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    Noplace App Takes Over Apple Charts, Blends MySpace and Twitter for Gen Z

    Noplace App Takes Over Apple Charts, Blends MySpace and Twitter for Gen Z

    There’s a new app in town.

    Noplace, a text-based feed that’s like if MySpace and Twitter had a Gen Z baby, is dominating the Apple App Store charts this week.

    The social media app is the brainchild of 27-year-old serial founder and investor Tiffany “TZ” Zhong, whose tech career took off in her late-teens.

    Instead of stressing over carefully curated posts, the app encourages users to share their stream-of-consciousness thoughts directly to the feed. People can also build a customizable color-block profile to display what they’re listening to, watching, eating, doing, and feeling.

    The app lets you connect with other users based on your common interests — or “stars,” as the app calls them. Once you’ve added your new connections, you can pin your top 10 friends to your profile, and make use of the friends-only feed.

    According to its App Store description, it aims to harken back to the social media era before “algos and ads” took over.

    It’s not Noplace’s first time in the spotlight, either. Earlier this year, the app racked up 500,000 people to its pre-release waiting list after building up hype through viral TikToks.

    As users grow weary of incumbent social-media giants like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, new social media platforms have entered the arena, vying for a shot at becoming the new ‘it’ platform.

    In 2020, it was Clubhouse; in 2022, it was BeReal (which was recently sold for 500 million euros); and in 2023, there was a flood of apps from Lapse to ByteDance’s Lemon8 that each had their moments in the sun.

    “We’re all just competing for people’s attention, especially Gen Z’s attention and time,” Zhong told Business Insider.


    Noplace founder Tiffany Zhong excited about getting to the top of the app store

    Noplace’s founder, Tiffany “TZ” Zhong is celebrating her app’s debut at the top of charts.

    Courtesy of Noplace



    How to build a viral app

    While Noplace had nearly half a million users on its waitlist just last month, the app has been testing for much longer and it even had a different name.

    Zhong started testing the app, then called Nospace, in late-2023 with a smaller number of users who would need to wait and receive invite codes to access the app.

    “When we started doing wait lists, it was really a way for people to reserve your username,” Zhong said. “I wanted people to feel excited and early.”

    She and her small team of seven continued to test the app in a closed setting, which allowed them to iterate fast, remove unnecessary features, navigate trust and safety, and “double down on the things that are working,” Zhong added.

    Just as the app was gaining popularity, in April, Zhong was sent a cease and desist letter from another company. Zhong declined to name the company, but one can speculate.

    So, Nospace changed its name. It also capitalized on the drama and turned to TikTok to hype up the renaming process. Zhong said they received thousands of submissions until a user of the app suggested Noplace. Users of the app then voted to approve it.

    “It was kind of a really fun marketing moment for us and it felt very collaborative,” Zhong said. “The vibe is just like … ‘no place like home, no place like here.'”


    Users can boost and react with emojis on Noplace

    Noplace is a text-based feed.

    Courtesy of Noplace



    Avoiding being a ‘fad’ and learning from Big Tech’s trials and triumphs

    As Zhong built and continues to build Noplace, many of the decisions come directly from user feedback.

    “I spend a lot of time talking to them, understanding how they feel about certain features, how they feel about the product, what gets them to spend more time in the app, what they’re getting from the app,” Zhong said.

    She particularly follows the behavior of Noplace’s “power users,” some of whom even spend between eight and 10 hours on the app, Zhong said.

    Her goal from the get-go was “fostering a place where people can express themselves” and find community. And at a time when social media platforms are prioritizing entertainment over social interactions, Noplace feels timely.

    Zhong compared her app to incumbents like Twitter, TikTok, and even Reddit: “A lot of it is not oriented toward community and it’s more so just consuming content and media. Reddit, for example … it’s really good for information. I use it for information, not for connecting with people.”

    Reddit is an important source of inspiration for Zhong’s app as well, since one of Reddit’s founders, Alexis Ohanian, has advised Zhong on her app and his firm 776 invested in her previous company, Islands XYZ.

    “He’s seen how this company has changed over time, but this is also very aligned with his experience at Reddit, and it’s been very helpful,” Zhong said. Like Reddit, pseudonyms are very common and part of the experience on Noplace.

    As Zhong looks ahead, however, she’s wary of following in the footsteps of social media giants when it comes to scaling the app and adding more features.

    “I want to be very thoughtful about not bloating the app too much,” she said. “That’s kind of the downfall for a lot of social apps.”

    Still, Noplace plans to expand its group chat features with AI tools that can help bolster conversations.

    And staying relevant, Zhong knows, will be the next test for Noplace.

    “The biggest risk being a fad,” she said. “It’s hard, social apps are an art more than a science. There’s not really a clear cut playbook.”

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