Focused on fostering connections beyond superficial appearances, Jigsaw strategically transitioned from PubNub to Stream Chat to enhance its user experience and seize an opportunity to rebuild its chat functionality from the ground up. This case study delves into the motivations behind this shift, the implementation experience, and the transformative impact on user engagement.
Jigsaw sets itself apart from other dating apps by prioritizing personality over looks. With a distinctive approach, the app introduces a puzzle element to delay instant judgments. Users gradually reveal puzzle pieces as they engage in meaningful conversations, emphasizing a deeper connection. Jigsaw not only operates as a virtual platform but also hosts in-person events across 32 cities in the US, fostering a holistic dating experience.
Jigsaw Engineering Manager Jack Chamberlain explains, "We aim to challenge the superficial norms of dating. We match users based on personality, leveraging the puzzle metaphor to encourage genuine connections. In addition to the virtual realm, our in-person events have been immensely successful, prompting us to explore ways to seamlessly integrate these experiences into the app."
Initial Use of PubNub and Decision to Switch
In the early stages, Jigsaw relied on PubNub to power its real-time messaging. However, as the user base expanded, scalability and performance issues surfaced. Connectivity problems and chat instability posed challenges, prompting the engineering team to explore alternatives.
Jigsaw's CEO, Alex Durrant, had prior interactions with Stream representatives, paving the way for a strategic partnership. Engineering Manager Jack Chamberlain explains, "While PubNub served us initially, scalability issues became apparent as our user base grew. Connectivity problems were affecting user experience, necessitating a change. The prior connection with Stream and positive interactions at Global Dating Insights (GDI) in London influenced our decision to switch."
Implementation of Stream Chat
The migration from PubNub to Stream Chat marked a pivotal moment for Jigsaw. A small but dedicated team, led by Chamberlain undertook the integration. The process involved a swift transition on the backend and a complete overhaul of the frontend UI. Despite the technical challenges, the team leveraged Stream's modern chat SDKs, extensive documentation, and an engineer Slack channel, streamlining the integration and paving the way for a quick MVP launch in less than three weeks.
Chamberlain recalls, "The integration with Stream Chat was remarkably quick. We rewrote the entire system, addressing not just the migration but also running both systems in parallel. The transition involved collaboration with Stream developers, ensuring a seamless process and no disruption to user experience."
Successful Transition and Impact on User Experience
The staged deployment ensured a smooth transition from PubNub to Stream Chat, with no downtime or interruptions. The impact was felt across the app, particularly in chat stability and reliability. Stream Chat's modern architecture and developer-friendly features facilitated a more cohesive integration, aligning seamlessly with Jigsaw's vision.
Chamberlain says, "Switching to Stream Chat simplified the development process. From backend architecture to frontend UI, the SDK's modern feel integrated effortlessly with our product. The stability and reliability of chat significantly improved, addressing the issues we faced during our scaling phase."
Enhancing User Engagement and Future Plans
With approximately 10,000 monthly active users (MAU) and ambitious scaling plans, Jigsaw sees the transition to Stream Chat as a catalyst for future innovations. The focus extends beyond basic messaging, as Jigsaw aims to implement richer, more engaging dating app features.
The ultimate goal is to encourage users to engage in meaningful conversations and transition from virtual connections to real-life dates. Chamberlain adds, "Stream Chat has opened new possibilities for us. We're not just replicating our old system; we're enhancing it. The transition enables us to explore more engaging features, providing a foundation for continued growth and improved user experiences. We're excited about the potential to redefine how people connect on Jigsaw."
Jigsaw's strategic shift from PubNub to Stream Chat exemplifies the app's commitment to providing users with a unique and enriching dating experience. The successful integration reflects improved chat functionality and lays the groundwork for future innovations. Jigsaw's journey is a testament to the transformative power of selecting the right real-time messaging solution in the competitive landscape of dating apps.