The switch may not be as big of a jump as it seems. The company is taking the mobile social platform and applying it to a calendar, so you can schedule outings with friends more easily. It is smart enough to recommend activities with people you know and balances work-heavy weeks with more exciting things to do.
The Beijing-based company’s chief executive, Si Shen, acknowledged in an email that her company’s mobile gamer social networking service (SNS) hadn’t been as sticky as expected when it came to retaining users.
“Our SNS caught like wildfire as we picked up as many 80 million users,” Shen wrote. “However, we realized that despite our vision for the product, the retention rate of the SNS was extremely low on both sides of the spectrum. Not to mention it was an uphill battle competing with the iOS Game Center.”
The company’s new smart social calendar is aimed at managing your work-life balance.
You can organize your week by color-coding your appointments. You can create a “label” for work appointments, and another label for entertainment. You can share calendars with friends, whose schedules show up in another kind of label.
The point isn’t to enable people to be more efficient at being workaholics by prioritizing work-related meetings. It is designed as a personal assistant that organizes your life outside the office.
Kiwi has a machine-learning algorithm and artificial intelligence that analyzes and understands a user’s routines, location, relationships, and interests. Kiwi suggests stimulating activities to do during a user’s free time.
“If we took a hard look at our calendars, we’ll find that the blocks of time absent from our agendas is time for ourselves to just enjoy life,” said Shen, in a statement. “With many of us committed to demanding jobs, we’re reluctant to pencil in ‘fun’ because we struggle to find a moment for anything else. Kiwi Calendar swoops in to squeeze in an hour or two for exciting activities.”
In an email, Shen added, “PapyaMobile’s vision from day one has been to change people’s lives – in fact, that’s been PapayaMobile’s mantra and has contributed to our rapid growth in the past six years.”
In 2012, the company launched its cross-promotion tool, AppFlood. Meanwhile, Kiwi Calendar started out as a side project a couple of years ago, as the team saw that digital calendars hadn’t really evolved much. They wanted to make calendars smart and social.
Kiwi Calendar suggests activities for blocks of free time, and it offers the option to share schedules with friends. That makes scheduling a weekly bowling night with friends a lot easier. Someone who wants to organize an outing can identify a free time slot for all parties and engage participants in chat using in-app messaging, photo sharing, and emoticons.
Kiwi Calendar can also suggest public events such as concerts, meetups, movies, and other events happening in a local area that Facebook friends are planning to attend. The app also lets users see movie showtimes at nearby locations. And it lets you view past and future events, recommendations, friends’ events, and the weather forecast.
It also syncs with Google Calendar, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
PapayaMobile will be facing a lot of competition, including Tempo AI, Google, 24me, Any.do, and Boomerang.