Streaks, specifically winning streaks, have long been regarded as a highly-motivating result of consistently good performance in widely ranging realms. From professional athletics to language-learning apps, there’s something intensely satisfying about keeping something going day after day or game after game.
Interestingly, the gamification of non-game mobile apps keeps people coming back for more in similar ways. Take Snapchat, for example, which is arguably the most well-known streak-driven social media platform. For years now, a snap streak, as they’re often affectionately called, has been a certain kind of friendship-setting status — those who are really good friends keep streaks for years on end, even sharing passwords with one another to keep the streak when one or more may be away from internet access.
So what makes us go to those ends just to keep that little number growing? Even without the promise of a reward, we strive to keep streaks in all sorts of ways. Some focus on doing a certain kind of workout every single day while others keep track of certain streaks in the workplace, such as closing one deal by the end of each week. When it comes to mobile apps, though, it’s often as simple as completing one small task, one new level, or spending a certain amount of time doing some sort of activity just to earn your streak for the day, which typically adds to some sort of visual counter. On Snapchat, it’s a growing number next to a flame emoji — a now common symbol for streaks across the mobile and social media world. For some strange reasons we can’t always explain, it feels darn good to keep earning and earning, to commit to something you do on a daily or weekly basis in a quantifiable way.
How Zogo Approached The Streak Feature
When we looked into the idea of adding a streak feature to the Zogo app, we thought a lot about the drive most people have to build and maintain streaks as a way to keep our users engaged. One crucial thing to keep in mind when implementing streak features is that when implemented poorly or too aggressively, they can actually have the opposite of the intended effect. In fact, even when implemented carefully and with the best intentions, streaks can still cause a certain amount of anxiety. The idea of losing what you’ve worked so tediously to achieve is stressful, especially if there is a reward involved, but either way it can be disheartening to lose. In the case of Snapchat, there may be no actual “reward” for keeping your streak, but losing one with your best friend after years of keeping it going causes a certain kind of emotional devastation — almost like you let your friendship lapse, in a way.
That’s why our version of keeping streaks doesn’t offer any kind of tangible reward that makes our users feel like we’re dangling a carrot. When someone downloads the Zogo app, they’re presumably interested in the financial literacy they’ll gain from working through our bite-sized modules — “bite-sized” being the keyphrase there. In a matter of just a few minutes, our users are able to comprehensively understand financial topics that may have seemed intimidating or confusing in the past. Even so, successfully getting through just one module is undoubtedly an accomplishment, which is why you only need to complete one module per day in order to build and keep a streak on our platform.
The idea behind the “one a day” model is to make streak-keeping as attainable as possible in a way that ensures our users are gaining daily financial knowledge. We want to keep them coming back but we don’t want to make them feel as though they have to do too much at once. That actually traces back to an original idea behind our bite-sized lessons — they’re intended to be easily digestible and doable in the snippets of free time our users have these days. In this busy modern world, you can keep a streak on our app by completing one module each day while riding the metro, waiting for your coffee to brew, or standing in line at your favorite takeout spot.
But Wait, There’s More
While we don’t offer a reward for keeping a streak for certain periods of time, committing to at least one module a day for long enough can actually earn users rewards. Every time a module is successfully completed, the user earns our version of points, which we call pineapples! Once enough pineapples are earned, they can be redeemed for gift cards of various amounts to various nationwide stores. So in the end, keeping your streak can lead to a reward, but the reward isn’t really dependent on the streak itself. Even if the streak is broken, pineapples earned remain in users’ stores, waiting to be redeemed.
To learn more about how Zogo is reinventing education through innovative features like streaks, request a demo and check out how we make financial literacy fun, incentivizing, and rewarding.