Sprinting to Swapit for iPhone and iPad

As you might remember, we’ve started our race for launching on iOS in the middle of February by hiring Vito for that very task. It took us a couple of weeks to get up to speed and build the core foundation of Swapit on the iOS platform.

As you also might remember from my blog post over a year ago about Choosing a Platform for Swapit,  we’ve been building our backend infrastructure on top of the Google Cloud Platform. The great thing about that is, we are building Swapit for massive scale from the ground-up. Our current growth rate of 100% month-over-month over the past 2 quarters, we have so far seen zero impact on the performance of our backend platform. At the same time, out Total Cost of Ownership remain very low as well. So that was an outstanding choice of platform.

Going, Running, Sprinting to iOS

swapit-blog_leapNow, one of Swapit’s major road blocks to world domination is our missing presence on the iPhone. It’s not the only road block, but it’s a major one. When we raised our funding in December and again raised in February, one of the milestones we have attached to that funding was to bring Swapit to the iPhone and iPad as quickly as possible.

Just an hour ago, I submitted the Swapit beta 1.2 for iOS to Apple’s TestFlight. That is actually our 3rd beta, which we are testing with a very small group of testers right now. With each beta, we are increasing the number of beta testers for Swapit. In fact, we are building sprints every week that are being released to our beta testers. We a somewhat much leaner version of how sprints are defined in Scrum. Our goal is, to ship a new beta release each week, which we have been doing for the past 3 weeks already.

It is very challenging for developers to be able to deliver a working product release every week. Our team is doing their best to hold the schedule. It’s hard work, but it is definitely worth it! Having a working release of the whole app at pretty much any time during the development process, offers so many upsides: launching every week keeps our beta testers happy, they know we’re progressing and moving fast forward. At any time, we can fix a serious issue might arise in a release, which was launched a couple of days ago. So in the worst case scenario, users need to wait only a very short while to get their app fixed. At the same time, these rapid release cycles force us internally, to define small enough feature tasks that are doable within a day or two or at most a week.

Sprinting Around Corners and Cutting Short to Make the Goal

At the same time, we need to always keep our weekly release goal in mind. Even though, we might define small enough features and tasks to be completed within a week, sometimes some tasks and features suddenly turn up to be much more complex than anticipated. Therefore, we adjust the set of features and tasks for the next release in a very flexible way.

THE #1 GOAL IS TO SHIP!

There can only be one most important goal for any software / product development or basically any business related team, and that is to bloody ship your product. If you have the greatest product and never ship, who cares what it is? No one will ever use it, never ever will you be able to build a business out of that product. Almost everyone can build a product, some people might be able to finally ship and even fewer might be able to build a profitable business out of that.

We at Swapit believe, with a lot of passion and a lot more of hard work, we will be able to see it through and keep growing Swapit to a revenue generating business with very attractive profit margins.

IMG_20160325_0946483

At The Swapit Office: Get A Fresh Free Coffee And Remember What Is Really Important!
The Sign Reads: “TO SHIP is the most important feature!”

Swapit on iOS so far

Our Swapit beta 1.2 release is the most feature rich release we’ve launched so far. It is now already possible to view all items nearby, view item details (incl. pictures in gallery, price, category, condition, viewing statistics, locations, title, description, likes, comments), share items, report items, search items, show featured and highlighted items. All items in the list also sport all the information you need: image, price, distance, name, seller’s photo, likes and category.

Next week’s release will definitely sport some more features in Swapit on iOS. We’re constantly increasing the number of our beta testers for iOS. For those, who have left their contact details and haven’t received a download link yet: We will get to you very soon. We’ve got quite a number of people interested and we’re on-boarding new beta testers FIFO style. So please stay tuned. You’ll hear from us very soon!

Got an iPhone and want to check out Swapit?
Put your name on the Swapit for iOS beta list!

