, Inc. (NYSE MKT: MEET), the public market leader for social discovery, today announced major upgrades to Chat, the most popular feature of its MeetMe app. Marking what the company believes is the most significant upgrade to the MeetMe app since its launch, the changes include the integration of real-time components and the launch of ephemeral photo-sharing. These upgrades, aimed at increasing user engagement, are rolling out to a small portion of Android users starting today. The company plans to launch fully across both iPhone and Android by the end of April. A demo of the new Chat feature is available at:
“The goal of this upgrade is to build the best chat experience for meeting new people,” said Geoff Cook, CEO of MeetMe. “Chat is the most used feature of the app, with 50 percent of our daily users sending a message and more than 75 percent receiving a message every day. We believe the power of chat features to drive engagement for mobile apps is evident in WhatsApp’s industry-leading DAU-to-MAU ratio of nearly 70 percent. With this release, we are excited to launch both Snapchat-like photo sharing inside of Chat, as well as real-time message delivery and typing indicators. We believe a differentiated chat offering will retain users longer and make it less likely they will migrate their conversations to third-party chat apps.”
MeetMe’s new ephemeral photo-sharing option allows users to send transient photos through the Chat feature. The sender can define an amount of time within a range of 3-10 seconds for his or her photo to be visible after being shared. Additionally, the upgraded Chat system adds real-time elements such as auto-updating and real-time typing indicators, replacing a system originally built upon a web-based messaging architecture. Notably, with these updates, users will no longer need to refresh the screen manually to see new messages.