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Facebook is an incredible tool for keeping tabs on that kid from your high school who always wore the weird T-shirts with wolves on them. But as you move in towards the people you actually care about, the social media behemoth becomes significantly less useful. Consider how you communicate with your closest friends. You text, you call, you Gchat, you email; it’s likely that Facebook’s presence is nearly non-existent. The point is that different relationships demand different digital tools. And that’s why, even in a world saturated with social media, there might be a place for Avocado, an app that serves as a hub for your most intimate social network: you and your significant other.
The application, available for the iPhone, Android, and on the web, is sort of a combination of tools and services you probably already use to communicate with your special somebody. It lets you do free, iMessage-style chat, keep collaborative lists, and seamlessly share photos. These are what the Avocado team referred to as the app’s “vegetables”–the unexciting but essential communication staples that any couples software should be based on. But there’s some dessert to be found, too, like custom photo shortcuts for commonly used phrases and feelings, and the team says there are more treats on the way.
But for any couples app to truly make sense, it needs to be able to grow along with the relationship. To this end, the Avocado team is working hard to serve up one of the big remaining vegetables to users: calendar support. As they were collecting feedback from couples, Bilotta explained, the team identified three distinct phases for relationships. The first is exclusive dating, where messaging and photo sharing is most important. Then you have cohabitation, where listmaking becomes essential. “But when you move into the couples with kids stage,” Bilotta says, “the calendar becomes the most important thing.” That feature in particular, Wetherell says, has been “a tough nut to crack.” There’s nothing cute or romantic about a week full of after-school activities that need chauffeuring.