 

swapit-team_mugshot_patrickAbout the Author
Patrick is the Co-Founder and CEO of Swapit Limited. He has over 11 years experience in mobile and business in Asia through various ventures across very different domains. You can find our more about Patrick and the Swapit team at: http://www.swapit.la/#team

Getting Ready for Swapit iOS BETA – Get Yourself on the List Today!

swapit-blog_appleIt is kind of like an open secret, but we are working on the iPhone / iPad app of Swapit. Of course, we are building a native app to ensure a superior user experience. Some of our competitors put out a “web app”, with which I mean it’s an HTML5-based app that looks like a native iOS app. We just believe a real quality app needs to have a very native feel. It must be snappy, it must be beautiful and it must be very resource efficient. All such things are rather hard to achieve with a “web app”, but to us quality is paramount and therefore, we’re going the long way.

swapit-blog_testflightAs soon as our Swapit iOS app is ready to be tested, we will launch a private beta test through Apple’s TestFlight Beta Testing. It’s a great way and actually the official way to get a beta to your iPhone or iPad. To be on the list for our iOS beta test, please enter your information at the following form:

Request Access to SWAPIT iOS BETA:

swapit-blog_requesthttp://goo.gl/forms/jmla9ITbCP

Seats are limited (by Apple, btw). So be quick to join.

Your privacy is important to us!
We only ask for your name and email address. That’s required by Apple TestFlight so we can send you a join email once our iOS beta test is ready for you to join.

 

Swapit Launches World’s First Multi-Location Sale for Pre-Loved Items

swapit-blog_beta-11We’ve been working hard to get this release out the door and to be honest, this is the largest single release Swapit has seen so far! In a nutshell, these are the main changes in our latest Swapit release:

  1. MULTI LOCATION
  2. LIKE ITEMS
  3. SELLER SNIPPETS
  4. VIEW COUNTS
  5. MULTI PICTURE SELECTION

Do you want to check out the latest release right now? You can download it at: http://get.swapit.la

2016-01-26_beta-11_600


Now, for those of you’d like to know more, let’s explain all new features in detail.

MULTI-LOCATION

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.65_1_multi-location_allYou can now post an item at up to 4 different locations.

HOME. Our research has shown that most of our Swapit users do use Swapit at their home and post items which are located at their home. So this can be clarified now. At the same time, many of our Swapit users do work at a place which is further away from their home.

WORK. For several smaller items (e.g. fashion products, consumer electronics, etc.), people are willing to bring them to their work place and trade them their — say, during their lunch break. So when posting an item, it is now possible to just flip on the work location and offer your item there as well.

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.65_2_multi-location_meetupMEETUP. Many people commute from their home to work every day and usually they take the same route and the same mode of transport. So we thought, it might make a lot of sense to be able to define a certain “meetup location” which can be set freely by the user. In most cases, we believe, this will be an MTR station somewhere across town.

All three HOME, WORK and MEETUP locations are user-specific because those usually don’t change often and if they change, they should take an effect on the user’s items. This means, that they are set and remembered in the user’s account. Once either of the locations is changed, all items using that location, will be updated automatically.

OTHER. On top of the three user-specific locations HOME, WORK and MEETUP, we also introduce an item-specific location which we call “Other”. In many cases such an item-specific location makes sense. Think of properties, cars or yachts for example. If you publish such items on Swapit, you might want to actually show their location on Swapit. Let’s take a property: When you post a property for sale with the actual property’s location, Swapit will let people nearby that property know, that you are selling a property that’s nearby their location.

