Mojostreet – Location Based Mobile App with Real World Benfits [Interview]

Hyderabad based Mojostreet is a location based app which helps users share their experiences with their friends as they move. With apps for all major mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, Blackberry OS and Windows, it is a great way of discovering friends and places nearby.

In this interview, Ajay Mohan Reddy, Community Manager at Mojostreet talks in detail about what the app is all about and their goals for the future.

How is Mojostreet different from other discovery apps such as FourSquare or Gowalla (now defunct)? Why should a FourSquare user move to Mojostreet?

Mojostreet is a premium city guide for India. From restaurants to bowling alleys to the neighbourhood pharmacy, Mojostreet will guide you to the best and the most relevant places around you. And ,the best places recommended to you by your own friends.

One really cool feature on Mojostreet is Ask Friends which lets you get recommendations from your friends (even your friends on FB!). Ask Friends makes ‘Discovery’ more social and seamless.

There are plenty of location based apps available now, but we believe that Mojostreet gives a much better experience to an Indian user than any other such app. Be it in the form of a comprehensive list of places where users can easily check-in, or the sheer number of locations where users can claim an offer.

How much is Mojostreet integrated with other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter?

We have worked towards providing a seamless experience for a Mojostreet user who has connected their Facebook and Twitter. The all new Mojostreet allows users to see where their FB and Mojostreet friends are checking in and lets them interact with the check-ins seamlessly.

Sharing pictures, getting suggestions about places from FB friends is possible with a single click now. As for Twitter, currently users can share their check-ins. We are working on more fun ways of integrating with Twitter.

The biggest beneficiaries of the current twitter integration are the brands and businesses whose twitter handle gets mentioned every time a user checks-in at their location. This gives a great way for brands to know the activity at their locations and even respond to feedback by Mojostreet users in real time.

Do you think Facebook check-in is a big threat to Mojostreet?

No, Facebook check-ins are not a threat to Mojostreet – in fact, they are an opportunity! With the new unified feed on Mojostreet, users can see where their friends are no matter where they check-in – on Mojostreet or on FB. Also, the experience of commenting or liking these check-ins is seamless between Mojostreet and FB.

With so much competition in the app world, what strategies are you using to market yourself.

We have used various ways to market Mojostreet. Primarily, we have concentrated on getting users in a few key areas – colleges, start-ups, events, etc. Our marketing has focussed on educating users on the benefits of checking in using mojostreet. Continued media interest in mojostreet has helped too.

How have you used social media to promote mojostreet?

We have primarily relied on digital word of mouth and let our users share their check-ins and experiences easily.

What all type of businesses can use Mojostreet? How can they use it effectively?

Any business with a physical location can showcase themselves on mojostreet and reach out to our users – that said, we have earlier provided compelling solutions to brands without a physical or permanent location too. They can work with our team and establish their presence on mobile quickly and easily. Our team will handhold and guide the businesses at every step of the way.

Here are a few ways businesses can leverage mojostreet effectively:

  • List the details of their business accurately – address, phone number, location, relevant tags. If it is a restaurant, the menus can be uploaded too. Having comprehensive information helps because it makes easier for users to find the relevant business.
  • Make sure to upload good quality pictures to their business listing. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words and gives a great first impression.
  • Select the most relevant tips and update them in the merchant tips section. These tips are the first ones that a user sees at the place – it makes a lot of sense to keep updating the tips and keep the most relevant ones.
  • Subscribe to the premium service and use the facility to upload announcements. Ex – a restaurant having a special menu for a festival can use this facility to let new and returning customers know.
  • Businesses can also give special offers to Mojostreet users who check-in at their locations. This way, businesses can show up prominently when users go to the Offers Nearby screen in addition to the check-in, nearby and search result screens.
  • As with any other platform, businesses should tell their customers about their presence on Mojostreet and ask them to check-in. The big advantage with Mojostreet is that customer gets the word out about the business on multiple social networks at the same time.We have seen huge improvement in the number of users sharing their location when businesses put up posters, etc at their location asking users to check-in using Mojostreet.

Can you share with us some usage stats for your app? Such as total downloads, monthly active users, total check-ins a day, how many Indian and International users you have etc.

