Brazilians access social networks at higher rates than some of the world’s biggest markets, and 75% of the country’s smartphone users utilize their devices primarily to access social platforms. Moreover, when it comes to apps, social falls just behind games in download rates (67% and 68%, respectively).
The takeaway: Brazil is fertile territory for social media, especially in the mobile realm. Grupo Xangô is tapping into that with its new app, Eaí.
Eaí is a social app that helps users meet new people. When they connect to the application, they find a list of others in the nearby vicinity with the help of geolocalization. They can then interact and initiate instantaneous chat sessions that are completely private. The app is designed in a game-like manner, rendering the experience extra enjoyable for users.
While romantic relationships are one potential end for the Eaí app, they’re not the specific goal – something the team is careful to clarify. The objective is to help users expand their social graphs beyond people they already know.
Emily Stewart: There are a number of apps on the market with a similar proposal. What’s your differentiator?
Trevor Walsh: We are 100% Brazilian with a focus on the Brazilian market. We’re focused on creating the best possible user experience for Eaí, which includes everything from partnering with Brazilian brands to creating discounts and deals with local bars and restaurants. And we’re also very focused on integration with the real world—we want our app to be the intersection of the virtual and physical spaces. We also have several products we are working on that are completely unique to Eaí.
ES: You emphasize that this isn’t specifically for romantic relationships. How do you make sure that’s not the case?
TW: We can’t make sure, which is really the point—we are just a platform for meeting people around you, how users leverage it is really up to them. We build the interface, the algorithm, and the products, and once a match is achieved, it’s really on the users to decide where the relationship goes. That really is one of our main goals: removing the stigma from meeting someone online, and cultivating a real-life relationship stemming from a technology app. It’s a game, and it’s supposed to be fun.
ES: Can you explain the game aspect of the app?
TW: You’ll see someone’s profile picture, along with their interests and your Facebook friends in common. If you’re not interested, you swipe them to the left, and if you are, you swipe to the right. Our “Segunda chance” feature allows you to look at profiles of those you might have skipped one the first go-around. We also try to keep the game light-hearted with stickers to help matched pairs initiate a chat if the cat’s got their tongue!
ES: Brazilians definitely love social media, but are they willing to go beyond the regulars (as in Facebook and Twitter)?
TW: We believe that they are. The major giants in social media in Brazil, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, are really great at cultivating existing relationships. They’re not so great at helping to facilitate new ones. We think that if we provide a really great user experience, and make users comfortable meeting new people on Eaí by focusing on user privacy and security, Brazilians will enjoy using Eaí. We also think that by building solid partnerships with local businesses and national brands, we’ll offer a unique value add to users, which will make Eaí compelling.