HashTip is a new mobile app targeting savvy shoppers, primarily moms, who want to share tips with each other about kids’ products, activities and deals. (OK, cue snarky comment about how we already have Pinterest for that.) But unlike Pinterest, HashTip isn’t about posting “inspirational” imagery, it’s more heavily focused on social commerce. The service augments its tips with extra info, including pricing and reviews from Amazon and ratings from Yelp, for example, and it also scours deal aggregator sites to bring a selection of mom-friendly bargains to the community.
Moms can also post their tips to Twitter or Facebook, after first authenticating with the service, and then tag those posts with the hashtag “#tip” in order to simultaneously share their idea to the HashTip community.
The mobile app is an extension of the online HashTip social network, which first debuted this spring with a broader focus of collecting and organizing the tips friends posted on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. More recently, the startup narrowed its focus to moms, finding that group was particularly interested in finding deals, reading reviews, and shopping online. The product has since been rebuilt to address moms’ needs specifically.
HashTip’s founders, Vikas Gupta and Rohit Vashisht, also quickly discovered after debuting their online site that they had made the mistake of not addressing mobile. “We realized we were missing out on more than 50% of our traffic due to the lack of a mobile application,” Vashisht says. “We decided to go for the iPhone app first due to the widespread use of the iPhone in the U.S. – our primary market. We see moms using our application to get great tips while shopping, traveling, or just doing errands,” he says. Now the website serves to complement the app, not the other way around.
HashTip is geared towards mothers with kids 10 years old and younger, and it lets users tap a button to share a tip, explore tips by category, or search through the tips others on the community have posted, even filtering them by age range. The tips aren’t just about things the kids can enjoy, either, there are also items for moms, the home, services, or things the family as a whole could enjoy.
The app’s design is fairly straightforward, although there are little quirks like how the text at the top (“all” and “all ages”) overlays the text and images underneath as you scroll. Some of the tips are great (like the one pictured – stickers that can tell if your kid has a fever! Neat!), but others are confusing. For example, a tip called “Family Planning” shows a stock photo-like image of a mother and baby, and doesn’t really describe what it is. (It’s a link to a website with tips on saving ahead of baby’s arrival.) But when you tap through on the tip’s Amazon details, it shows a book for talking to kids about sex. In other words, the tips are very hit-or-miss. I’ve found that the ones which directly link to products or things you can buy are much higher quality than these other “life tips,” but your mileage may vary.
The app, backed by $200,000 in angel funding, is a free download here in iTunes.