We will surely share them in the near future.

I see you had organized a contest during IPL in collaboration with Deccan Chargers. Can you please elaborate more about the contest and how the response was from your users?

Contest details – During the period of the contest, the locations of our partner businesses were co-branded as Deccan Chargers Zones. Any Mojostreet user checking in to these zones was automatically part of the contest and eligible to own Deccan Chargers on Mojostreet.

This would win them DC merchandise and premium tickets to their matches. The winners were determined by counting the number of check-ins by the user across all the DC zones periodically. We also created a special page for the contest on where the latest public check-ins at DC zones were shown.

Response – The response for the contest from Mojostreet users in Hyderabad was tremendous. We saw nearly a thousand check-ins (cumulative) across DC zones everyday. 6 Mojostreet users were able to enjoy watching DC play up close from the owner’s box at the DC’s home stadium in Hyderabad. 25 Mojostreet users were the proud owners of the DC merchandise.

Reactions from industry – The DC contest on Mojostreet captured considerable mainstream media attention with nearly 10 articles appearing in national newspapers.

This was a first of its kind engagement by any IPL team (maybe even the first for any kind of sports team in the world). The contest was noticed overseas as well, mentioning the DC contest as an example to emulate for other location based services.

Our clients, the Deccan Chargers IPL team were delighted at the positive word of mouth and engagement the contest brought.

Like IPL, have you partnered with any other entity for promotional purposes?

Yes, Mojostreet has partnered with The Atlanta Foundation for their flagship bicycling events in India. Mojostreet has also been used by colleges in Hyderabad at their annual fests to make their fest more popular. In fact, we just partnered with a major International music festival – Ragasthan.

Monetization is one thing that has troubled many app developers. How have you gone about monetizing mojostreet and how much money do you make? Where does the majority of your revenue come from: ads, deals, partnership?

We have started monetizing the app fairly recently. We follow a freemium model where basic listing of a business is free. The premium listing is charged at a nominal Rs. 12000 per annum.

Merchants can buy additional visibility via location specific ads on the app. The revenue from deals and partnerships varies depending on the level of our involvement and other factors. The app will always be free for customers.

Do you think partnering with Social Media Agencies will be a good step towards towards marketing your app?

Yes, without any doubt. We encourage and invite Social Media Agencies to partner with us. By partnering, we would be able to help them build compelling and effective marketing campaigns for their clients.Social media agencies reading this article can directly reach out to me at ajay{@}

What would you suggest to an aspiring app developer who wants to make the next killer app?

Be obsessed with your product and always delight your customer. This universal mantra works every time.

How does it feel to create a product with International standards? We surely are proud that it has originated from India.

Thank you! We are a very proud Indian product too. We will continue to work and deliver the best possible experience to our users.

Some say the future of social media is in mobile. While some disagree. What are your views on this? Can mobile be as social as desktops/laptops?

We believe that the future is in mobiles too – or we wouldn’t be in this business, right? Mobiles – being communication devices, are with us at all times and so allow us to be social in a way that desktops never can.

Desktops and laptops have originally been tools to get work done.Many people may not need the configuration and the associated benefits of a desktop or laptop – but they all need to communicate. This is where mobiles beat them hands down. However, tablets which seem to be blurring the lines between work and fun, may change the entire scenario.

We will have to wait and watch to see how this plays out.

What do you think is the reason behind the super quick growth of social media?

Humans are social animals. It is hard-wired into our brains to want to connect to and share with other humans. While we have been doing this in various ways earlier, the barriers for interaction have been lowered significantly because of technology. It is therefore, natural to see this huge growth in people taking on to social networks.

Do you think social media is a better marketing channel than traditional platforms such as TV and print?

It depends – on many factors like the target market, the product itself and the image a product or brand wants to project. Different media have their own pros and cons too. Social media however, should be an essential component in any marketing plan in this day.

Key takeaways from the interview

  1. Be obsessed with your product and always delight your customer. This universal mantra works every time.
  2.  The future of social media is in mobile. Mobiles – being communication devices, are with us at all times and so allow us to be social in a way that desktops never can.
  3. Different media have their own pros and cons too. Social media however, should be an essential component in any marketing plan in this day.