Born as an initiative for Whitespectre Labs, our internal product incubator, FastHabit has become a leading app in the intermittent fasting space and was acquired in 2022 by Reflectly ApS.
In 2016, we noticed that intermittent fasting was becoming a more popular trend. When we researched further, we saw that there was indeed increasing traffic for the term within Google searches. We also noticed that there were few results for the term on the App Store. Furthermore, the handful of applications that existed lacked important functionality and a good user experience.
We believed we'd found a promising gap in the market. So we applied our product development experience in the wellness space to test this hypothesis. Our goal- create a simple, lightweight app that would distinguish itself through its usability, utility, and visual design.
With a growing user base and strong retention, the team saw the opportunity to acquire paying users. We built an upgrade experience, which also gave us the chance to experiment with some of the latest OS features the team was eager to try. We created Apple Health integrations, built an Apple Watch app, and used iCloud syncing for data exports and transfers. In addition, we significantly enhanced our user experience with new dashboards, motivational levers, and a refined look & feel.
Our ‘bet’ paid off and within a few months, we were achieving upgrade rates of 10% to 12% - exceeding the industry benchmarks in this vertical - while also raising prices. We also grew downloads by tapping into various social channels and experimenting with our App Store marketing, achieving significant conversion improvements from views to downloads.
Whitespectre has a strong culture of experimentation and learning. Whitespectre Labs gives us an opportunity to not only test product ideas, but also experiment with the latest technologies - including ones that may not yet be established enough for our client partners! Over time, these learnings funnel back to our partners, keeping both us and them ahead of the game. For example, FastHabit was where we did our first Apple Watch app, our first Health Integrations, and learned a ton about leveraging iCloud data.”
We used the classic lean MVP approach at the start, keeping the initial feature set as small as possible. The team focused only on the elements that would get users to try the app and help them stay consistent with their fasting - in the simplest way possible. Our experiment went from idea to launch in 4 weeks of part-time effort.
Within weeks, we began to receive positive feedback and suggestions from early adopters, excited to talk with us about intermittent fasting and their ideas to improve the app. We did small, iterations over the first year and saw our user base grow each month. Then we caught the attention of the press and fitness blogs and made it on GQ Australia's 2016 Top 10 Fitness Apps list, further demonstrating that we were on to something.
Over the years, we continued to see strong downloads and upgrades as well as high ratings. To date, the app has been featured on various media platforms including major publications like The Guardian, Fast Company, PopSugar, and Women’s Health.
In 2022, FastHabit was acquired by productivity and lifestyle app builder, Reflectly ApS. Notable apps in the company’s portfolio include Reflectly, Done, Monefy, and Sleep Timer.
The acquisition marks the first successful exit for a Whitespectre Labs project. Today, the revenue generated from the monthly earnings and acquisition is being reinvested into more Labs opportunities for team members to experiment with new technologies and test product ideas.
FastHabit is a great demonstration of what's possible when you execute simply but well, and learn quickly from your data and interacting with users. What started out as our first Whitespectre Labs 'experiment' evolved into a major app in a fast growing space. Over the years, the team gained a ton of insight from their work on FastHabit and that knowledge proved very valuable for scaling client apps as well. FastHabit's acquisition will now fund future Whitespectre Labs initiatives so the team continues to test, iterate, and learn.