We live in an era where private pictures can be sent via Snapchat and when messaging apps make it possible to connect with your significant other and friends simultaneously. So do couples still crave exclusivity in the form of an app, made just for the two of them?
Between has basic features found in every messaging app: instant messaging, photo sharing and memos.
It also has features just for couples: Updates on the weather forecast where the significant other is (if you’re not in the same city), a calendar countdown of events such as an anniversary or vacation together and has special discounted offers – such as concert tickets for two – available for purchase.
At the moment, Between boasts over 13 million global downloads. Twelve billion messages have been sent among these users and over 120 million photos have been accumulated.
The team is now prepping to launch a new version of the app, set for release next month.
Between is also working with Hong Kong-based startup Casetify, celebrating the launch of new iPhone app Casetify for Between, earlier this week. The new app will allow users to create customised phone cases using photos saved on the app.
These are the incentives and perks that keep current users happy, according to Park.
Why it works
Park got the idea for Between four years ago, when he was 26.
“It was during the height of Facebook and Twitter [usage]. I noticed that in Korea, there was something missing for couples,” he tells e27.
As for other competitors, Park sees few in South Korea and Asia.
“Snapchat is really not that big in Korea. Koreans like to look back on pictures and see the history,” he says.
While the US boasts similar apps such as Avocado and Couple, the market is perhaps most ripe in Asia where opportunities to celebrate love are embraced.
Koreans have a plethora of holidays celebrating coupledom, Park tells us. There’s the custom of celebrating 100-day anniversaries, celebrated consequently every 100 days. In addition to traditional holidays such as Valentine’s Day, there’s also White Day and Black Day (for singles).
Park sees also growing opportunity to expand throughout the target markets of Southeast Asia.
“Fifty per cent of our users are in Korea, and Japan makes up most of the rest. But we have a growing amount of users in Southeast Asia and Taiwan,” he says.
Previously, the startup has received investment from DeNA, one of Japan’s biggest mobile Internet companies.
VCNC has also raised US$4 million across three rounds, including capital from venture capital firm SoftBank Ventures Korea, Japan’s Global Brain Corporation and US-based 500 Startups. The app receives revenue through advertisements and from the sales of its stickers, which can be inserted in text conversations: six sticker characters are made in-house.
Also Read: In photos: Welcome to South Korea’s Jandi
What happens when couples break up?
Or to be more accurate, how does Between retain its user base?
“We give them a one-month grace period before we delete their data. We’ve discovered that about 75 percent eventually get back together and use the app again. We give them a good experience when they are in a relationship, so they want to come back,” concludes Park.
Perhaps, an app to share and to hold is the secret to a successful relationship.
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