Swapit Introduces: Swapit Premium Day Pass, WhatsApp, Sorting (Distance vs. Date, Global vs. City)

swapit-blog_filterWe just updated Swapit with several new additions.

You can get the latest Swapit app from Google Play and the App Store or by simply clicking here: http://get.swapit.la/now

You told us you love Swapit Premium, but you’d like to pay for it on-the-go. We’ve been listening and now we have finally released our latest Swapit app update with the Swapit Premium Day Pass, which gets you access to the full range of Swapit Premium features for a full day for just $0.99 (HK$8).


We’ve added a lot more in this release as well. Let me highlight some points.


Back in April this year, we launched Swapit Premium as a monthly subscription. While some people have picked this up and were happy they could access to such additional features, we knew that a monthly subscription was more attractive power traders. Yet, Swapit was build by individuals for individuals – as a true consumer-to-consumer marketplace.

To make sure, individuals can access Swapit Premium when they need to, we’re introducing the Day Pass now. It costs the lowest price we can charge through Google Play and the Apple App Store: $0.99 (HK$8). It’s a one-off payment. You won’t get charged again and you can use all Swapit Premium features for a full day starting from the time of purchase.

Of course, at any time, you can purchase a Day Pass again and take advantage of another full day of all Swapit Premium features.

swapit-blog-whatsappWHATSAPP SHARING

With our last release we’ve introduced a much easier way to share Swapit items you like on your favorite social media. Besides supporting Facebook, Twitter, WeChat and LINE, we have now added WhatsApp to the list of 1-click shareables. It was a quick and easy change for us, but we feel that many of you will take advantage of it and enjoy telling your friends about your listings on Swapit.


You might not have noticed that, but we’ve been experimenting with different kinds of default sort settings in Swapit over the past couple of months. Initially, we’ve had our default sorting of the Swapit item list set to “Distance” – meaning, the items closest to you showed up at the top of the list. The further down you scrolled, the farther away such items were from your current location. Then we switched to the default sorting of “Date” – meaning, the items at the top of the list are the most recent ones and the further down you scroll, the older such items are.

swapit_screenshots_1-13-3-3_1_sortingNow there are limitations to such sorting settings. Swapit has been built as a globally applicable app, which connects buyers and sellers that are in very close proximity to each other – no matter where they are located at.

[start of tech talk] One of our main goals was to build a truly scalable backend. That means, we use the most modern technologies (NoSQL database, insanely scalable, easy to extend) in order to be able to have one single database for the whole world. Every Swapit item that is stored on the Swapit backend has at least one location reference to it, so we can match it with potential buyers nearby. [/end of tech talk]

So the very simple task of sorting your items by distance or by date created a bit of a challenge. If you see the closest item listings that are nearby your location first, it is very likely that those are actually relevant to you – in terms of language and currency. But if you sort by date – remember, we have one huge database for the whole world – you quickly realize that item postings in India, Philippines or the USA might show up at the top of your list. Those might be in a different language and usually have a different currency. Remember? Swapit supports 148 currencies. It was imperative to ensure that you only see items there, which make sense.

Solution. In the end, we came up with the solution of listing the whole world’s items when you sort them by Distance, but we only show you items within your city when you set the sorting to Date. That way, you will always see the most relevant items (in terms of language and currency) at the top of your list – no matter you’re sorting by Distance or Date. That’s why you now see clearly the distinction between “Distance Global” and “Date City”.


Currently, the default “sort by” setting is Distance Global, which makes the most sense for the on-boarding process of new users. Sometimes those users are located in cities where no items are available yet. So a sorting by Date City would return no items. That in turn, prompts the majority of such new users in new cities to deinstall the app – even though they might actually like the app itself. No content, no fun, right? So we would have created an artificially high churn rate ourselves. In order to prevent that, the default “sort by” setting is set to Distance Global. So you will always see the item that’s the closest to you – even if that item is in a different city, country or continent.

Should you change your “sort by” setting, Swapit now also remembers that setting and every time Swapit launches, it will use that same sorting again and again – until you change it.