LOCATION-INNOVATION.
Swapit is a very location-driven service. Our core has always been to bring buyers and sellers together who are nearby each other; in real-time. Up until the last release of Swapit, each location had exactly one location and when an item was posted, everyone nearby the sellers actual location at that moment, was notified that a new item is available. Swapit is now the world’s first marketplace that introduces multi-location for items and people. This now means, that each item can be published at up to 4 different locations (see above) which means, Swapit can reach 4 times more people than before. Thus, it increases the chances for an item to be discovered by an interested buyer, by 4 times. At the same time, each user can have his own home, work and meetup location stored in his user settings. Besides that, (s)he also has a current-location which constantly changes. That makes a total of 4 more locations, Swapit can use to match buyers and sellers. So in turn, Swapit’s reach based purely on location has increased by 16 times (4×4).

In a nutshell: Our latest multi-location feature, increases the chances to close a trade by 16 times compared to our previous versions and especially compared to what our competitors are offering.

 

LIKE ITEMS

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.65_3_likesSometimes, you see an item someone posts on Swapit and you just like it. You’re not really interested in buying it right now, but you do somehow find it interesting. Or perhaps you just find it absolutely cool that someone posts this sun tanning tower. To give you a tool to show that you like an item, you can now just hit the LIKE button. It is available in the list of products that shows up at the launch of Swapit as well as in each item’s detail view.

Besides publicly showing that someone likes that item, Swapit does not publish the name of the person who liked the item. That is not shown to the seller nor to other buyers. We might actually change that in future, but as of now, this is how it is.

When liking an item, you do also subscribe to updates about that particular item. So if someone leaves a comment there or if the item is being sold, you will get a notification so you can check out any changes made there. At any time you can just unlike the item or turn off notifications for that item, in the item’s menu at the top right corner.

swapit-blog-interestsWe believe this is a very convenient way to show your interest in an item even though, you’re actually not looking to buy it, right now. Perhaps at some point in time, you might be willing to buy it and therefore, it is now very convenient to just keep track of an item’s changes.

 

SELLER SNIPPETS

In our last beta release, we introduced chat snippets. These are small pre-defined texts which you can use while chatting. Our first set of snippets was geared towards making it easier for buyers to communicate. Now, we have added another set of snippets just for sellers. It includes common phrases like “The price is fix.” or “Make me an offer.”. If you’d like find out more about seller snippets, just go to Swapit and post an item for sale. Once you are in a chat as a seller of an item, you’ll be seeing the seller snippets right next to your chat input field.

 

VIEW COUNTS

swapit_marketing-chart-growSwapit is now tracking the number of views and visitors to an item. Users need to have the latest Swapit version installed for views and visitors to be tracked. Hence, if someone with an old version views your item, Swapit doesn’t track that view. So for a short little while – until everyone has upgraded to the latest Swapit version – the view and visitor numbers might understate the actual number of views and visitors.

A view is being tracked each time any user views your item. A visitor is being tracked only the first a user views your item. Both numbers can be very important for the seller. For example, say you have 50 views, but only 2 visitors, then you know that 2 people have your item 50 times in total. If you still haven’t sold your item or no one attempted to buy it, you should know that something is wrong with your item’s presentation. Perhaps the description is not well formed, perhaps the photos are too low in quality, the price is too high, or there is something else. It is always good to check out our Tips for Making a Sale series which gives you practical tips on selling your item faster.

 

MULTI PICTURE SELECTION

swapit-blog_imagesIt is now possible to select multiple pictures from your photo gallery at once. This was one of the most-wanted features ever. We do constantly conduct surveys with our users and during those surveys we usually have a list of upcoming features we’d like people to rank in terms of importance to them. This helps us a lot in prioritizing our release roadmap to ensure, we are bringing features our users are looking for, as soon as possible. While we can’t do all at once, we try to get as much done as possible. We want to make our users and ensure we create the right product for the right people, with the right set of features that makes everyone’s life easier.

Swapit Updated: 10 Photos & Chat Snippets

A couple of days ago, we published a new update of Swapit. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it at: http://get.swapit.la

The most recent changes are:

PRESENT ITEMS BETTER WITH 10 PHOTOS

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.57_1_photos-10From the onset, it was possible to add up to 3 photos for each item you’re selling on Swapit. Using a great photo significantly improves the chances of selling your item faster. We’ve seen many people using all 3 photo slots to present their items.

