Today, the communication we have with friends is fast, overwhelms us and then disappears again within seconds. With instant messaging the way we communicate has lost its value. This is no longer the case with Chestnote. Slow messaging is here, a new way of messaging where you decide when and where people can read your messages.
Chestnote, an app build by a Belgian startup, came to life when Tom, one of the two founders was making a video for the 50th wedding anniversary of his parents. One of his parents’ friends passed away before he could get them in front of the camera. He pitched his idea to transcend time and location in messaging to the other founder Peter. Peter liked the idea and after a while they decided to continue with the project.
Today the app has been downloaded in more than 25 countries with 4000 active monthly users. Furthermore, the Belgian startup recently has raised €650.000 in venture capital at three different investors. The capital will mostly be used for international expansion and further development of features.
At the moment, they are working on a new feature called ‘treasure chest’ in which you can digitally save your photos and memories you can revisit at any time in your life. A feature Snapchat has recently implemented in its app as well. Nevertheless both apps are kind of each others opposites.
Wow much slowness, such opportunities
Rethinking the way we communicate, offers many possibilities. Especially when the context in which we open the messages can be “manipulated”. Remember the last time you received that great news? You probably do. Remember when you called your girlfriend from the other side of the world? Uhu, I think so. These are examples in which communicating gets an extra dimension because of the context it took place in.
Let’s dive in some other great ideas to make our communication count again with slow messaging
- Send a ‘letter’ to your future self, full of wisdom of the 16-year old you.
- Leave a message for your children when it’s their 18th anniversary
- Build your own personal Foursquare with tips for a friend that visits the city you know so well
- Relive the memories you got a certain location
- Scare the shit out of your younger brother when he sneaks inside your room again
To increase the anticipation around the context of the messages its users sends, Chestnote uses a teaser which shows a countdown, a range of the location and a blurry picture of what the message might look like. By doing this, we humans, are naturally curious and want to discover what we are missing. It’s FOMO at its best.
Follow your favourite brands
Pretty remarkable that an app that describes itself as the complete opposites of Snapchat, uses the same model to generate revenue. Such as Snapchat, you can follow your favourite brands on Chestnote. At the moment, Cirque du Soleil, Pokemon Go Belgium and cities like Antwerp are on board and there is even a dating channel. Many more coming soon for sure.
Through the channel, Chestnote hopes to generate a revenue stream, as the app is free, for Android and iOS. Snapchat has shown that this can be a great way for brands to share relevant information with their fans. With the context of the message people send as Chestnote’s most important feature, it remains to be seen if this can be a strong enough influence on how people will experience the content these brands create.
The state of messaging app is not moving into Chestnote’s favour at the moment, as most app developers are focusing on encryption and security. But that doesn’t change the fact that there is already an abundance of messaging apps available that all seem to be doing the same thing. Focusing on being different and unique is what Chestnote needs to do. All-in on the context and relevance of the content.
A new trend is unfolding itself…
With Ransomly and its bluetooth beacon that blocks apps and now Chestnote and its slow messaging, it is clear that a new trend is unfolding itself among the startups that are envisioning the technology of the future. Value and relevance is becoming much more important, instead of the development of technology that only create more technology for the sake of it without think about a clear value in the customer’s life. Less is more, also in the development of new technology. Creating relevance and value with technology without losing the human touch is the next way to go for startups, in order to be successful.
The trend is a reaction on the abundance of technology. The smartwatch doesn’t seem to be the game changer Apple or Pebble hoped for. Smartphones are no longer the centre of life changing innovation and we are on the verge of a shift in our energy consumption. We live in exciting times in which we will find out which technology improves our lives and which not. Coming up with a technologic solution for a current problem no longer is enough.
… And Chestnote is a part of it
There is still a long way to go for Chestnote, but they are focusing on the right of technology. Creating a relevant context that can improve the message you trying to send, is a great way to shift people away of wasting moments in their lives they might regret later on. This should be there focus and not look at other apps like Snapchat, as Chestnote can be of a much bigger value in people’s lives than an app that has tons of server full of photos no one will ever take a look at again.
In short: Chestnote
Pitch: A messaging app that gives back emotion and meaning to your messages
Founded: 2015 (in 🇧🇪 💪🏽)
Founder: Peter Wellens & Tom Le Clef
Stage: International Expansion
On the interwebz:
– Website: chestnote.com,
In the Imagine That Startup series I cover a startup that is doing great work for the future of our society. Often by implementing new and/or disruptive technologies in a great and powerful way.
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