Skout is probably the biggest social media application you haven’t heard of — yet. Skout is an app developed for iOS operating systems by the company of the same name. Skout began development back in 2011 and since then it has been steadily growing. By 2013 alone there were over 500 million connected users on the app. The big key with Skout is that it is location based, giving anonymous users the ability to network in a way that actually could turn into a real community. Developed by Christian Wiklund and Niklas Lindstrom, Skout may just be the next Facebook. Let’s dig into the program and see what makes it so special.
Aesthetically Simple, Competitively Built
When you load up Skout from zendesk for the first time you likely won’t really know what to make of the screen that you see. Skout is so deceptively simple that it seems almost complicated. The home screen is just an array of user profiles that are arranged into a grid. These profiles are all of the users that are in your area and currently online. It’s pretty neat to know that these users are active and on the program, available for communication with a click of the button. Of course you have to register first before you get to this page, but even that is a breeze. Simply input your name, a nice picture, and your location and get to networking.
Once you are comfortably integrated into the application you can start to explore a little bit more. Clicking on a users face will showcase a few different options: from winking and chatting to following and sending virtual gifts, there are several ways to start communicating. There are also some social, app wide games that you can play in order to get to know new people. You can initiate the ‘Shake to Chat’ feature which hooks you up with a random stranger. You can play the ‘Look at Me’ bidding game which is sort of like a reverse auction where the winner will be featured on the main page.
All of the actions on Skout are fueled by a system that encourages users to purchase points or interact with 3rd party advertisements and surveys. Points can be earned or purchased and they are then used for different ways of connecting. This keeps the users of the application in a state of self feeding as they pay for the right to use the app in deeper ways and are thus rewarded with a richer experience.
A History of Funding Success
Skout’s GPS based social interaction is a pretty unique concept and it has pulled in a ton of investors accordingly. Even though the service first reached major airwaves in 2011 it has continued to keep bringing in money. In 2012 we saw Skout pull in $22 million in venture capital. Skout would go on to use that capital to help expand their marketshare, implementing new features, as well as purchase the nightlife app by the name of Nixter.