Sweek is a Dutch startup that provides a worldwide mobile platform for reading, writing and sharing stories. The service is available in the form of native iOS & Android applications, but also on the web. Sweek is in fact an initiative of Mybestseller, an independent Dutch company which is one of the key players in the fast rising world of self-publishing of printed books and ebooks. The idea for the Sweek service came as a reaction to the constantly increasing usage of mobile devices for reading and writing. Also, the market is dominated by a single competitor, which is focusing mostly on North America, and as such the global market as a whole is wide open.
The startup is a next generation platform for reading, writing and sharing books, or stories, as they like to call them. On the one hand, the platform aims to be the first choice of aspiring authors that need an outlet where to popularise their creations. On the other hand, it seeks to be an excellent way for people to discover high quality stories from top authors and read them while on the go.
To be able to make their idea come true, we formed a joint team (account manager, SCRUM master, 2 UX/UI designers, and 4 front end developers on our side; 2 product owners, and 2 back end developers on their side) and started working together right away as One Team using the SCRUM framework.
The app features a clean writing interface which makes writing on your phone - even on a small screen - comfortable and easy. The distractions are kept at a minimum while it offers all the needed functionality for formatting, publishing and sharing stories. An interesting aspect about the stories is that they are chapter-based, meaning the users can choose to write and publish a chapter at a time. Every time a writer publishes a new chapter (since a lot of content will be serialized and published chapter by chapter), their followers will get a notification.
Through listings and a smart search, users are able to discover and follow the stories they love. Once followed, stories are available for reading offline in the user's library. Readers will be able to "like" stories and chapters, and comment and reply to others' comments. In fact, the app has a strong social side, as users will have their own profiles, they will be able to post updates, follow and message others and so on. Future releases will focus on creating viable revenue models for authors.
The apps are developed natively for both iOS and Android using a back end that's being developed in parallel on Sweek's side. The iOS app is being written in Swift, the latest programming language from Apple, and will support devices running iOS8 and higher. The Android app will comply with the design language promoted by Google's Material Design and will support devices running Android 4.2 and higher.Sweek can be accessed online or downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.