How 7 Seconds is Using Whereby to Change the Dating Scene in Japan
When meeting someone new was almost impossible in Japan, 7 seconds introduced a new and fun way to meet new people. Continue reading to find out how they connect people through their app.
Meeting new people is hard under any circumstances, but Covid has taken the challenge to a whole new level. And in Japan, where the restrictions associated with rolling lockdowns have been fairly severe, meeting someone new can feel almost impossible. This is the problem that Kensuke Ishibashi, Executive Officer at Linkbal, and his team set out to solve.
Since 2011 Linkbal, a Japan-based company on a mission to Connect the World, has been creating services and experiences designed to connect people. Across their suite of websites and apps, they deliver a range of ways to bring people together socially and romantically. CoupLink is Japan’s first dating/marriage app that fuses real-world and online activities to help singles find their perfect match. Another of Linkbal’s apps, machicon JAPAN is an experiential consumption platform that helps more than 1.8 million users in their 20s and 30s find and engage in a wide variety of event-based experiences.
When Covid hit, it became impossible to run the in-person events that were the foundation of Linkbal’s business model and the primary way users of their products and services interacted with each other. To adapt to the new reality, the team had to pivot quickly. The solution that emerged is a new app called 7 Seconds, which uses Whereby Embedded to help users have a more authentic online interaction in a fun and effective way.
The Brilliant Idea Behind the 7-second Concept
One of the most important elements of any business’s success is really knowing your customers. The customers of what would become 7 Seconds are Japanese singles. These folks tend to be more introverted and shy, making video chat a potentially awkward and uncomfortable experience.
The Linkbal team initially tested five-minute long video chats as an online replacement for the in-person events. But even though the in-person events typically ran about an hour-and-a-half to two hours, the team realized pretty quickly that even five minutes was too much pressure in a one-on-one setting like a video chat.
After some brainstorming and testing, the team settled on 7 seconds as the optimal length for an initial conversation. If two people connect, enjoy their 7-second video chat, and want to continue talking, they can opt to go on to round two, which is 77 seconds long. And if that second, longer chat goes well, they can opt to go into round three, which lasts for 7 minutes. From there, users can exchange contact information, and maybe meet up in the real world.
By increasing the interaction time in small increments, and making it so that both parties have to opt in to continue on to each successive level, the team at 7 Seconds created an experience that is very low stakes and nonthreatening. And that’s exactly what their audience wants.
Why Whereby Embedded?
To facilitate the unique 7 Seconds experience, the team needed a flexible platform that was both easily configurable and delivered a seamless end-user experience. In addition, because they were responding in real time to Covid restrictions, they needed a solution that was easy to implement, and would provide super reliable performance. They simply didn’t have the time for any mistakes or technical difficulties.
Whereby Embedded was able to meet all these requirements. “Whereby was the only tool that enabled us to create this platform and launch our new online service,” says Kensuke, who was especially impressed with how easy it was to get up and running with Whereby Embedded.
“Whereby’s dev docs were really thorough and easy to follow,” he says. “There was no further explanation needed. I was able to just share the document with my tech team, and they were able to test everything out easily.”
Perhaps most important, Whereby Embedded delivers super reliable service that ensures 7 Seconds users have a great experience. Since the team launched in December of 2021, the user audience has grown to approximately 4,500 individuals, and the app has an active user rate that ranges between 25 and 30%. “Because Whereby Embedded is working the way we want it to, the users don’t complain at all,” says Kensuke.
This just might be the start of something beautiful.
While Covid has forced a lot of businesses to adapt in unexpected ways, those disruptions often open up new opportunities. 7 Seconds’ early success has set the stage for expansion into other countries outside of Japan, as well as the development of a hybrid model that will include both in-person and online events and experiences going forward.
In addition, the team’s high level of satisfaction with Whereby Embedded inspired them to recommend it to the team that runs the CoupLink dating app, so now they are also incorporating Whereby Embedded into their experience.
It turns out that video chat—even when it’s only 7 seconds long—is a really engaging and effective way to not only vet a potential platonic or romantic match, but also to form a real connection in a fun and nonthreatening way. The 7 Seconds team might really be on to something, and Whereby Embedded is happy to be a part of it.
Watch how 7 Seconds have embedded Whereby.