In an era where social media platforms give the illusion of constant connection, a new app, Catchup, aims to bring back the essence of personal communication. The app is designed to remind users to intentionally reach out to their friends and loved ones, moving beyond the superficiality of ‘liking’ posts to foster deeper connections.
Catchup, which debuted on iOS this week, is the brainchild of Chris Lee, the head of design at Sprig. Lee’s personal struggle to maintain consistent contact with friends and family, due to the demands of his professional life, inspired the creation of this app. He confessed to TechCrunch that despite valuing his relationships, he often found himself losing touch over time, a problem he realized was not unique to him.
Lee’s observations were corroborated by a sociological study covered by The New York Times last year. The study revealed that people often underestimate the impact of their outreach on their friends, with initiators of contact underestimating how much their efforts were appreciated. The Catchup app is user-friendly. Users simply select the contacts they wish to stay in touch with and set the frequency of check-ins.
Each interaction is logged in the app, helping users keep track of their communication. The app also records birthdays, eliminating the need to rely on Facebook for reminders. A month prior to its official launch, Lee released a beta version of Catchup. The app resonated with the 2,000 testers who reported that it helped them be more intentional in maintaining their relationships. Lee himself found the app to be effective.
Catchup is free for up to two contacts. An $8 in-app purchase unlocks unlimited contacts, notifications, and a home screen widget that reminds users to check in with their contacts. This one-time purchase model is a refreshing change in an App Store landscape dominated by subscription-based apps.
Lee believes that Catchup is a superior social app, as it aligns more closely with the original purpose of technology – to connect people in a meaningful way. He envisions the app as a tool that encourages depth in communication, a stark contrast to traditional social media platforms.