Social Presence: Why people care about SpatialChat

20 days ago   •   5 min read

By Almas Abulkhairov
Table of contents

Hey everyone, this is Almas, founder of SpatialChat.

This article should interest marketers, entrepreneurs, and anyone curious about SpatialChat or if you love our product and our team😊 In this post, I'm going to share our journey in self-discovering WHY SpatialChat: what is the purpose of our product, and why should you (and we) care.

How did I come up with this idea?

More experienced entrepreneurs and marketers have taught me that in order to market the product successfully, one should use either of these two frameworks — The "Three Whys":

  1. Why anything?
  2. Why SpatialChat?
  3. Why Now?

The "why-how-what" framework by Simon Sinek

For example, if Apple was doing things like everyone else - going from "What" to "How," their marketing message would sound like this:

"We make great computers. They're beautifully designed, simple to use and use friendly. Want to buy one?". That sounds non-inspiring!

But how Apple actually communicates is this:

Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?

Well, now that sounds inspiring. And the lesson here is that people don't buy what you do. People buy why you do it. So the goal here is to do business with people who believe what you believe. Oky, and now we are ready to go to the SpatialChat case.

The arrival of "Social Presence."

We started as "Your virtual cocktail party for up to 50 people" product in April 2020 only to showcase the technical demo and figure out the real need and pain along our journey.

The pandemic was all the rage, and the most severely affected industry was the events industry. (conferences, cooperative events, trade shows, meetups, networking events, training, poster sessions, and more).

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Naturally, all video chat products like Zoom, Meet, Webex, and others adopt online event products (even if they were originally marketed as team communication or general video meeting products).

Today, most countries don't require masks or even rapid tests. And talking to amazing people from the event industry, who are our clients, showed me that offline events bring more income than ever (which I'm honestly happy for them).

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Meanwhile, we gradually noticed that hundreds of teams of different sizes (the majority of them are 5-50 people and sometimes up to 500 people) have been using SpatialChat for 3 to 12 months in a row with an average of 4+ hours daily.

Worldwide sources, our customers, friends, and the facts above gave us an excellent point to focus on remote work. We shift our gear on developing features for teams and online collaboration like Workplace room while still happily serving our virtual event customers.

Why is social presence so important?

In a remote working paradigm, many of us are without the office now, with many of our colleagues working from different cities or even countries. Without the office, social interactions such as watercooler talks, hanging out and working on something together are the things we miss because we are humans.

Solutions like SpatialChat allow you to build a virtual common ground, a representation of a "together space" to recreate those interactions and make communication as frictionless as possible.

In this environment, people feel the common ground, pay more attention to the conversation, and are able to collaborate within one browser window - leading to better productivity, brainstorming, all-hands, and regular syncs.

We see this effect working in online webinars, training, networking events, online education sessions and of course in remote work calls over SpatialChat for small, medium, and large teams.

Did SpatialChat's core beliefs change?

We have been a virtual software company for the last two years, but now we are / will be 100% virtual remote space software. Something didn't click with me...

We re-read countless user feedbacks and noticed that event guests, educators, facilitators, and virtual teams shared similar values - Social Presence.

"it feels present", "there's a social presence feeling", "our team is more focused during SpatialChat breakout because we feel like close here", "close as it cood get to in-personal meeting", "engaged as in real life"...

All this feedback leads to a common reason - social presence, which means that our 2D environment with all our interaction features makes you feel that the person you talk to is real and present.

How do I see the future of Social presence?

I am glad we help companies, universities, remote teams, and people around the world to connect, be socially present, and feel close as it gets in real life. It's great to build a tool that virtualizes in-person communication and interaction and cancels geo boundaries for people across the world.


Sincerely,
Almas,
CEO

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