The FyFly Nightlife App – In Desperate Need of a Content Strategy Wingman

A hand holding a mobile phone with the FyFly app on it

Foxie Rating - 2 stars - Bad
A sponsored Tweet for the new FyFly app popped up in my timeline a few days ago

Screenshot of a FyFly sponsored Tweet that reads: "A crowd-sourced nightlife heat map. Where do you want to go tonight. FyFly shows you the way."

What’s in a Name?

My first thought was: What a terrible name!

FyFly just sounds lame. It doesn’t roll off the tongue. And it certainly doesn’t make me think of nightlife or clubbing or having a good time.

The addition of one letter, however, could have made a world of difference: Fyrfly.

Or, better yet, they could have gone traditional with: Firefly.

Either way you spell it, the phonetical sound of firely is much cooler than FyFly.

And it would be more on brand. The word firefly makes me think of lighting up the night. Of hopping from one hotspot to the next. Of being young and wild and carefree.

Which is precisely the vibe and zeitgeist Team FyFly is wanting to tap into.

What’s in a Concept?

Upon seeing the sponsored tweet, my second thought was:

Oh cool, an app that shows me the hottest clubs in my city. That would have been kinda useful in my younger days.

But FyFly doesn’t just do that, it also shows other hotspots like eateries and… amusement parks… and beaches??!??

Two screenshot from the FyFly app showing detail state for a sushi restaurant in Manhattan, and Venice City Beach in California

Honestly, we’ve got Yelp and Open Table and TripAdvisor for that.

The most successful mobile apps are narrowly focused, especially when they’re starting out.

When you try to be too many things to too many people, you end up losing value and sacrificing simplicity.

FyFly should have come out of the gate narrowly focused on showing the hottest clubs, bars and lounges in the major metropolitan areas — NYC, LA, DC, Miami, Vegas, Chicago, Boston, etc.

That way Team FyFly could have spent more time perfecting the content strategy and user experience.

Because right now, it seems as though the app has been developed by people who don’t know what it’s like to go clubbing or out for a night on the town in a metropolitan city. Or, at the very least, it seems to have been developed by people who didn’t think through the user experience flow and who don’t fully understand the importance of having a content strategy.

What’s in a UX & Content Strategy?

The app is purty but there ain’t a lot going on in the content, UX or interactivity departments.

The app doesn’t even have simple functionality, like giving users the ability to:

  • Search for a specific venue;
  • Filter the map view by venue type — so I can just view nightclubs, or bars, or lounges; or
  • Like and/or rate a venue. Instead, all a user can do in that capacity is leave a comment. Yet in cases like the one below, notice how the Hamburger Mary related comment does not appear when I tap to view the “detail state” for Hamburger Mary. Instead it appears off in the ether for West Hollywood et. al.

Two screenshots from the FyFly app showing the detail state for the Hamburger Mary's restaurant in one; and the comment for Hamburger Mary's floating off in the either in the second screenshot

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In its digital marketing efforts, Team FyFly hypes up the app’s heat map feature. But I don’t need a heat map to tell me that the Meatpacking District is going to be poppin’ off at one in the morning moreso than downtown Hoboken.

Most night owls who have lived in a city for a couple months have a pretty good idea where the nightlife hotspots are for their lifestyle.

So it’s less about what areas are hot and more about what venues are hot and under what criteria.

I may want to know what are the best bars and lounges serving bombass mojitos vs. those that have happy hour specials. Or which clubs have an ol skool night vs. a reggae night.

The way the FyFly app is currently designed and populated, I cannot easily answer any of these questions. And that’s largely because Team FyFly is overly reliant upon user-generated content (UGC).

It took crowdsourced apps like Waze and GasBuddy years before they truly became useful and household names. And those apps are more integral to the day-to-day lives (and wallets) of adults than a nightlife app.

A new website or mobile app should NEVER rely solely on crowd sourcing straight out the gate.

Case in point: These comments which have absolutely nothing do with what’s hot or not in LA nightlife scene:

A screenshot of comments for the West LA area taken in the FyFly apps. The comments include, "Yesterday was a great day to see a movie." "Loving the LA weather." "Shopping shopping shopping!!" and "Yay"

It will take a long while before the FyFly app will boast enough UGC comments, tips and tidbits for a large majority of venues — which is the key to the app being useful to thousands of users in each metropolitan area.

In the meantime, Team FyFly needs to invest in in-house content development to ensure the app is answering the top questions users have when they’re deciding where to spend their next evening out on the town.