While 3 photos are absolutely sufficient for most items, some other items (e.g. cars, property, etc.) require more photos to properly present the item to potential buyers. We have realized having more than 3 photos can be a very important differentiator of an item over another similar one. Therefore, Swapit now allows to upload up to 10 photos for each item as a Premium Service. Similarly to our other already existing Premium Services (premium categories, item highlight & item feature), during our beta it is absolutely free to use this premium service. All you need to do is inviting a friend to download Swapit. You can then instantly add up to 10 photos for the item you’re posting.

Give it a try now! Post an item for sale on Swapit!

CHAT SNIPPETS FOR MESSAGING EFFICIENCY

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.57_1_snippetsThe latest Swapit update also comes with a great enhancement, we have been wanting to add for a long time: chat snippets. It’s a concept that’s not new and we have been using it for many years in the customer support tracking software / service of our choice FogBugz (it’s free for a startup account, by the way). So we figured, Snippets will add a lot of value to our users and make their life a lot easier when using Swapit.

With the change in the last version of Swapit where interested buyers can directly open a chat to buy an item, we now take it to the next level by offering the buyer a convenient way to say a couple of most-used phrases to get the conversation going. These are simple things like: “I’m interested.”, “Where do you want to meet?” and so on.

Update your Swapit app to the latest version to get access to the latest Snippets: http://get.swapit.la

Furthermore, we have added many small improvements and fixed several bugs to improve the user experience for everyone. A simple example would be the easy quick-switch to select or de-select all categories in the filter panel.

There is more to come. We have some great advancements on our roadmap! Stay tuned for future updates!

Swapit Now Supports 148 Currencies Worldwide

We’ve just released a new update of Swapit with support for 148 currencies. This includes U.S. Dollar, Euro, British Pounds, Renminbi (Chinese Yuan), Japanese Yen, Korean Won, Thai Bhat, Singapore Dollars, and so on. Pretty much all currencies you can imagine.

2015-12-11_currency_600

Update to the latest Swapit version at: http://get.swapit.la


The Long Story

Actually, we had this multi-currency feature planned for a much later stage of Swapit. However, we have seen many people from out side of Hong Kong, downloading Swapit and posting items in their cities. While Swapit worked everywhere in the world, the only currency it supported previously was Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). That made sense in the beginning, because our main focus is on Hong Kong. Yet, we still see a rapidly increasing number of folks from other locations to download our app. In particular we’ve seen several people in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, posting items.

It really is all about making our users happy. We go the extra mile to make sure, we cater to their needs and desires, and one of those points was multi-currency support. Luckily, we built Swapit from the onset with the mindset of supporting multiple currencies. Therefore, it was rather easy for us to add this feature. While it might sound like a quite simple thing to add, I can assure you, it is not as easy as it sounds like. Our team’s experience in building a lot of retail apps and also foreign exchange rates apps, has helped a lot here. Thus, we could whip this off in just a few days – including backend change, server interface, front end user-interface and design adjustments. Heck, we even threw a bunch of minor bug fixes and UI improvements into this release, just because we had some time left before the end of this week’s release cycle.

Stay tuned for next week’s release! We’ll actually introduce another great premium feature to Swapit. No worries, as usual it will be free during our beta, so you all can check it out and benefit from it.

So long, have a great weekend! Hope to see you posting on Swapit. Just go to http://app.swapit.la/post on your phone and start selling now.

Removing Obstacles – Buy Faster

swapit-blog_beta-10We just uploaded Swapit beta 10.6 to Google Play. You can now get it at: http://get.swapit.la

As you can see, we have already come a long way since beta 10. With many many improvements like the Citymapper integration, Christmas theming, the OnePlus X Give Away and so on.

