At Cocoon, we conduct member interviews every week to learn more about how the app is weaving into people's lives, and uncover opportunities to serve them better. This series shares some of our favorite stories.
We recently had a lovely chat with SJ (made especially lovely by her wonderful Scottish accent). She told us about her frustration with being tracked online, and her search for a private space to share with friends.
"It was purely privacy." That's what SJ said when we asked her what brought her to Cocoon. She and her friends felt fed up with seeing eerily targeted ads on Instagram and Facebook, so SJ started searching for a private social network and found our app.
"The world and their mother doesn't need to know everything about you. We just value privacy— we don't want to be spied on."
But it wasn't purely a matter of principle for SJ's friend group. Around the time that they became disillusioned by ad-tracking, one of them was also experiencing awful online stalking. The stalker was collecting information about her in order to steal her identity. Cocoon offered SJ's friend a safe place where she could share her life, away from prying eyes.
SJ was an early adopter of Cocoon, and wrote us before we launched our sponsorship model to encourage us to charge for the app directly, instead of introducing ads to make money. She was enjoying the app but was scared that it would become less private over time. Hearing from SJ was inspiring, and we assured her she had nothing to worry about— Cocoon will never serve ads or mine data.
"These apps, they're free, but they're not free, because you're selling your soul. And I value my privacy way more than I value their apps."
Though it was privacy that initially brought SJ to Cocoon, she quickly discovered other benefits as she used the app. For one, conversations with her closest friends now happen in one place, instead of scattered across Messenger, iMessage, and Instagram. She also found the overall organization of the app "much easier to use than iMessage", especially the Archive, which lets her quickly find photos that she and her friends have shared.
Helping people keep their private lives private is one of the most gratifying things about our work, and we're delighted that SJ trusts us with the job!