Exclusivity. That’s the only logical explanation behind a new app that’s shooting up the Android and iOS App Store charts.
Die With Me is a chat app for Android and iOS that’s only accessible when your device’s battery is at five percent or less. The concept for the app, developed by David Surprenant and Dries Depoorter, was originally presented at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam’s annual DocLab Interactive Conference in 2016. It launched in beta in November 2017 after a lengthy battle with Apple and has since become quite popular.
Depoorter told Digital Trends that the idea for the app came when he was in an unfamiliar city and his phone’s battery was running low.
“I was really stressed about this as it was already turning to night. At that moment, I had the idea for an app that you can only use when you have low battery. But I didn’t know how it would work until we came up with the idea of making it a public chatroom.”
The concept, at least, on the surface, seems to be that having a low battery is such a stressful event that it somehow makes the situation relatable… banding together with other people experiencing similar hardships, as if it were some sort of support group for a serious problem or an addiction. Meh, I’m not buying it.
If people were that concerned with their device’s battery dying and unplugging from the digital world, wouldn’t their time be better spent trying to find a way to recharge the dying device instead of seeking out others in a similar situation simply for the sake of sharing an experience?
The real lure behind an app like this is the exclusivity – the idea that you can use something that other people can’t (because their battery isn’t nearly empty) and that that somehow makes you special. It’s illogical but then again, at the core, so is most of what we do for attention. Remember a while back when some people paid $1,000 for the I Am Rich app that literally did nothing more than display an image of a red ruby?
Surely there has to be more to it, right?
In a recent interview with Motherboard, Depoorter concedes that they originally had the idea of making a dating app where you can find someone around you with a low battery. “When you meet, the battery [is dead], so you can have an offline, real conversation,” he said. Ahh, now we’re getting somewhere.
At some point along the way, the duo realized the dating aspect wasn't necessary (admittedly, a non-dating app will appeal to a broader audience) and that people would just as willingly fork over money simply for the opportunity to chat with other people experiencing a similar situation. Psychologically, experiencing the same thing brings people together and this app exploits that truth.
Die With Me is available from the Play Store and Apple’s App Store for $0.99. Staggeringly, it has a 4.4-star rating on Android and a five-star rating from Apple users.