They say that all work and no play makes for some dull boys, and I think brothers Darren and Derek Dodge would definitely agree with that sentiment. The two of them have just launched a new iPhone app called About Last Night here on our Disrupt stage that aims to connect fans of the nightlife and help them find the best parties, clubs, concerts, and games every night.
“We like to think of ourselves as a social network completely geared around nightlife,” Darren told me.
About Last Night is a simple service to get started with — after logging in with their Facebook credentials, users can share photos and videos of where they are, tag their Facebook friends, and upvote the events they attend if they’re particularly good. Images of events and venues that are especially well-rated are pushed to the top of the app’s main activity feed and can even garner bronze, silver, and gold medals to highlight just how good a time everyone is having.
Those posts can be set to private if users want to keep some parts of their night hush-hush, but they generally don’t last too long anyway. In a bid to make sure users come back again and again, those posts will disappear after 48 hours.[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="title" exclude="559484"]
Users can navigate through the app by swiping left and right from the main landing page — they’ll always be just a swipe or two away from listings of nearby events, friend activity, and locations that they’ve chosen to follow. Tapping an icon on the top left causes the entire panel to slide to the right, revealing a control panel a la the Facebook iOS app from which users can search for their friends on ALN.
With all the location posting, About Last Night sounds a bit reminiscent of Foursquare. Indeed, the brothers Dodge told me that Foursquare got people into the rhythm of checking in, a behavior they’re clearly keen to harness. Still, their unwavering focus on the nightlife also means that their audience of potential users are avowed fans of finding things to do into the wee hours of the morning, an audience that they believe plenty of brands are itching to reach.
While the brothers are all about making sure you get to have a good time — the idea struck them while enjoying the heady party scene in college, after all — they also want brands and venues to be able to connect directly with their users.
“Brands spend billions of dollars yearly on the nightlife,” Darren noted to me. “But they’ve had no other way to reach these people other than advertising.”
Then plan to do this by giving them the ability to create sponsored and contextual posts to be injected into the streams of users who follow specific brands or venues. Those venues will also be able to offer discounts and deals a la Groupon to lure people through their doors. But that will all come in time, and they tell me that they don’t plan to monetize the service yet — they’re planning to flip that switch within the next few months.
Q: How big a market can this address? What are the demographics?
A: Nightlife is huge, we think that college kids we be heavy users, but anyone who goes out often will benefit.
Q: Do you have a sense of the scale needed to attract national brands
A: We’re already talking to big brands — Sam Adams for one.
Q: How you brands know when to send out deals?
A: Will be able to detect when a user is actually at the location, businesses will create their targeted posts from a web front-end.
Q: How will heavy partiers remember to set their sensitive posts to private?
A: There’s a rocker directly in the Post page that’s pretty hard to miss.