Mobile App Success Story: How Mushroom 11 Did It -

Mobile App Success Story: Happn

Right after New Year’s Eve and just before Valentine’s Day people are eager to find their love. Therefore, it seems that app owners should be happy because users will download their dating apps without any special effort. Of course, that’s not true! Doing nothing isn’t the best option even if it seems that the app will promote by itself. We say it again; sitting with your arms crossed won’t bring you, users! Let’s take Happn, for example (yes, Tinder is the most popular, but there are many great dating apps on this world other than Tinder) and let’s see what its creators did to attract millions of customers.

Brilliant Idea

Talking about Happn’s creators, Didier Rappaport, Fabien Cohen and Antony Cohen considered that people should take advantage of those special moments when they meet somebody interesting on the street. After all, their company is located in Paris, the city of love and romance. They understood that the real challenge is to approach a person without the fear to be rejected. The solution was to create an app which helps users with this aspect. The only condition is that the other person to have the app installed and her/ his profile will appear immediately. That way, Happn was launched in January 2014. This story is published on the official site along with a short description of the three founders and photos with the entire team. Just look how all those images follow the same pattern. Nice touch!

How Happn Did It

Well, you probably know the whole theory when it comes to promote a dating app, but it will be more helpful to take a closer look at Happn to discover the secret of its success.

Hyper – Localization

Every time people see a dating app, the first question is: Oh, another one? Therefore, in order to win their hearts, you must amaze users with some cool elements and show them that your product is really different from the others in the same category. Happn is based on real-time experiences and allows users to interact in an easier way with those people they crossed paths with. After checking their profiles they have an idea about their preferences and a subject to talk about. Everybody knows that it is easier to write down your thoughts than to discuss with someone face – to – face. And because the awkward moments are avoided, they can meet during lunch break. After all, they were in the same location at some point. And that’s the main idea behind the app!

Free Or Paid?

Happn is free for everybody who wants to try it and it offers some paid features in case users need to be sure that they won’t spend Valentine’s Day alone. For example, in case the person you liked on the street is a member of Happn community you can like him/her also inside the app. If you want more, you can send that person a “Hi”, which is a notification that comes with a price. So, it depends on how involved users are in this adventure. A new feature is CrushTime, an engaging activity with gamification elements which allows customers to see 4 potential partners and to guess which one liked them. If they give the correct answer then there are big chances for a real love story.

Universal App Campaign

With a pricing model like the one chosen by Happn’s owners the engagement and retention rates are the most important metrics which show the way users appreciate the app. For this reason, the goal was to encourage users to sign up and to be active inside the app. You probably know that Universal App Campaigns provided by Google represent an efficient method for increasing the conversion rate. The campaign was focused on USA, Australia, and India markets and it offered a more diversified user base for the app because more than 81% of the people over 25 years old completed the registration process. Moreover, 18.2% of all registered users sent at least one “charm”. All the details about this strategy are detailed in the case study published on think with Google.


Additionally to the “What if …?” that comes to users’ minds every time they see a fascinating person, there are other worrisome questions which appear when users open the app. Knowing that, the team behind happen had to assure customers that their information is safe. For example:

  • The current location isn’t revealed; just the places where users crossed paths with somebody;
  • Customers can report and block any bad behavior;
  • The app connects two users only in the moment they liked each other;
  • The purpose of Facebook Connect is to display mutual friends and interests and to avoid fake profiles;
  • Also, Happn won’t post anything on their Facebook pages;
  • When customers use the app they can be sure that their friends on Facebook don’t know that.

Bonus Tip: Mobile World + Real World = LOVE

The addictive aspect of an app is good but because every exaggeration has harmful effects, focusing only on these elements isn’t beneficial on long term. You need to be careful with the way users interact with your product. The general purpose when you own a mobile app is not making users to forget about their offline lives, but to allow them to enjoy the best things from both worlds. And this was the goal set by Happn’s creators from the beginning. They wanted to build a tool that helps users to start a conversation with the people they notice on the street. And due to this system, customers use Happn without blaming the development team that they take advantage of users’ needs. It is very important to create the feeling that you want to help users with your app not that you exploiting their problems for profit.

Final Thoughts

Well, if you need a date for Valentine’s Day, you can use Happn in order to create a connection with the people you encounter every day. On the other hand, if you own a dating app, Happn represents a good inspiration for you. Moreover, this time of year is the perfect period to offer your product for those customers who struggle to find that special person. So, lonely users and dating app owners don’t feel discouraged because there is hope and you will find what you are looking for!


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