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Instagram founder launches gift card site for quarantined restaurants

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Coronavirus quarantines are hurting local businesses, but Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger wants to help them keep revenue rolling in. Krieger and his wife Kaitlyn this week launched SaveOurFaves, a directory of Bay Area restaurants selling gift certificates to offset lost income amidst “shelter in place” orders across the region. Users can search for restaurants or browse by neighborhood, and then click through to buy gift certificates straight from the eateries with no added fee from SaveOurFaves.

“We’re no longer going out because of COVID-19 (San Francisco is under a “shelter in place” ordinance), so we started buying gift cards to help support our favorite cafes and restaurants during this unpredictable time,” write the Kriegers. “SaveOurFaves is our simple way to make it easier for people to help local businesses.”

For now the plan is for SaveOurFaves to focus on the San Francisco Bay Area that the Kriegers call home. It’s currently listing 700 restaurants and coffee shops, and getting 50 submissions per day. Similar sites for other locations are quickly popping up, including Help Main Street in New York, and Give Local and Rally for Restaurants, which provide directories for multiple cities.

“It’s been heart-wrenching”

The Kriegers got the idea for SaveOurFaves after a call with Zack Schwab, Mike’s sister’s partner and co-owner of SF restaurant The Snug. “How long could he keep the restaurant afloat with sales plunging?,” Kaitlyn tells me. The couple says there are 12,000 small businesses that employ more than 350,000 people in SF alone. The problem was too big to fix with one-off donations.

But then they saw an Instagram post about how NYC restaurant Atomix was asking their community to support them through gift cards, and set out to build SaveOurFaves with Kaitlyn doing design while Mike coded. They crawled the web for a list of local restaurants, and hired people through Fiverr to hunt down their gift card links. The Kriegers plan to expand the site to include other types of businesses, and today they open-sourced the code so others can build versions for their own communities.

AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 11: Josh Constine, Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom speak onstage at Interactive Keynote: Instagram Founders Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger with Josh Constine during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 11, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Saucedo/Getty Images for SXSW)

“I’ve lived in the Bay Area for over 15 years, and one of the reasons I fell in love with it was the vibrant community of shops, restaurants, cafés and other businesses,” Mike tells me. “It’s been heart-wrenching to see the immediate effect that the shutdown has had on the people working at these places. While there’s no one single thing that will solve the problem, I’m hopeful SaveOurFaves is one of many initiatives to help.”

Krieger and his co-founder Kevin Systrom resigned from Instagram and Facebook in November 2018 following tensions regarding Insta’s dwindling autonomy. Systrom last night published a model for predicting the magnitude of the spread of COVID-19. “Watching [Instagram’s] growth, I became interested in the science of how things grow,” so he built an equation for a SIR model where “every individual is in one of three states: susceptible, infected, or resistant.” The model finds that there’s a 95% chance of more than 15.4 million infections in the U.S. “I’m hopeful that these predictions push policymakers, local governments and individuals to take extraordinary precautions to reduce transmission rates,” he writes.

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Krieger and Systrom told me they plan to start something new together during a talk at SXSW a year ago, but are still exploring opportunities. That’s given Krieger the time to build out SaveOurFaves with his wife. Restaurants need all the help they can get. “This is like armageddon,” SF restaurant China Live’s chef and owner George Chen told Eater’s Luke Tsai, referring to the three-week shelter-in-place order issued across California.

While restaurants can still offer delivery and take-out, higher-end spots with large dining rooms or that usually only offer dine-in are being hit hard. China Live cut its workforce from 200 to 20. Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen laid off its whole staff of 50 except for three full-timers. The SF Mission’s Prubechu went from 20 to employees to just five managers who also took pay cuts, according to Eater.

Brown Sugar Kitchen and Prubechu are now two of the many restaurants listed on SaveOurFaves. If users discover one of their favorite haunts is missing, they can submit them via a form to have them added or to have SaveOurFaves reach out to recommend selling gift certificates. The site even recommends how restaurants can contact their point-of-sale provider like Square or Toast to start selling gift certificates, or make their own gift cards on GiftUp or GiftFly.

More ways to help

SaveOurFaves is just one of many efforts spearheaded by local techies to address the health crisis and the subsequent financial fallout of social distancing. Crypto startup MobileCoin‘s Joshua Goldbard helped create The Safety Net Fund, which has raised $145,000 to provide living-expense grants to Bay Area artists who’ve lost income due to event cancellations. Investor Ryan Sarver of Redpoint Ventures and friends are running an #SFHospitalMeals program where people can donate $1,000 to buy meals from local restaurants for hospital staff of SF’s emergency rooms and intensive care units. You can click through those links to donate.

