tab was a mobile app released in 2012 to bookmark the real world locations and activities. Gained 800K DL and selected as the Apple App Store Japan Best of 2012. The service is already closed.

Company: Tonchidot Corp.

tab was developed as the successor of SekaiCamera, one of the first AR application for smartphones. SekaiCamera was a CGM social service that users can post the tweet-like text tied to specific geolocation. SekaiCamera surprised the market and gained total of 3MM DL. Though the app failed to provide sticky value and the active users were at 10K.

I assessed the UX of SekaiCamera and identified the fundamental issue. It was simply not providing interesting contents. We evaluated what kind of customers will have the incentive to provide quality content to our service. With SekaiCamera, we had partnerships with real estate information service and local government, both having economic incentive to provide location based information. We came up with the concept of “Interest to Action” to drive the users to take action such as to eat or to go to the real location based on the information. But the customers were not fond of these contents, because they were basically advertisements. We recognized that we also need to involve content curators who can add the context to the information and curate them into contents. We formed dedicated teams to form the partnership with local business owners, and to form the community of curators. I contacted ~300 bloggers myself and formed a community of 200 curators. We also renewed the UI. We maintained the iconic camera view, but not as the first view. We turned the first view into the list of “tab”, stream of location information curated by topics. We also designed the location information as a bubble so that we can provide large image and associate with the specific location at the same time. Users can pick the location information and put it into their own tab. Using geofencing technology, the app will notify the user if they get close to the location they added to their tab.

The renewed app gained 800K DL, and also very high MAU conversion of 50%. Though the app failed to monetize. The main reason is the failure to monetize. The company tried to monetize by sending the users to the location and activities (e.g. eating, shopping). Similar model works for online commerce. But for the real commerce, it was difficult to generate enough transaction to monetize.