Why we’re making changes to how you create rooms

From October 1st 2018 all appear.in rooms need to be created by and owned by someone. You’ll no longer need to “claim” rooms after creating them which has been a cause of great confusion. Any room you create will from september 24th automatically be linked to your account.

Why are we making this change?

 In the future you can simply create a room to make it your own

In the future you can simply create a room to make it your own

When appear.in was launched 5 years ago we wanted to show the world how easy setting up a video meeting could be. No downloads, no signup and no login. Just click a button and join directly in your browser.

Early on you couldn’t sign up even if you wanted to! One of the first features requested by users though, was to “claim” your own room so you could control it and use it as a regular meeting point. Five years on we’ve come a long way on our journey to provide the simplest video meetings possible.

What is the change?

As the product matures we need to challenge our early conceptions so we can continue to provide users with the best and most seamless product experience. We’re now at the stage where we need to evaluate the idea of creating rooms before taking ownership to them.

 How appear.in looked in its early days, before you could even claim a room.

How appear.in looked in its early days, before you could even claim a room.

There are some benefits to how this works today:

  • It’s really easy to start using the product since you don’t even have to sign up before creating a room

  • You can easily create new rooms use (just type a room url in the browser)

However, there are also some significant drawbacks:

  • It’s confusing. The idea of “claiming the room” as an optional second step after creating it is not very natural. At worst it leads to privacy intrusive situations where someone is using a room that is actually owned by someone else.

  • PRO customers currently need to own rooms to get PRO features activated. A significant percentage of our support requests come from PRO users who use rooms they’ve created but not claimed, who don’t understand why they’re not seeing the PRO features they’re paying for.

We have attempted to solve these problems in different ways before. We started warning users who made rooms that someone else already owned and we’ve added warnings in rooms without owners that they need to be claimed to unlock both FREE and PRO features. But even with these improvements we’ve been treating symptoms rather than the real problem: Having to “claim” rooms after creating them just doesn’t make any sense.

The road ahead

Growing up as a startup company means making hard decisions. The only constant thing is change. Our mission is to provide the world's simplest video meeting platform for individuals and businesses to collaborate from anywhere. We’ll continue to make changes to the product in whatever way we need to support this mission.

We have heard your feedback on claiming and made these changes to make appear.in even easier to use for professional users. In the future you can simply create a room to make it your own.

Do you have thoughts on how we could make appear.in even easier to use? Please comment or send us your feedback.