Swapit Update: Quick Select & Post Title/Description Translation

swapit-blog_downloadWe’ve just updated Swapit with two key improvements:

  1. Quick Select popular categories and filter settings
  2. Translate Post Title and Description to and from 100 languages.

Get Your Update Swapit Today: http://get.swapit.la/now

We’re constantly improving Swapit and all changes Swapit introduces are based on our user feedback and demand.

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This new update is already available on Google Play and will soon also be available on the Apple App Store.

HOW QUICK SELECT WORKS

We’ve added a small horizontal bar at the top of our list where you can now quickly select popular categories and filter settings. Here is how it looks like:

The top left image shows the standard way our Swapit product browse list looks like. After clicking one of the pre-defined “quick select” buttons, you can now quickly narrow down the content that’s shown to you. It’s easy, useful, and works like charm.

One of the reasons, why we introduced this feature, was that people didn’t realize – at a first glance – that there is such way to narrow down and filter the choice of products you see. From the onset, Swapit has some quite sophisticated filters, which allow you to only show what you’re interested in. However, many people don’t discover that at their first use of Swapit. As a result, they see a lot of items they might not be interested in right now, and as a result of that, they believe Swapit is not for them.

It’s that psychological compartmentalization, which then puts Swapit as an app and marketplace into that corner of the user’s brain where it might be useful, but is not at this moment in time. Swapit got used less because of that. In order to reduce this behavior, we’ve introduced our Quick Select bar. On purpose, we want Swapit to require as minimal or best no education on its usage at all. It just simply needs to work out-of-the-box and feel natural to our users.

Anyhow, just give it a try. We’re sure you like it.

HOW POST TRANSLATIONS WORK

Again, we’ve built this in the most easy way possible. If an item post is in a language you do not speak (check your profile settings), you will see a simple “See Translation” button in it. By clicking that button, the post’s title and description is being translated into the language your phone is set to.

The translation might take a second or two as we are using cognitive background processing to ensure a close-enough translation of such text.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now

New Blog URL http://blog.swapit.la

swapit-blog_searchFollowing my blog post yesterday about “Swapit Ranks #1 on Google Search” I decided to throw in an extra hour of work to do research on the latest SEO trends. While ranking #1 for your own product name is a very good thing when it comes to rather generic names like Swapit, it is still not the ultimate goal we want to achieve.

In the long run, we need to rank very high for search terms like “second hand”, “used stuff”, “marketplace”, etc. in English as well as their equivalents in local languages.

Google’s search algorithms are constantly changing. Just tiny changes can have a big effect on businesses across the globe. Yet, we had some elementary mismatch between our blog URL and our website.

At the same time, we’ve always had a forwarder called http://blog.swapit.la, which automatically forwarded the reader to https://swapitblogit.wordpress.com. While that worked well for normal humans, it basically cuts off the Google search spider at the first step before the forwarding.

Furthermore, all content published on this blog under https://swapitblogit.wordpress.com, did not have any effect on the content creation on our website http://swapit.la. As a result, all backlinks our blog generated, only lead back to our blog. Those backlinks are important for our SEO ranking and therefore, we need them to lead to our main website.

swapit_marketing-dollarWhen you’re a startup, many things are about money and how much you spend for what. In our case, I did not want to host our blog ourselves, so we’re hosting it on wordpress.com. You get a free sub-domain with the free account, so we chose https://swapitblogit.wordpress.com. If you want to map a custom domain to your blog, you’ll have to pay. For a long time, I’ve been resisting that, to save money and also because I thought it might not be that important to map our own domain to our blog. After yesterday’s blog post and quite a bit of research, I realized it is actually important to map your own and I should have done that much earlier. In the end, it costs only US$13 per year to map your own custom domain a wordpress.com blog. Sure, it costs wordpress.com literally nothing to offer that service, but that’s what they charge.

So the change has been done and it is working quite. All of our old links still work the same way they worked before. They’re just all forwarding to our new domain.

Our new blog post URL is now: http://blog.swapit.la

Now, we have the folks that might say: “http://swapit.la/blog is even better than a sub-domain at http://blog.swapit.la“. That might even be true, but I haven’t found any concrete evidence of that. Yet, several folks reported that such a “sub-directory” setup does somehow rank higher on Google. Perhaps that is true, I can’t really tell at this moment. As we are using Strikingly for our main company website, we actually can not easily map a “sub-directory” from that website to a separate blog. So that’s something out of question at the moment. At least until either Strikingly adds that functionality or we move our main website to a different hosting service or self-host it.

swapit_marketing-chart-growAnyhow, I’ve scheduled a task for myself in a month’s time to review the change in Google Search index ranking and re-evaluate if any additional changes are needed, and especially if this recent change has paid off. Until then, stay tuned for more on what we’re doing at Swapit and why we’re doing that.