Over the past weeks we have also been listening to a lot of feedback we have received from you – our great loyal users. Thanks again for your time and effort! While we are only humans and there is only so much we can do (… the day only has 24 hours unfortunately), we prioritized our product roadmap according to the kind of improvements we feel are most important to you and the ones we can implement in a reasonable amount of time.

MAKING IT SIMPLER

One of the things we’ve heard a lot about, was: it still needs to be simpler, easier and faster to close a deal. That’s from the buyer, but also from the seller’s point of view. At the same time, we looked at how people use Swapit and if that is how we designed it to be used. For example, we noticed that many folks actually misuse the comment function to show their interest in an item. We found this very odd, because we did actually have a “Show interest to buy” button there.

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.54_2_chat-to-buyNobody is perfect and as app developers we need to make sure, we create a product that feels natural to the user. So we realized we need to change and optimize our workflow – making it much easier for buyers to get to actually buy. As a result, we moved the “Show interest to buy” button from the middle of the screen to the very bottom and we called it “CHAT TO BUY”. Besides putting the potential buyer in the list of interested users, a click on that button also opens up a chat with the seller right away. At the same time, we turned it green to make it super-obvious to spot.

This now removes a crucial step and simplifies the buying process a lot. Previously, the buyer would have had to wait for the seller to invite him or her to a chat in order to move forward. In the best-case scenario, that would happen immediately. However, depending on what the seller is doing right now, it could take several hours until a seller takes action. That’s just not acceptable for most buyers.

THE BUYER IS IN CONTROL

Buy letting the buyer start the chat with the seller directly, we remove that barrier. The real instant and immediate look and feel is absolutely nurtured here. From a psychological point of view, though, we are now giving control back to the buyer. With the previous workflow the buyer showed his interest and his picture ended up in the “Interested Users” list – that was it. The buyer was left in limbo there and had to wait for the seller to react. While we consciously made a design decision early on, to create it like this, we now realized, we needed to rectify and evolve this. Our initial intention was to protect the seller from unwanted “spam” from potential buyers who just ask random questions. We now believe that won’t be much of a problem.

By giving control back to the buyer, we add this additional feeling to the buyer’s user experience with Swapit. He or she now feels much more in control of what (s)he can do to actually get the desired item. To be honest, most of us ordinary people are impulse buyers. Yes, sure, we do our research on important items (like a TV), search the web for the best price and then order properly. But more often than we want to admit, we see something really gorgeous and we just want it. Right now!

Well, now it’s drop dead simple to buy what you want – right now! Just click the “CHAT TO BUY” button and you’re ready to go.

Additional improvements in Swapit include a confirmation dialog in case you accidentally leave the “Sell Item” screen, so you don’t loose the data you entered already, as well as an easier and more stream-lined navigation according to Android’s latest material design guidelines. We are constantly improving on that front, to stay on top of our design game.

 

If you didn’t try Swapit yet, give it a shot now. It’s free. Download the latest version of Swapit from: http://get.swapit.la

Swapit Integrates Citymapper Real-Time Navigation

Yesterday we launched beta 10.2 of Swapit on Google Play with Citymapper integration which adds superior navigation capabilities to Swapit.

You can now download the latest Swapit app update from http://get.swapit.la

2015-11-16_citymapper_600

MAKING IT EASY TO FIND YOUR WAY

We collect a lot of feedback from our users. Some buyers have expressed trouble finding the place of an item and meet the seller to complete the transaction. Swapit’s core capability is the location-reference for each item. This makes it possible locate items that are nearby a buyer, but it also allows to guide a buyer to that item. With Swapit’s integration of Google Maps from day 1, it was always easy to pin-point any item on the map. It was also possible to navigate to that item, but the Google Maps solution was a little cumbersome and – believe it or not – in part incomplete due to missing, inaccurate or outdated data used by Google Maps.

QUALITY IS PARAMOUNT

To improve the user experience and to add more value for our users, we decided to integrate with Citymapper. Citymapper is a mobile app that provides true real-time navigation.