The Kriegers hope the government will do more, too. That includes “Big, immediate and lasting cash transfers to Americans,” as well as zero-interest loans for small businesses that need representation in the conversations about stimulus efforts. “We are also advocating for a reduction in prison & jail density, because those populations are exceptionally vulnerable to a pandemic like this,” Kaitlyn tells me.

In the private sector, they support the idea from Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Peter Eckersley for Apple, Google and other mobile operating system vendors to create an opt-in, privacy-preserving feature for contact tracing. That could notify people if they’ve been near someone who tested positive for the virus. And when the crisis subsides, the couple note that we’ll need ways to smoothly reconnect people with stable jobs.

“There’s been a lot of talk about ‘flattening the curve’ of the coronavirus outbreak — slowing the spread to reduce the burden on our healthcare system,” Mike concludes. “We hope SaveOurFaves will help ‘flatten the curve’ of lost income for restaurants — giving them the resources to make ends meet and preserve the livelihood of wage earners during this difficult time.”

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APPS

Best ASO Tips To Boost Your App Search In 2022

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You need your application to be really effective in the overpopulated application market. Then, at that point, you will have to drive downloads to endure. So when it’s all said and done, you must account for yourself. Get your application the consideration it merits.

The uplifting news, however, is that customers love to download applications – last year, we downloaded in excess of 200 billion applications around the world, and that figure is set to increment to 258 billion every year by 2022 as cell phone reception increments.

Assuming you need to be seen and have your application downloaded by however many clients as could reasonably be expected, then, at that point, you should begin by taking a gander at the application store.

Underneath, we’ve assembled probably the best application store improvement methods to assist you with creating more downloads in 2021 and then some…

Start with Your Application Name 

The odds are you as of now have an extraordinary name for your application, yet an appropriately advanced application is about significantly more than marking.

Assuming you need to amplify transparency and guarantee you’re showing up when clients look for applications like yours, you ought to remember the primary keywords for your application name or title, comparable to how you’d make a title label while improving a site page.

You could begin with your application name so it tends to be plainly recognized, thus it appears on the home screen of gadgets.

Then, at that point, you can add a scramble or vertical bar prior to adding a few pertinent watchwords to your speciality, or even put your application name in quotes as we did with FORE Business Golf Networking.

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Urge Users to Leave Reviews 

You could ask for reviews by clients through the means of your site, or through an in-application notice toward the finish of their meeting, yet make sure to restrict the number of pop-ups you execute with the goal that you don’t disturb or disappoint your clients, as this could urge them to erase your application.

We’d support all application engineers and entrepreneurs to react to criticism on their applications, as this can further develop client relations and resolve issues in an open arena.

Zero in on Your Application Depiction 

Your application depiction is your principle assemblage of text your landing page content, in a manner of speaking. Utilize a site like KeywordTool.io to discover information on your picked catchphrases to expand your openness. As portrayals are shortened, ensure you remember the main data for the initial three lines of your depiction, and afterwards add things like social confirmation, emoticon, and suggestions to take action to build commitment and downloads.

Incorporate Appealings Screen Captures 

Pictures and recordings won’t help your application rank, yet they will expand changes and assist clients with working out whether it’s an application they truly need.

There’s a little guide in empowering clients toward downloading your application if in any case, they’re not going to interface with it, or download and leave a negative survey when they understand it wasn’t what was promoted.

Assuming you need to ‘tart up’ your item page, then, at that point, you can add marking and extra text and data and designs to your recordings and screen capture, yet they ought not to diminish your item.

Pay for App Store or Play Store 

As we have SEO and pay-per-click, you need to work one next to the other (one is a gradual methodology with long haul benefits – the other is a speedy success yet requires an endless spending plan), application store promotions can be utilized to get the message out with regards to your new programming and assist you with positioning at the highest point of query items pages – in front of your opposition and enormous names in the application world.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to focus on the right crowd and art an advertisement that will assist you with changing over and that since you’re paying for situations, that doesn’t mean clients will download or cooperate with your application.

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Wrapping Up!

You can employ a group of  App  Store Optimization Services suppliers to benefit a scope of application store improvement administrations, including watchword advancement, resource enhancement, and restriction to guarantee your application is seen by individuals that matter.

We have long periods of involvement in creating and showcasing applications and have assisted different customers with expanding their downloads by infiltrating rewarding and regularly undiscovered business sectors.

Author:
Prachi Gupta likes to write information about Digital Marketing Trends that can help audience to grow their business.

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