Zin

We delved into the world of Casual Encounters Dating

Zin – a Postindustria creation – is an online dating and social networking application for casual encounters. It gives millions of open-minded people a place to express themselves sexually, connecting with like-minded singles and couples in their area.

The app is designed for a wide range of interests, with thousands of unique local posts covering all preferences and lifestyles – aimed at keeping everyone safe and private. 

Big opportunity, but
big challenges with privacy_

In 2018 regulations shut down popular social platforms that hosted adult dating and communications. With the cultural demand still present and demand high, Zin saw the opportunity to fill the need. They came to Postindustria to fill the task. 

It was critical to keep communications private, so the Postindustria team chose to build mobile applications utilizing tools and services that would keep communications secure. After much research, the largest hurdle seemed to be providing a solution that would pass through the tough moderation rules and compliance of the App Store.

If you want to know more about how we successfully achieved this challenge – you can find our detailed PDF case study here.

What we built_

Secured Chat 

Communication is core in a social platform for adults. The growing number of data leaks and hacks that took place in 2017- 2018 proved that one of the main responsibilities for Zin should be to guarantee security of user data on all levels of transfer. 

Postindustria architected a multi-level security solution that protected user data from the most basic attacks to complex hacks like DDOS and backdoor breach attempts.

The lead engineers went to great measures to design the product in a way that keeps Zin users’ data safe:

  1. The history of the messaging is never unprotected. Delivered over the encrypted network using Google Cloud Messaging technologies the messages never kept on the server after being delivered.  
  2. The Zin team is never able to access any aspect of user data. Postindustria did this by organizing the special restriction rules for accessing the data. 
  3. On the user side, local app storage encryption keeps data safe. Postindustria made it impossible for hackers to discover any private user information– (including media – when the device is stolen.
  4. Comprehensive privacy measures. Posindustria used special multi-level architecture of data storage to isolate each piece of private information on a per-user level preventing any compromise to users under different attack cases. 

Moderation, Reporting, and Blocking

One of the main product features allowing users to connect with each other was a feed where users post their interests & desires. While historically communications and content in private chat environments have always remained private and less regulated, apps could be penalized at any time by the App Store or Play Market if any public content contained adult material. Zin needed a way to prevent the sharing of the adult content and profanity in the feed to avoid repercussions.

The Postindustria team implemented an automated system of moderation using in-house algorithms based on the open libraries Google AI and WebPurify, which together led to 90%+ efficiency. The system successfully blocked:

  • All kinds of adult media (including porn, violence, and blood)
  • Strong wording 
  • Personally identifiable information (emails, IDs in other social networks, etc.)

Reporting was also required by App Store guidelines – meaning that Zin users needed to be able to report and block the content and messages of other users in the app. With its own automated rules of reporting claims and slight manual post moderation, the feed was able to be 100% clear of unwanted content. 

The back office was based around the need to maintain control of Zin’s public feed content, providing moderators with restricted access to post moderation and feed “polishing.” Any content that could compromise a user’s identity was removed on the ground level, not allowing access of this data to any other users.

In-App Purchases 

Since account creation and subscription take place in-app, the only reliable way to operate in compliance with Apple’s guidelines was to choose in-app purchases for iOS. The Android app was implemented using a native solution for selling in the app: Google Play Billing. 

With server-based implementation of subscription information maintenance in line with known best practices, any edge cases that allowed non-paid users to continue using the app were isolated  and excluded.  

The Process_

Postindustra’s development was based on SCRUM, including product work and research. While key stakeholders were fully included into the initial ideas and research validation, the rest of the product-related requirements and design were handled by a project manager who played the product-owner role with the engineering team. This structure allowed for the team to build effectively and rapidly by leveraging fast turnarounds without the slow-down of different time zones for the client (Postindustria LA) and team (Postindustria Ukraine). 

Communications and touch-points with the LA team were simply planned sessions that required minimum attention from the business side:

  • Weekly demo sessions
  • Bi-weekly backlog grooming
  • Marketing research validations 
  • UI/UX and Front-end design sync with CEO and Product designer

The engineering team in Ukraine delivered testable pieces of applications functionality that could be demoed in each window of time. This was only possible as a result of high testing standards applied to the process:

  • Automated UI testing
  • User testing
  • Regression testing 
  • Automated Integration testing 

Efficiency facts:

  • Unit test coverage on the level of 70%
  • Time from the start to MVP 4 months
  • Response time (turnover) for requests and questions from the engineering team — immediately
  • No blocker issues on the production leading to outages or blocking the core functionality of clients and businesses

Results_

Postindustria’s team created a turn-key product based on the specs and adjustments based on research and insights.. By keeping both business and product requirements in line with the help of a project manager/owner, the team always knew the direction when working, with little/no inefficiency. The engineering team also dramatically reduced delivery time by handling market research, product design, architecture, security checks, integration, and automation/testing on their own while developing. Zin’s product build is a great example of multitasking at its finest – creating rapid iterations to make a successful product right out of the gate.

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