For example, when you want to go from your home in Sheung Wan to the Times Square shopping mall, it tells you exactly when the next MTR train arrives at Sheung Wan station and which train car you should get into, so you exit at the right end of the train near Causeway Bay Exit A.

Not too long ago, Citymapper launched in Hong Kong and it was the perfect fit for Swapit. Now, if you want to find your way to a particular item, just click the “location” on the item’s detail view and you will be presented with an additional option of navigating to that item’s location. If you have the Citymapper app (available from Google Play and the App Store) installed, it will open and provide a superior navigation experience to you. Even if you don’t have the app installed, you will be directed to a website that allows you to navigate through that.

To give you a quick visual idea of how that works, here are the 3 steps:

This now includes correct estimations for each mode of transport as well as multiple variations of transport including walking, bike rides, cars, cabs (incl. Uber) and public transport like MTR, buses, mini-buses, etc.

We are sure this adds more value to our users and improves our user experience tremendously. We are also very grateful to the Citymapper team which has built a great interface for developers like us. If you’re working on a mobile app that requires real-time navigation, you might want to look at their API. It’s straight forward and easy to integrate.

 

Have you used Swapit yet?
You can download it for free at: http://get.swapit.la

 

Coincidentally, Citymapper is green as well. I guess it’s a hip color for startups now. Like most companies, we chose green for a reason too.

About Citymapper:
The Ultimate Transport App
Our mission: Make cities easier to use. We’re reinventing the transport app for the world’s most complicated cities.
Find out more about Citymapper at http://citymapper.com

Swapit beta 10 – Launched

swapit-blog_beta-10We just launched beta 10 of Swapit on Google Play. Over the past weeks, we have been working hard on getting beta 10 out the door before the end of October. Though, it’s November already, we finally made it! You can download it today at!

Swapit Free Download: http://get.swapit.la

User Experience Improvements

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.43-1_share-statusRemember? In beta 9 of Swapit we introduced Facebook group sharing, which we quickly expanded to reach up to 221,000+ members of Facebook groups. In beta 10 we paid a lot of attention to improve the user experience you have there. It is now easier and more straight forward to share your posts to a multitude of Facebook groups with just a few clicks. At the same time, Swapit provides more insight to what exactly happens there and how many people you are actually sharing your item to.

Like always, the user interface is beautifully crafted, using Android’s latest Material Design principles. So Swapit comes with the native look and feel all Android users expect.

Premium Services & Monetization – BETA

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.43-1_premium-featuresIn beta 10 we introduce two premium features to Swapit. Those two premium features are similar in nature and are aimed at helping sellers to sell their items faster.

On the right, you can see an example how easy it is to enable such a premium feature for an item you’re posting. With just a flick of a button, the seller can turn on

  • List Highlight and/or
  • List Feature

We made it dead simple for everyone to promote their item in our list. At the same time, we pay very much attention to maintain and excel on the user experience we provide for buyers in Swapit. While it is essential to allow sellers on our platform to promote their items, it is also essential to not distract buyers from their original motivation of why they opened the Swapit app in the first place. So we believe, offering a slight highlight of an item in our main item list, is not distracting from the core purpose of our list. In fact, it helps identifying interesting items.

FREE. As shown in the screen shot, those two initial premium features are available for free as long as Swapit is in beta. As there is no such thing as a free meal 🙂 we do require the seller to invite at least one friend to Swapit if (s)he wants to use a premium feature.

These premium features go on top of the existing offering and therefore, are an addition to the existing basic service of Swapit. Rest assured, none of the existing features are being limited by introducing these premium features.

From a business perspective, this serves several purposes:

(1) Set Expectations. We’re dropping an anchor (see anchoring) for monetization by showing the future pricing of those premium features. While using such features is free right now, it is very clear that eventually, we will charge for them.

