In this technology-driven world, snail mail has become a thing of the past, and mobile apps have become the latest innovation of the present. Nowadays, hundreds of apps are being designed for every smartphone user. Be it for entertainment or for business – the choices are infinite, but among the more popular apps downloaded today are social media ones.
Almost every smartphone user has social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter readily opened in the screens of their phones or tablets. Although despite the presence of these social networking apps, a newly developed social networking app stands out from the rest, and that app is called Bengga.
Other than it being one of the newest social networking apps made today, Bengga is one that is proudly Filipino. It’s one of the very first Filipino-made apps to actually venture out in social networking, and to attempt launching worldwide.
According to Jay Avellana, a member of the Business Development team of the Bengga app and a former Lasallian, he felt honored to be a part of a team that represented the Filipino people as potential app makers. “I feel like there’s such a great potential in the Philippines, especially with the emergence of the mobile app, it just made the world seem so much smaller,” he explains.
Indeed, there is real potential in us Filipinos, and the creation of this app is just a stepping stone for more to come.
The quirks of Bengga
Derived from the Spanish translation, the word Bengga means “Go”. From that, the app makers decided that it would be as the translation implies – a call to action. Unlike other social media networks, Bengga actually instigates photo conversation among its users through the process of the ReBengga.
So, what does this ReBengga feature do? Well, for example, a user posts a photo of his latest cake dessert with the caption “My slice of Heaven” on his Bengga account. With the ReBengga feature present, the user’s contacts may now be able to share their own “slice of Heaven” photo to the user’s post to be able to compare and converse with one another. Not only that, once the ReBenggas are posted to the initial post, the user and his contacts may also opt to vote for the best photo; and based on the number of votes, the photos will then be ranked. This, in turn, would create friendly competition between the user and his contacts; thus making Bengga something very distinct and different from other social networking apps.
Just as Avellana describes it, “It’s a compare and share and a do and outdo social networking app,” and that makes Bengga a very fun and unique social networking app to have and use.
Hiccups, hitches, and hurdles
On another note, if there is one thing that is sure to test our resilience and determination, it would be the obstacles that we encounter while we are in the process of achieving our goals. It wasn’t all smooth sailing when it came to the production of Bengga; in fact, there were a lot of problems that Avellana and his team encountered, though he tells us that this is one of the most normal things that could happen.
Creating an app is taxing and requires a great amount of work. Mr. Jay Avellana shares to us the factors involved in app creation. The most essential is the product or app itself. You must first determine the type or kind of app that you want to create and why. Next would be determining and defining your target market and the product’s fit in the selected target market. In Bengga’s case, college students were their target market; once the target market is recognized, the fit of the product in the target market must be identified. How will Bengga affect the lives of college students? Why would they want to use Bengga? What would Bengga come to be, to be a part of college students’ lives?
Other than this, testing of the app is also done. To carry this out, wireframes or mockups are created to analyze and design the user interfaces of the app. Creating UX or user experience is paramount when it comes to creating an app as well. The first step until the last step in posting on Bengga must be distinguished. For example, how many steps do you need for you to be able to post on Bengga? The aim here is to minimize the steps, make it quick, simple, and uncomplicated to deliver the best user experience. Lastly, determine the traction of the product. To do this, you must verify the number of downloads and how many times the app is used. In Bengga’s case, the growth rate is exponential, with about three thousand users and three hundred unique visitors and downloads a day.
Further problems that they encountered were the software bugs; these bugs would cause the app to crash, freeze, and repeatedly upload the same post twice. Mr. Jay Avellana muses that their goal is to make Bengga faster and easier to use to ensure that it delivers the best user experience ever. In addition to making Bengga effortlessly user-friendly, their goal is to also make updates and bug fixes as consistently and regularly as they can. This is to make certain that Bengga’s quality remains at its prime.
“Our goal is to make Bengga worldwide, to cover as much corner of ground in a short time,” expresses Mr. Jay Avellana. “We want Bengga to be in each and everyone’s conversations.” To yearn for a mobile application to be a part of our daily lives might sound a bit ambitious, but this isn’t the case when it comes to Bengga. After having its first launch in Arizona in the United States and in Manila, Bengga will be having its next soft launch in Indonesia.
In spite of the fact that Bengga is just newly created and fresh to the market, there is no doubt that Bengga has the potential and capacity to thrive and flourish in the future. “Each person is unique and has a story to tell; we would like them to show that through Bengga. If you have a story to tell, we would like to know. Come and share on Bengga,” Mr. Jay Avellana adds.
Bengga started from humble beginnings and regardless of the obstacles that were encountered in creating the app, there is no question that Bengga successfully triumphed through these drawbacks. For future and potential app makers, complications and difficulties in app creation is nothing but natural and is something that should be considered as motivation and inspiration instead of a downer.
When asked to give a message to students and future app makers, Mr. Jay Avellana has no hesitancies and is intent on giving advice. “If you believe in something, put your heart and ideas into it. Do it now and do it quickly, because you never know, your app could be the biggest thing.”