The two founders behind Spotlight met at a New York Hackathon a year back. As they are both former actors familiar with the struggle of showcasing their talents, they also share the passion of helping others to.
“Spotlight is an app where people can show their talents to the world”, Sravan says. He is a developer and one of the co-founders behind this exciting project. I ask Sravan how they came up with the idea and he tells me, “there are a few portals that does these types of things, but none specifically for showcasing talents. We just wanted to create a purposeful portal”.
“Think of Spotlight as America’s Got Talent but accessible to anyone and free of charge.”
Spotlight users are “posters” and “consumers”, which essentially means anyone interested in promoting their own talents, or finding out about other’s in the feed. Posters push everything from written pieces and images to video recordings and performances, which the consumers then can like, comment, bookmark, and share to top social media places like Facebook and Twitter.
If users want to get in touch with each other, perhaps reaching out to one of those unique talents, they can send an in-app private message.
“We were looking for good messaging APIs, and we compared different providers. Many of them didn’t seem as established as Sinch.” Sravan tells me. “I mean, big apps like Tango is powered by Sinch. You seem like the most stable choice.”
“A lot of people were recommending Sinch.”
Sravan explains that they added Sinch after building Spotlight, and that the integration went super smooth, which I’m of course always happy to hear! To make it work 100%, however, Sravan and his six-man team has been struggling with getting the notifications right.
“We solved the first part, receiving notifications when the app is active, by looking at one of the tutorials on your website,” he says. “But the second part, getting notifications to work while the app’s in the background, we’re still trying to figure out”.
Sravan also says he’s had some issues understanding the flow of our service. “Like, where does the messages come from, and where do they go to? I guess everybody has to go through that learning curve, but it was never really a problem”, he says.
Outsourcing the underlying technology of in-app communications enable Sravan and his team to solely focus on the nice bits: scaling. “We’re currently targeting college students, but we’re looking to expand.”
Spotlight is still in beta, and will be released in App Store next month. After that, the team will completely focus on growing the user base and discovering the world’s greatest talents.
Hey, what’s our talent? “Sinch is easy to integrate and easy to use” (no acting!).
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