KB transfers required! The result is a fast and fluid experience regardless of cellular bandwidth.

Key Takeaway: Don’t assume that cellular networks are identical globally. Account for bandwidth-challenged environments and optimize for them.

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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