I’ve seen it creating waves in the world of social media without shouting from the rooftops. Today, I’m putting a spotlight on something that’s providing people with ultimate peace and relaxation.
Not all social media apps are created equal. You’ve got the ones you obsessively scroll through. Or the ones you use to stalk frenemies. And then, there’s this one app you’ll never obsess or stress over, but will keep going back to for a hit of positive vibes.
I’m a twenty-something girl with a phone full of apps. Some are sanskaari (my mom’s pressure), some not-so-sanskaari (for my pleasure), but all with a single aim—to have some good time while traveling, eating, or right before going to sleep. I have a presence on many social media platforms, and yet, I feel like something’s missing, the space that’s just for me. I spend most of my time plugged in but need a place to unplug too.
Here’s what I see on social media: people liking my posts, who may not really like me, news feed full of fake information and faker smiles, scrolling through hours and days like a zombie because it’s become a part of our social currency. Like hippies, we keep consuming the pot of information, never once questioning even if it gets us high.
The apps are instant, but I don’t know if it’s gratification or desperation, jealousy, and depression— in comparing my reality with the highlight reel of my friends.
And then in crept this new app, HappyShappy. Not flashy, not obnoxious, but also non-judgemental. Just what the doctor ordered!
There’s a lot of buzz around social networking; umpteen articles exist on the web, defining what it is, but no one is wondering why it’s not working. Maybe it’s because the gauges measuring the TRUE success of a social platform are broken. Nowadays, nobody seems to be impressed by the tall claims that social media giants—make millions of downloads, billions of visitors, big deal! These numbers have no impact on an average consumer who only visits to get a brief respite from his or her hectic schedule. What the average user secretly wishes for is something he or she can relate to. This is where HappyShappy comes in!
A one-of-a-kind platform, HappyShappy is fast becoming synonymous with Indian social commerce, the newest incarnation of digital socialization in the country. What sets it apart is that at its core, the app is all about spreading positivity. It doesn’t compel users to share a filtered version of their lives. Where other apps urge you to improve your profile statistics, here, you won’t find any such influence.
The user is simply motivated by its tons of features: envisioning and pursuing their dreams, meeting individuals with similar interests, collaborating with friends, family or colleagues for a task, exploring new trends, discovering homegrown sellers, saving interesting items while browsing the web, bookmarking an engaging piece of article for later read, and a lot more.
The moment you open this app, you realize there’s something indescribably different, something unique about this app. The swipes are gentle and quick, and icons animate guilelessly, UI is minimal yet feels elegant—a play of white and hot pink text blends harmoniously to bring about a soothing effect. The real magic begins once you log in. Lo and behold, there are no users in your home feed, only ideas. AND there are no intrusive ads. Say what? Yep, the statement is loud and clear—this isn’t where marketing is shoved down your throat. Only an endless feed of aesthetically appealing visuals—pictures, gifs and videos is what you’ll discover.
Food recipes, home décor, travel destination, fitness tips, fashion trends, jewellery designs, DIY crafts, wedding planning ideas, funny quotes—the wide variety of this feed will pique your interest. I searched for cake designs and voila: never-before-seen, beautiful images of cakes swiftly pop up on my screen.
How about a scarf for Elsa, my pet Shih Tzu (and the apple of my eye)? Yep, HappyShappy again presents me with extensive options, including heart-melting portraits of adorable puppies and kittens. The first time I saw such a wide variety of stuff, it reminded me of Chandni Chowk, the capital’s biggest and busiest market where a girl can explore to her heart’s content.
Every picture on this app is an idea shared by some user. At first, you’ll first scratch your mind as to what to do. This is where the fun begins. Set aside your preconceived notions of social media and jump right in.
Like an idea? Check it out. Like another? Go for it! Pretty soon, you check out the entire ‘Collection’ (a photo scrapbook of ideas that personifies wants, dreams, and gotta-haves), containing all such related ideas. Inquisitive, you check out the profile of this fascinating person whose tastes, passions, and interests seem to match yours. Here is what makes this user discovery different from other social platforms. There is neither any space nor any need for pretense on the HappyShappy—no witty captions to increase views, no wow-ish selfies to grab attention, no judgment, no comparison, nothing negative.
You see a person’s content, their dreams that’s what makes the person unique. Just like in real life, you interact positively with him or her not ‘cause of some snazzy DP or a witty post, but because you share something in common because you found his or her content interesting enough. And so, you’re connecting with the REAL versions of people, people!
This social aspect of HappyShappy is affirming and absorbing. No one is interested in judging you, and nobody wishes to troll you, or start a comment war. Everyone is in a state of tranquility, a state of nirvana, creating their own mini-universe, personalizing it with stuff they like. You and me both, no matter how stark can be our truest versions at HappyShappy.
Let’s get back to the home feed again. Again, an endless scroll of images showing cool designs, creative ideas, and stylish products. Say, what if I like one of these pictures, a gorgeous orange saree? What should I do next? Should I keep lying on my bed, ogling at this elegant piece, like an idiot? What if my heart craves to add this beautiful item to my wardrobe?
At this moment, I have a few choices. I could try my mom’s desi approach, visit the local market, go to hundreds of shops, showing the saree to every dealer. Yeah right. As if I’ve got time for that. Or, jump from one app to another, one shopping portal to another, searching for a saree not precisely but somewhat similar to the one I want. Meh! I could try Google’s image search to find the image’s source, and if I’m lucky, I’ll find the original vendor who’ll probably take a lot of time to deliver the exact same sari. Or, I could use this app and buy the item there and then, that too, within my budget. What’s more, you can customize it in many different ways. Whaaaat? Yes!
For any person like me, an independent middle-class girl who loves everything nice and pretty, who loves the fine luxuries of life but for whom time and money is of the essence, this app is a must-have. I decide what I want. I choose how I want it. And I decide how much I want to spend on it. No other app gives me this hit, this fulfillment.
Like crazy! Each day, many new users register at this app, explore and consume its content, and enjoy the euphoria, and share it with their friends. Word of mouth marketing seems to be the biggest factor for its success.
It is a large platform with many cool features. Different aspects of this app seem to have found resonance with different users. Gen-Z, the most curious age group that’s online 24×7, uses this app in their free time or while traveling; discovering new DIY ideas and latest fashion trends seems to be a more productive way for them.
Readers and bibliophiles are using its bookmarking feature to save interesting articles to their account swiftly. Photographers are using it to back up their data while simultaneously showcasing their activities. The app is empowering budding fashion designers, graphics artists, cooks, beauticians, hairstylists, and other originators to showcase their skills to an audience that doesn’t troll but encourages.
Social media celebrities are sharing their content to extend their reach. Students are using its collaborative features for projects. Family members are using the same for planning events. Video game artists and digital sculptors who need to have an online portfolio but are wary of plagiarism have found their solution in the app’s privacy feature. Grass-root vendors are signing up as sellers to sell their unique products by thousands, while renowned brands are gaining their brand identity.
There are the early birds who’ve recognized its vast potential, and are uploading tons of fresh content and pulling traffic back to their websites and blogs. NGOs are using it to spread their message to an audience that’s really listening. And finally, there are thousands of young women like me, who use the positive vibe of HappyShappy to shield themselves from digital pessimism.
All in all, HappyShappy is more than just stunning images of mehendi designs, celebrity fashion, or yummy cupcakes. It’s an app that has something for everyone. For me, it’s a break I take to relax and recharge myself, to get a hit of positive vibe and attain social nirvana. This digital dope is so much better than the others.