Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Getting traction for your ‘product’, whether that be a website, app, or service, is never easy. That’s an understatement and it explains why we were particularly encouraged to see the success that the folks at Support Bee enjoyed this week with their AboutMyBrowser service.
Created over a weekend, the service — which grabs and displays information about a user’s Web browser — was posted to Hacker News, which is when things got interesting. The thread, which has been upvoted an impressive 508 times, jumped on to the front page of the popular news listing, bringing in 46,000 hits within 24 hours, as Support Bee founder Prateek Dayal explains on its blog.
“It’s interesting how fast people started using it in real world situations,” Dayal tells TNW. “Fundamentally the service is ridiculously simple and the main USP is the shareable link.”
The site helps ease user issues for Web-based services and companies that rely on users connecting via their browser. It allows even the most technically illiterate Web users to communicate full details of their browser, helping alleviate problems when services aren’t compatible or appear broken.
That’s a big help for customer service support, as Dayal explains:
Dayal acknowledges that there are other such solutions already available and the company is focused on soliciting feedback. Yet that initial visibility boost — which has expectedly died down somewhat over time — attracted plenty of attention and online learning giant Coursera include a link to the site in its help portal.
The basic service is free, and will always be so, Dayal says. In time, Support Bee plans to monetize the service by offering a white-labelled version to companies that want to include it in their existing customer help systems.
For now companies can take the Coursera approach if they wish. That fact that there is no money in that doesn’t bother Dayal, who says he’s “happy as long as the service gets used”. There are more plans afoot he reveals.
“We want to make the basic version a lot more useful first, but coming integration options will be more interesting and more compelling,” Dayal explains. “But this is a quick and easy way to get started, companies can just use a basic link and ask users to copy their completed AboutMyBrowser link back.”
Having spent 6 months involved in Startup Chile, Support Bee relocated to Vietnam, a country that Indian-born Dayal has been visiting for the last couple of years. Though the Vietnamese tech community is very much in its infancy, Dayal sees its potential, noting that “there are a bunch of really interesting startups here”.
You can read full details of the impressive first 24 hours of growth following the Hacker News posting on the AboutMyBrowser blog. It’s particularly interesting to note how widely the service was visited globally, while it got traffic from some pretty obscure browsers: ZooShot and Vimprobable anyone?!
Image via Shutterstock / Ben Jeayes
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