‘Tracking’ The Fall of Zenly

Hello, OptiMIST People!

Back at it again with KaMIST! Your weekly dose of insights into the latest marketing trends. In this week’s KaMIST we’ll dive into Zenly’s app shutdown

If you’ve been asking yourself,  “What is the Zenly app, why is it getting so much attention lately?” 

More than a decade ago, Zenly was established with the basic function of allowing you to follow your friends around and know where they are. You may check if friends and relatives are hanging out together and where they are right now and it offers messaging interfaces like any social app. However, in September of 2022, Zenly’s users received a broadcast informing of the app shutdown by February 3rd 2023.

Reasons why the app is so widely liked is because Zenly’s branding is about the experience, not the features. The app reaches the consumer like a human rather than a cold robot spying on you. It uses friendly and fun imagery to prove sharing your location is no big deal. This makes Zenly’s marketing more efficient than other social maps apps. It is important for many technology-based companies, especially in social media platforms, to try and communicate their product in the most humane way possible. The app itself is unique and there aren’t many social map-sharing platforms that could compete with Zenly.

The firm was expanding well, but after Snap Inc. acquired it in 2017, things got serious for the app. Receiving 35 million monthly active users after launching a complete redesign earlier this year. Everyone was shocked when Snap Inc., the company that owns Snapchat, revealed that Zenly will be shut down as part of a wave of layoffs. Undoubtedly, Zenly certainly wasn’t as popular as Snapchat. But it was a well-liked, ground-breaking, and an incredibly promising app. On the other hand, Snap never asked Zenly to monetize, and Zenly could have easily shipped money-generating features, if that was a goal. 

So why not sell Zenly, given that the product they built is valuable? Speculation arises that Snap doesn’t want to create competition by selling Zenly. With the introduction of Snapchat Maps in 2017, which is a location-sharing map feature that was not created by the Zenly team and solely a part of Snapchat. It’s understandable how Snap Inc. leadership would have thought that shutting down Zenly was a sensible strategic move given the overlapping features of both apps as seen by the app’s exponential growth and demand. Although selling out Zenly would bring in money, the rival it would have established would later cause problems. Snap can write off the acquisition cost of Zenly by shutting it down, and it won’t have to worry about starting a rival business. 

In Conclusion The Zenly app was the finest among social map-sharing platforms. Zenly’s marketing technique and its special type of app makes many people like it. It’s a shame an app with millions of users needs to be shut down without reaching its full potential. That is what many business owners in Zenly’s situation must realize; despite the app’s excellent marketing strategy, business owners cannot ignore other crucial business considerations like financial problems.

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