Have you tried Swapit yet? It’s free. Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now

Swapit Gives Away HK$6 Million in Red Packets for Chinese New Year

We’ve just launched our Chinese New Year Red Pack Give Away which runs from now, over the holidays, until February 15th, 2016. We are giving everyone who posts an item on Swapit a HK$50 RED PACKET  (up to 6 times, i.e. max. HK$300 per person). You can go shopping for consumer electronics and fashion products at our partner Street Value Asia.

red-packet-promo

It’s easy and straight forward to participate and GET YOUR RED PACKET.

  1. Post an item on Swapit. (you can do that here: http://app.swapit.la/post)
  2. We’ll send you your red packet 利是 by email.
  3. Go to www.streetvalue.asia and use the red packet shopping code from your email.

You can repeat this up to 6 times to earn a total of 6 red packets, which accumulates to HK$300 in total for each person!

Note: The red packet voucher code has no minimum spending limit. So it can be used on any product that’s available on the Street Value shop.

We’re expecting to hand out a total of about HK$6,000,000 to our 20,000 registered traders. We are committed at making you happy! May it be over Chinese New Year or the whole upcoming year of the monkey.

恭喜發財! Gung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐!

Swapit beta 9 – Launched – Facebook Groups, 18 New Categories, 中文

swapit-blog_beta-9After our last Swapit beta 8, we silently launched a beta 8.1 right after that. Then we had planned to launch beta 8.2 shortly after that as well, but the changes got so big, so significant, that it became our official Swapit beta 9.

Swapit beta 9 can now be downloaded from Google Play.

Just go to http://get.swapit.la and get it now!

So what’s new in our beta 9? Let me get right to that.

18 New Categories

With this beta, we are introducing 18 new categories and are slightly re-organizing our existing ones. We are also introducing the concept of premium categories on top of our normal categories. In total, we are now offering 22 different categories, you can post your stuff in, or you can filter by, when searching for items.

On the right you can see how the beefed up filter panel looks like in Swapit now. To give you a textual overview, these are all the categories Swapit now supports:
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  • Consumer Electronics (formerly “Gadgets”)
  • Fashion
  • Baby & Maternity (formerly just “Baby”)
  • Furniture
  • NEW Books & Magazines
  • NEW Toys & Games
  • NEW Home, Garden & Tools
  • NEW Jewellery & Watches
  • NEW Beauty & Health
  • NEW Sports & Outdoors
  • NEW Food & Drinks
  • NEW Home Appliances
  • NEW Computers, Tablets & Accessories
  • NEW Mobile Phones & Accessories
  • NEW Cameras & Photo
  • NEW Artwork & Antiques
  • NEW Tickets & Vouchers
  • NEW Pets & Supplies
  • NEW Properties PREMIUM
  • NEW Yachts & Boats PREMIUM
  • NEW Cars & Motorcycles PREMIUM
  • NEW Debentures & Memberships PREMIUM

While it sounds rather simple to add new categories, we actually had to deal with many forward thinking approaches. The future is bright, it comes with many opportunities and Swapit is ready for change — big change!

Chinese 中文 Language Support 啦!

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.37-9_chinese_smudged

Swapit 現有繁體中文版!立即下載試試吧!

Since beta 1 of Swapit it was possible to post items with Chinese title and description. Swapit was built from the ground-up with multi-language support. This does not just include Chinese, by the way.

Now, we have finally gotten around to translate the app itself into Chinese. We have seen a lot interest from the local Chinese community and now it is time to cater to all of you as well. We are sure you will love it.

This does, by the way, also apply to the app presentation (description, screen shots, etc.) on the Google Play store. Head over there now and check it out: http://get.swapit.la

Facebook Group Sharing – Reach 20k Potential Buyers Instantly

In our last beta we introduced easy sharing of items to your Facebook timeline. Now, we added capabilities to share your items into Facebook groups. At the moment, we are working with three groups that have over 20,000 members locally here in Hong Kong, which expands the reach of potential buyers dramatically. We will be adding more groups soon to increase the potential reach even more.

There were also several minor improvements to the user interface, layouts and performance, as well as bug fixes, which made its way into this beta 9. More improvements are still to come. Stay tuned and do reach out to us, should you have suggestions. We’d love to hear from you!

Want to check out Swapit? Go to http://get.swapit.la and download it for free.

888 – Is swapit lucky, blessed or just growing fast?

swapit-blog_fukI think it’s just growing fast! Swapit has just surpassed the lucky number of 888 users on our trading platform.

By the time I am finished writing and publishing this post, that number has disappeared already and we have even more users on swapit. So let’s invite all your friends to swapit and tell them to download it from http://get.swapit.la and we are on our road to the next milestone of 8,888 users!

For our historical swapit archive, I recorded this event with a nice screen shot:

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.29-4_stats_2015-08-13_smudged