Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Aneka Paul, the Director of Communications at Chundersoft, LLC about myDoggySocial
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
myDoggySocial was born out of a need to find people nearby who wanted to socialize their dogs, while also providing a platform for people to make meaningful connections over a shared interest. The founder had recently added a puppy to their family and was unable to find someone to walk with and have as a puppy playmate. Taking her puppy to the dog park proved to be a disaster, as her pup was unexpectedly attacked by a larger dog. Wishing there was a way to connect with other dog owners, while also being able to choose a dog by size and temperament, she set out to build an app exclusively for dog lovers - connecting them for whatever reason they needed. Since her husband was unable to walk with her and the dog on many occasions, she also wanted to find new dog owners for companionship - as walking alone on long trails was not her ideal situation.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
We have received a lot of feedback from people wishing to promote their businesses in more detail on the app. We currently have new sections in development geared towards this that will be rolled out in the near future.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
Social media has been reported by several studies to actually cause depression in people and a negative impact on their mental health. What's more uplifting than seeing photos of dogs? Surprisingly, many people mentioned that they had actually been called out by people on their friend lists for posting too many photos of their beloved furbabies on their own social media profiles. Getting emails and messages from our users who say they love the app, that they love being able to post a billion photos of their dogs without judgment and that their day has been brightened just by using our app is extremely rewarding.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
A one-of-a-kind feature is that you can also filter your results by the purpose of the dog owned by other users - connect with people who use their dogs as companions, police dogs, working dogs, or show dogs, etc. Our app is the first to provide this level of dog-matching.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
We launched initially as a friendship and walking-buddy app, but we were surprised at how many people were thrilled to find an app that could help them find their potential lover based on a shared love of dogs being their common denominator.
We were also surprised at the number of things that can go wrong when developing and self-financing your own app. We hadn't anticipated the number of hurdles to overcome or the issues that stemmed during development. Real world users had a different experience of the app than our own testing and development users did.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
If you're new to developing mobile apps, be prepared for criticism from users and take it in stride. Getting negative feedback can lower your morale, but your app can evolve and become better as you address issues and bugs. Some of our harshest criticism has led to our best features. Always be willing to listen to what your users are grumpy about. Some of them turn out to be your most loyal followers.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
Our app provides a multitude of ways for users to search for a similar dog lover nearby, while other dog-centric apps only allow you to search for size or temperament. Our app allows you to go further and narrow your search to list people looking for friendship for either just their dogs or themselves, for dog walking, etc. while also allowing users to create and view dog meetups and related events that they can set up for free. Other apps force the display of a user's location, whereas our app lets people 'Check in' and 'Check out' at their current location, thus protecting their privacy. There's a heavy focus on privacy and safety as many of the app's users are female.
You can view myDoggySocial here
For more information, visit: http://www.mydoggysocial.com