(2) Grow Faster. By requiring sellers to invite their friends in order to use such premium features in beta, we are increasing our viral coefficient. That means we will end up with more users inviting their friends and therefore, growing our user base on an accelerated pace.

(3) Plan Ahead. We can statistically analyze how many users are using our premium features in general. That helps us a lot in terms of business planning and monetization direction, to more accurately estimate our revenue projections.

(4) Know Whats Wanted. We can furthermore, analyze which kinds of premium features sellers are more interested in. Especially in this case, where both premium features are rather similar, it will be interesting to see which one is more preferred by sellers.

(5) Effectiveness. At the same time, we can track how effective either the list highlight or the list feature is. In very simple terms, we can compare how many people click on a normal (non-highlight / non-feature) item, how many click on a feature or highlight item. Such data helps to make decisions based on hard metrics on whether to keep those features in Swapit, remove them, revise them and how much to charge for them in the end.

So all in all, this current move to introduce a very small selection of premium services in beta, has a lot of advantages. Therefore, we are excited to find out how our sellers and buyers react. I will tell more about our findings right here on our blog. So make sure you’re subscribed.

User Experience Improvements

The current Swapit beta 10 also comes with several user experience and interface improvements that aim at making everyone’s life easier. For example, we’ve added each item’s condition and category as a small icon to the item list. That makes it easier to identify whether it’s an item you’re interested in or not.

Furthermore, we have received a lot of feedback from our users (thanks a lot to all of you!) and we are constantly applying that feedback into changes we make on Swapit. One of such points was, that new users who want to just quickly post something for sale, didn’t find the “Sell” button. We did initially think it would be pretty obvious as it’s the only big green button on the main list. It’s even round as opposed to most other things on the list that are rectangular shaped. However, especially folks coming from iPhone, had some trouble finding our little green “Sell” button. So we’ve now added a nice tooltip to that with some description to make it super obvious to everyone. Once that “Sell” button has been clicked for the first time, that tooltip will disappear.

We’ve also made the “Sell” button automatically float out of the main list screen when scrolling down. This gives the user an absolutely unobstructed view of the whole list while browsing. As soon as the user scrolls up, the “Sell” button floats back into the list and you can start offering an item with just a click on that button.

That’s it for now. We all hope you’ll enjoy our new Swapit beta 10.

If you don’t have Swapit yet, you might want to give it a try. Especially our new premium features are interesting and can be used for free – while in beta. So just head over to http://get.swapit.la and download the app. It’s free.

P.S.: Please let us know what you think. We love feedback!

Swapit beta 9 – Launched – Facebook Groups, 18 New Categories, 中文

swapit-blog_beta-9After our last Swapit beta 8, we silently launched a beta 8.1 right after that. Then we had planned to launch beta 8.2 shortly after that as well, but the changes got so big, so significant, that it became our official Swapit beta 9.

Swapit beta 9 can now be downloaded from Google Play.

Just go to http://get.swapit.la and get it now!

So what’s new in our beta 9? Let me get right to that.

18 New Categories

With this beta, we are introducing 18 new categories and are slightly re-organizing our existing ones. We are also introducing the concept of premium categories on top of our normal categories. In total, we are now offering 22 different categories, you can post your stuff in, or you can filter by, when searching for items.

On the right you can see how the beefed up filter panel looks like in Swapit now. To give you a textual overview, these are all the categories Swapit now supports:
swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.37-8_categories-filters

  • Consumer Electronics (formerly “Gadgets”)
  • Fashion
  • Baby & Maternity (formerly just “Baby”)
  • Furniture
  • NEW Books & Magazines
  • NEW Toys & Games
  • NEW Home, Garden & Tools
  • NEW Jewellery & Watches
  • NEW Beauty & Health
  • NEW Sports & Outdoors
  • NEW Food & Drinks
  • NEW Home Appliances
  • NEW Computers, Tablets & Accessories
  • NEW Mobile Phones & Accessories
  • NEW Cameras & Photo
  • NEW Artwork & Antiques
  • NEW Tickets & Vouchers
  • NEW Pets & Supplies
  • NEW Properties PREMIUM
  • NEW Yachts & Boats PREMIUM
  • NEW Cars & Motorcycles PREMIUM
  • NEW Debentures & Memberships PREMIUM

While it sounds rather simple to add new categories, we actually had to deal with many forward thinking approaches. The future is bright, it comes with many opportunities and Swapit is ready for change — big change!