A nice side-effect of all of that is: By sorting your list by Distance, you can browse all Swapit items that were listed in the whole world. The location of the item listing just gets farther and farther away, the further down you scroll. I sometimes try to challenge myself to reach the bottom of the list, which takes a lot of scrolling and could almost be considered a workout.

Besides all those changes above, we’ve done a lot of “under-the-hood” improvements and bug fixes to make the Swapit experience a lot more seamless.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Give it a try: http://get.swapit.la/now


Swapit beta 7 – Launched – New Location Relevance

swapit-blog_beta-7Last week we launched swapit beta 7 on Google Play.

Download the latest swapit version from:


Location-Relevant New Items

While we are talking about this in every single pitch and to potential customers, we haven’t put very much emphasis on the location-relevance of our items, here on our blog – yet. From the onset, we have built swapit with a location-based core for each and every item. Read all about that in our very first blog post “The idea behind swapit”.

With this recently released beta 7 of swapit, we are taking the location-relevance one step further. While each and every item has always had a location associated to itself, and swapit’s listing of items is purely shown by distance from the user (i.e. potential buyer), we did not focus on the buyer’s location — until now.

Up until just before the launch of swapit beta 7, all new items that were posted on swapit, were broadcast to all users of swapit — all across our launch-market Hong Kong.

Nearby Buyer’s First

Swapit beta 7 now puts the buyers in full control. Every new item that is being posted on swapit now only triggers a notification to everyone who is nearby. In this sense, “nearby” is a rather arbitrary term which by default is set to 2 km (1.24 mi) for all users. That means, if you post an item at your home, only potential buyers within a 2 km radius are being notified. The proximity of 2 km is a default setting and users are free to adjust that setting to either of these: 500 m, 1 km, 2 km (default), 5 km, 8 km and all.

This strong focus on the location-relevance of new items is aimed at achieving several goals:

Goal 1: Less Notifications

Swapit was experiencing a fast growth in users and items being posted. Read all about it at “Coping with a Constantly Increasing Flow of Pre-Loved Items”. At the same time, all users of swapit were receiving notifications for every single item that was posted. While quite a number of people actually liked that, it was annoying to a larger number of people. Until beta 6, swapit only had the one master switch that allowed to turn such notifications either on or off. So many folks actually turned their notifications off, which was totally understandable. With our new proximity-based push notifications for new items, A LOT fewer new item notifications are now being dispatched to each user.

Goal 2: Higher Relevance

By combining each new item notification with the recipient’s (read “potential buyer’s”) location, each such notification has a much stronger relevance to the recipient. The idea is very simple: A potential buyer is more likely to buy an item when it is easy and fast for him or her to get it. In the online retail world, Amazon for example accomplishes that with it’s famous – and patented – one-click-ordering.

In the swapit world we believe, a potential buyer of a second hand item is much more likely to buy that item from his or her neighbor rather than from someone across town. There is also a higher sense of security for people that are based nearby. There is a psychological sense of ‘neighborhood’ and ‘community’, even if Hong Kong’s lifestyle is a rather anonymous one in that sense. Furthermore, there is an undoubtedly great advantage of saving time, when you can just go to the next building, buy the bar stool you always wanted and be back on your sofa and enjoy a fresh beer five minutes later.

An item that is being sold nearby, is much more relevant to the potential buyer than an item that is sold at the other end of town.

Goal 3: Higher Engagement

The result of achieving goals 1 and 2 above, leads to a much higher engagement with swapit in the long run. Every single app, software or even hardware product, is much more successful if it encourages a high engagement rate.

There are many metrics, we are using to measure the engagement of our swapit users with the app and all arrows are pointing up. In the short run, we expect the effect described in goal 1 to lead to a slightly lower engagement rate because all of a sudden, less people receive new item notifications. In the long run, however, this will be beneficial because we are engaging our users with the content in swapit in a much more relevant manner. We strongly believe this is the best way to provide the right content to the user at the right time. It is only one of our first steps into the right direction. Many more are on our roadmap and are aiming at increasing engagement by increasing the relevance content that is being presented to potential buyers.

Give it a try! Download swapit today and let us know if you like it: http://get.swapit.la