Improving communication through conversation
Founders Michael McCluskey and Naveed Darbani wanted a website where speakers of different languages could connect. The goal was to improve communication through conversation. That idea became The World Phone, a web application designed to be a collaborative language learning service that Cuttlesoft successfully completed a prototype for back in 2014.
With that prototype, the founders validated their idea and were so happy with their experience that in 2016, they returned to Cuttlesoft to develop version two.
The new version was going to provide the same unique conversational approach to language learning, but it was going to deepen that experience — with live video chat.
The World Phone (2.0) was completed in early 2016. The updated application added video calls to the already impressive platform. The application still matches users wanting to learn each other’s native language, but now by breaking down the wall to connect users in the most natural way.
Video is provided by a proprietary yet scalable WebRTC platform. This cutting-edge video client meant the founders wouldn’t have to worry about the typical problems that plague in-browser audio/video streaming. With Cuttlesoft’s guidance, the right technology stack was designed and implemented, meaning Michael and Naveed only needed to focus on acquiring users, not service interruptions.
Part of that challenge was making sure the application architecture was designed to handle disproportionate traffic spikes, and do so for many international regions. As the company’s user base grows, scaling the system can be heavily simplified by pairing machine distribution to fluctuations of user activity across the world. That way, responding to a burst of new users in India can be done in minutes, not hours or days.
In addition to video chat, The World Phone 2.0 added Facebook login for easy onboarding. This is helpful as it not only provides a good base of demographic data for the founders, but the users are in the app quicker when their native country and language are automatically imported. If users can’t find enough to talk about with their language partners, the application provides topic points that it pulls from a geographically localized list of trending events on Twitter.