In 2020, we are bombarded by information from thousands of sources. Although this affords everyone the opportunity to stay on top of trends, opinions, and market data, it can be challenging to filter out relevant insights from the noise. In particular, developers and founders have thousands of sources of knowledge and information at their fingertips but need to cut through to the essential messages quickly to make game-time decisions on product development and business strategy.
In this post of the #BuiltWithMongoDB series, we sat down with Vincent Denise, CEO and co-founder of Threader, to discuss the company’s rapid growth and experience working with MongoDB. Threader is the first iOS Twitter client to read and bookmark tweetstorms, also known as “threads.” It helps Twitter users to read long-form tweets in an article format so they can consume the content without distraction.
Let's start at the beginning. How did you come up with Threader?
Back in 2017, my partner Marie and I left Paris to become digital nomads. We were closely tracking trends in content and became certain that threading on Twitter was not a phase but rather an integral new way to communicate in the age of microblogging.
People we talked to were looking for an alternative reading experience. At the time, the Twitter UI was different and tweetstorms were hard to read natively. We decided to build an iOS prototype featuring interesting content in this format, allowing users to convert Twitter threads in an article format, and bookmark them.
Fortunately, Threader was spotted by Chris Messina (inventor of the hashtag). He motivated us to launch on Product Hunt, and Apple featured us as an App of the Day. These two events boosted our visibility.
Since the beginning, we have bootstrapped Threader. We are a team of two and there are only 24 hours in a day, so we have to be wise about how we manage our time and the way we define our priorities.
How did you choose to build with MongoDB?
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was a developer for a Parisian agency. One of the projects I worked on was an immersive game for a French television channel. We needed scalability and high performance, which brought me to learn more about NoSQL. I was switching programming languages and started to code with Node.js. MongoDB was often presented as a good pair to manage databases. At the time, I also read about MongoDB helping Foursquare with auto-sharding. MongoDB seemed to answer my needs and to be a perfect fit, which led me to implement it for the first time. Since then, it’s my go-to solution and I used it in a range of projects.
When I started building Threader, I knew that our database would grow beyond the scope of our previous projects. We wanted the ability to manage large amounts of data easily, and MongoDB seemed like the obvious choice for scale while maintaining flexibility to accommodate the continuous delivery of new app features.
We use database clusters on MongoDB Atlas, the fully managed and automated cloud service. With Atlas, time management is reduced and it’s reliable in the long term; I don’t have to be worried about the scaling issues. I know Threader’s infrastructure is between good hands and that Atlas always keeps an eye on production.
We also need to provide fast and efficient access to search more than 2 million threads, so we make use of MongoDB’s secondary indexes to give our users incredibly fast performance. We constantly measure engagement, so MongoDB Charts gives us an easy way to visualize complex data and allows us to track user growth and threads stored.
How has the MongoDB for Startups program affected Threader and your product's journey?
As every founder knows, the startup journey is stressful — especially for indies, since we mostly rely on our paid users to earn an income. To establish a stable infrastructure that can provide such a crucial role in our livelihood, we turned to MongoDB for Startups.
Technical advice from MongoDB saved us a lot of time, especially when we encountered unexpected growth issues. We had thousands of visitors on our website regularly, so we needed quick debugging support, which MongoDB consistently provided. I learned a lot from the program, and made valuable connections across the community.
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