Chinese 中文 Language Support 啦!

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.37-9_chinese_smudged

Swapit 現有繁體中文版!立即下載試試吧!

Since beta 1 of Swapit it was possible to post items with Chinese title and description. Swapit was built from the ground-up with multi-language support. This does not just include Chinese, by the way.

Now, we have finally gotten around to translate the app itself into Chinese. We have seen a lot interest from the local Chinese community and now it is time to cater to all of you as well. We are sure you will love it.

This does, by the way, also apply to the app presentation (description, screen shots, etc.) on the Google Play store. Head over there now and check it out: http://get.swapit.la

Facebook Group Sharing – Reach 20k Potential Buyers Instantly

In our last beta we introduced easy sharing of items to your Facebook timeline. Now, we added capabilities to share your items into Facebook groups. At the moment, we are working with three groups that have over 20,000 members locally here in Hong Kong, which expands the reach of potential buyers dramatically. We will be adding more groups soon to increase the potential reach even more.

There were also several minor improvements to the user interface, layouts and performance, as well as bug fixes, which made its way into this beta 9. More improvements are still to come. Stay tuned and do reach out to us, should you have suggestions. We’d love to hear from you!

Want to check out Swapit? Go to http://get.swapit.la and download it for free.

Swapit beta 8 – Launched – Facebook Sharing

swapit-blog_beta-8We have just launched the swapit beta 8 on Google Play. If you don’t have it yet, just go to http://get.swapit.la and download it now.

Facebook Sharing

The most important new feature in beta 8 is the ability of sharing your swapit posts on your Facebook timeline. This allows you to reach your social circle on the most popular social network out there. To date, Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly active users world-wide and 4.4 million users in Hong Kong alone.

3.1 million Hongkongers log on to Facebook every day, spending an average of 30 minutes during each visit.

That being said, Facebook was on our number #1 priority list of social networks to integrate with swapit. We have been working hard to get this done smoothly and in the most convenient, but non-distracting way. Let me demonstrate how it works.

Once you publish an item on swapit, you will be offered the option to post your item on your Facebook time as well. That can be done with a simple switch of a button. You can enter a custom message if you wish and simply hit the “Share” button to publish your item on Facebook. It takes only a few seconds to do that. Have a look of how easy that is:

The screen shot on the right shows how the posted item looks like on your timeline. It’s simple, but with all the important information you need to present. If a user has swapit installed on his or her device, a click on the link will open swapit and direct him or her to that particular item. If swapit is not installed yet, he or she will be prompted to download swapit.

Improved Post Details

We are constantly evaluating what to improve on swapit. Based on the vast amount of feedback we collect through our surveys and the direct feedback we receive from our awesome users (thank you!) by email, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and other means; we have added some more information to our post details screen. This improved view makes it easier for potential buyers to make an informed decision on taking action on an item they are interested in. Let’s take a quick look and compare the old post details screen (on the left) with the new one (on the right):

As you can see, we have made it easier to identify the product’s condition as well as the product’s category. The “show interest” button has also been moved to a more prominent location, allowing interested users to easier identify the next action they can take.

Furthermore, the latest beta of swapit comes with many other small improvements and bug fixes that make the swapit experience more smooth. Stay tuned for the next beta coming your way this week!

Don’t have swapit yet? Go to http://get.swapit.la and download it now!

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