If you’ve ever wondered why your Facebook app looks a little different from your friend’s, you’ve likely learned that Facebook tests features in a very unique, targeted way.
Airship wants to let its customers start testing features the same way that companies like Facebook and Dropbox do without all the added complications and resources. The startup is launching out of Y Combinator’s latest class with a product that integrates directly into customer codebases and that lets engineers easily flag features to roll out to targeted groups of users.
While there are certainly no shortage of A/B testing tools available for developers, most focus on content tweaks, while Airship’s product flagging framework can ultimately give end users dramatically different feature experiences, which can give smaller startups much deeper insights into how customers interact with product changes.
“Most startups definitely can’t do this,” Airship co-founder Alvin Yap tells TechCrunch. “We aim to make controlled feature rollouts accessible to any company.”
While it may just seem like another way to press ship, rolling out features this way can affect the product direction at companies by letting them see when a feature is received negatively by a small group of users. The startup points to botched redesign rollouts from companies like Snap and Digg, as evidence that feature launches should be carefully orchestrated and delivered in a more targeted capacity.
The company has integrated their product with Segment so that users can use their existing analytics platform to tell them about how their features are being received. As the company moves forward, they’re hoping to continue building out more integrations as well as control mechanisms.
For small teams pricing packages start at $80 per month (or $64 when billed annually) and move up based on how custom features are being tested and how many monthly active users the team has. There’s a 14 day free trial for users interested in taking it for a whirl first.
Check Airship out here.