On April 1, after a long year of development effort, we shut down our “beta” platform and our Android App and launched the release version of Flote. It is, without a doubt, more secure, more stable and far more scalable than our previous “beta” version… but, from a user experience perspective, it missed the mark.
It’s hard to talk about because we really did want to release something that you would be thrilled by and that we could be excited to promote, but time and budget constraints got the best of us. We spent far more of our effort on things you can’t see than we expected to and far less effort than we should have on the things that you’re telling us matter to you most. This has, unfortunately, lead to some very understandable disappointment. For that we are sorry.
As you know, the new platform required every user to create a new password and some of you either weren’t able to do this or simply didn’t bother. The new platform is also missing a number of features that you’d come to expect and rely on… some of which you might consider critical… such as livestream visibility, previews for externally linked content, effective search functionality and others.
We wanted to bring you an upgraded experience that would make you say “Yeah, that was worth the wait!” but the truth is we failed to do that. It’s been difficult for us to face but you’ve told us, either directly or by your absence, and we’ve seen it for ourselves. That’s why we’re sending you this message… to let you know that we hear you. We understand your experience with Flote right now may not be where you expect it to be… not where we expect it to be. We understand that the features and finishing touches you expect from a social media site simply are not completed… and also that we’ve failed to communicate clearly what we’re doing to fix these issues and when you can expect those fixes to be done.
We understand that this has made some of you feel that Flote needs work before you’re ready to invest more of your time, attention and effort in the platform and we want you to know that we do hear you… and that we’re doing something about it.
In the two months following the launch of the new site, our development team has completed 55 deployments covering close to 200 individual fixes and improvements… averaging more updates per week on our current platform than we delivered PER YEAR in 2020 and 2021. These fixes include the following:
- Displaying posts and profiles to logged out users
- Enhancements to the comments field
- Linking comments in notifications to the original posts
- Properly displaying URLs that include unusual formatting
- The ability to edit completed posts
- Fixes to the mobile view for various pages
- Updates to prevent logouts across sessions
- Fixes to image handling in the timeline
- Fixes to NSFW content handling
- Fixes to timeline scrolling caused by reposts
- Fixes to dark mode colors on various pages
- Fixes to follower/following count
- Fixes for general page and text formatting
- Release of a new support form
- Release of a new status page and faq page
We’ve done a lot but we’re not there yet. The team is still hard at work preparing and testing updates that are coming in the next week or two including:
- Account validator tool for users with lost or malformed email addresses
- Support for Apple video files (.mov)
- Fixes to the live chat
- Automatic refreshing of the home feed
- Revisions to the search functionality
- Revisions to the blocking functionality
- Restoration of active live streams to the home page
- Indications on user avatars and profile pages when the user is live streaming
In addition to these items in progress, there are close to 80 bugs, fixes and feature improvements already captured and defined for the team to work on over the next month or two… things we’ve found, things you’ve asked for, things that just need to get done before we move on to our plans for new features.
While our team is excited about the idea of building new capabilities like groups and a Flote Token driven peer-to-peer marketplace, we realize that it’s unrealistic for us to be talking about those new tasks until the core functionality of the site works the way we all expect it to. So we’re dedicating ourselves to finding and fixing all the things that are currently broken and to restoring Flote’s feature set to where it was before the transition… only this time with that strong foundation of security, stability and scalability which was the reason we did the ground-up rewrite in the first place.
This means that before we begin development work on our groups feature, we’re committing to delivering a user experience that we can be proud of… where new content and live streams are clearly visible and easy to find, where you can post and comment knowing that your content will be completed and visible to other people, where you can send each other DMs and real-time chats that will be noticed and received, where you can search for hashtags, users, keywords and live streams and quickly find what you are looking for, when links you paste into your posts will include previews, that people off the site will see content you’ve shared from Flote.
We are committed to delivering these things and also getting your old accounts restored to you… that part will be happening very soon… as well as communicating to you clearly and regularly about our priorities and how we are progressing. We also commit to asking for your input and listening to you on Flote and through our other channels on other social media, Telegram, by email and elsewhere, to make sure we understand what features and fixes you feel are most important. And we commit to quickly and efficiently helping you identify and resolve whatever problems and issues you may be experiencing so that you can feel confident once again calling Flote your home.
The entire Flote team is dedicated to this mission… to giving you a site where you can speak freely, with the features you expect and with an experience you will enjoy.
We appreciate you reading this and we appreciate you sticking with us. Your passion for freedom, your desire for the ability to express yourself without fear of censorship, and your commitment to the community of other people who share your values are what drive us forward. Thank you.
We hear you. Our re-launch wasn’t up to expectations and we’ve got a lot of work to do. We are committed to doing that work and communicating with you as we do it. Thank you for your passion and your patience while we get it done. Also, the old Android App is done. If you’re still trying to use it, please delete it and visit us on the web at https://flote.app
FLOTE SUPPORT OFFERINGS
If you have a bug report or feature request, please send it to us using our Support Form at https://flote.biz/support/
For information about known bugs, updates in progress and our current update priorities, please visit our Status Page at https://flote.biz/status/
For answers to frequently asked questions about the platform and other Flote related projects, please see our FAQ at https://flote.biz/faq/
These pages are updated regularly and should be your first stop to keep track of what we’ve done, what we’re working on and what’s coming up in the near future for the Flote platform. Of course, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on the site at https://flote.app or contact us through our other social media accounts. We are always happy to hear from you.