I love to travel — and — I get bored easily. That makes me a typical American, I suppose. Basically, I like to experience fun things whether that’s at home, several states over or across the pond. The problem is, it’s not always 1.) fast or 2.) easy to find the best things to do whether traveling 30 minutes from home for something to do on the weekend or hitting the Interstate for a month-long road trip. And that’s where an app like HeyLets comes in.
HeyLets is a social city and travel guide that helps you find fun experiences and hidden gems that match your interests. Additionally, if you’d like, you can journal your adventures (for yourself or for other travelers to benefit from). What’s cool is that there aren’t any negative reviews—or reviews that are just too long—like you’d find on Yelp. The info you’ll find on HeyLets is quick and to the point; no reviews are over 200 characters (for some perspective, Tweets can be up to 140 characters long) which is nice and succinct. And HeyLets has at least one photo for every experience someone posts which is awesome because I hate it when Yelp (or other apps) only have text for me to make a decision off of.
Put simply, HeyLets answers the question, “I want to do something, but I don’t know what”.
What does that really mean? It all comes down to inspiration. Personalized inspiration, actually. At it’s core, HeyLets offers a scrollable feed of new experiences you can try spanning categories like food, nightlife, shows, hikes or travel tips. When you first open the app, you can take a few minutes to select your interests so the app knows what to show you (and what not to recommend). According to Justin Parfitt, CEO and founder of HeyLets, this lets you view nothing but moments that make you say, “This is awesome!” which have been posted by like-minded people.
But there are tons of apps out there that claim to help people find the right thing to do at the right time. What makes HeyLets any different or better?
In Justin’s mind, it’s these three things:
“We focus on experiences instead of places. Each person’s experience is a unique social story, so a feed of experiences is more personal, insightful and interesting than a list of places. We focus on concise recommendations instead of reviews. When you’re on a mobile device you’re looking for something to do, not things to avoid. Negative reviews are a waste of time. We focus on personalization over ‘one-size-fits-all’ star ratings. What’s right for one person isn’t right for another, so HeyLets uses powerful machine learning to match you to recommendations from like-minded people.”
Justin tells me that lots of people have been using HeyLets to string experiences together in order to create fun dates. It works because many posts focus on one particular thing—such as trying a particular dish, for instance. When strung together in a sequence, each solitary item adds up to form a highly-tuned experience, like this: start things off with a hike, then hit the ice cream parlor and grab a specific delicious flavor, then hit one restaurant for a great appetizer they are known for and another for the main course. When that’s done you can hit up a fringe theatre production to end the night. Justin says the feedback from this type of adventure is that the person organizing the date ends up looking, well, like they are knowledgable, fun and really know what they are doing. So if you’re looking for fun date ideas, give HeyLets a try!
What does user engagement with the app look like? Justin explains, “We’re seeing great community engagement (DAU/MAU = 44%) with users returning to the app around 14 times a month, but the metric that I’m most pleased with, and I think speaks to the long term success of the app, is that over 12% of users go on to post content. When we dug into this a bit we realized that most of the photos used were from peoples’ photo gallery, and typically spanned several months and even years. What this is telling us is that HeyLets is piggy backing off an existing habit, namely the habit we all have of using our smartphones to take a picture when we’re having a good time or eating a great meal. It seems that people see HeyLets as a natural home for these ‘good times’ pictures. Posting on HeyLets is saying, “I had a great experiences, you should try it too”. People seem to be really comfortable sharing in this way.”
Have you used HeyLets? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.