We’ve had optional location tracking in Happyfeed for years now - even before we had a single map in the app where you could actually see those locations. From day one, I thought that maps could be a fun way to look back on your happy memories. There are many triggers that help us recall our fond memories like smells, sounds, and words. I think places are one of the strongest: summer vacation spots, favorite restaurants, a particular hiking path or hilltop 🏔
(I really enjoy hiking.)
However, when I looked at my own location data, I realized that 90% of my moments were at my apartment because I use Happyfeed at night in bed. Unless there’s a photo attached, the app has no way of knowing where a moment actually happens. For locations to really work in Happyfeed, we need to solve a few key problems:
Our first thought was to do what everyone else is doing. Pick a service, like Google, and build an interface that looks more or less like adding a location to Instagram or Facebook: one of those easy-to-use autofill forms.
The deeper we looked into the services the more problems we ran into:
We decided to build our own independent location service called Spots. (Maybe that’s what happens when your founder is an engineer?) This allows us to avoid depending on data from big tech companies and focus on what really matters: your interactions at your Spots.
Spots are private and unique to you.
You pick the location and you name them whatever you want. That means you can create a Spot for anything: your favorite park bench, restaurant, surfing spot, or coffee shop. We built a new “location picker” to make updating location and adding Spots super simple.
There are a few tradeoffs, but we really think the flexibility of Spots will be worth it in the long-run.
Spots will start out simple and build up features over time. Our next steps will be to add in some of the basics like editing an existing Spot and seeing all your memories at a specific Spot. Eventually, we’ll be rolling out new options like auto-suggesting frequent Spots, adding tags and personal notes (“burger joint,” “hiking spot,” “where I met Sally”), and building up information about your favorite places.
If you’re an iPhone user and have any thoughts about Spots, please message me at [email protected] It’s been a fun (and huge) project and I hope we can just keep making it better and better (and better). 😄
Happyfeed is a digital gratitude journal based on a common practice in positive psychology called ‘3 gratitudes.' By reflecting on and recording things you are grateful for each day, you are essentially rewiring your brain to focus more on the good. Focusing on good things tends to make you a happier person. 😊