For messaging app 'lettrs,' Android users dominate - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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Sep. 30, 2014 9:31 am

For messaging app ‘lettrs,’ Android users dominate

Some 75 percent of the lettrs user base comes from Google-driven devices, said creative director William Conklin.

Members of the lettrs team.

(From the @lettrs Twitter feed)

Making thoughtful communication more special.

That’s the idea behind lettrs, an app for sending long messages digitally. The app features built-in design elements that aim to evoke the charm of paper letters, while acknowledging that online is where everyone lives now.

We first encountered the team at New York Tech Day. The startup is cofounded by Salesforce.com alum Drew Bartkiewicz.

It debuted on iOS, but in an email, William Conklin, the company’s creative director, told us that one of the lessons they’ve learned since launching is that Android is driving most of the company’s users. Some 75 percent of the lettrs user base comes from Google-driven devices, he said. “Engagement rate shattered our expectations, 90% Engagement Rate on published letters and a very impressive 20% engagement rate in native advertising space,” Conklin wrote. The team has also found that they can get more engagement by giving users writing challenges. A lot of that activity happens on its Facebook page.

It’s worth noting that the site is also available on the web, with all the same functionality it has on mobile (for all you old heads who find writing at length on a touch screen to be some sort of slow-motion nightmare). This reporter tried writing a “lettr” on a mobile device and sending it to a friend he’s lost touch with. It took 20 minutes to write on a Nexus 7. It’s been almost a week and you can see that it hasn’t been read yet, which may have something to do with the fact that the recipient doesn’t have the service. It isn’t clear.

Lettrs is built in Ruby on Rails and the developers have been building APIs in anticipation of other platforms looking to incorporate content generated on the platform.

The twelve-person team is looking to beef up its native advertising and is also looking for opportunities to give celebrities and brands ways to engage with their publics. Company staffers were working largely remotely when we met them at Tech Day in April, but letters has recently settled on an office in Williamsburg.

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Brady Dale

Brady Dale is a tech reporter, comedian and storyteller. In July 2015 he joined the New York Observer. Brady was Technical.ly Brooklyn's lead reporter from August 2013 till June 2015. A native of Pittsburg, Kansas, he went to Cornell and worked as a progressive community organizer for over a decade before quitting his job to pursue writing.

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