We give together, all for one

    As we launched the joint gift service, along the way we found loopholes in the Facebook API and came up with elegant usability and design solutions. Feedback is welcome.

    Creativity and saving money

    One of my acquaintances somehow destroyed at least 10 bears, elephants and cats, which were bestowed on her by acquaintances and friends who wanted to express their warm (and soft) feelings on the occasion of her birthday ... Not a single living creature was harmed - it was all soft toys and souvenirs that she absolutely did not need and did not create any joy.
    People often do not have enough time or just money for a really cool gift, and in the end they buy "gifts" according to the principle: "let it be some kind of rubbish for 1000 rubles, but, it seems, nice."

    We created DarimVmeste.ru so that instead of a teddy bear you could give a dream.A trip, a laptop, a car, whatever ... The collective mind of several friends will quickly find just such an idea that will hit the bull's eye, and friendly crowdfunding will provide a financial resource.
    And at the same time, the participants will spend not 300 rubles each, but 300 each. Because many times 300 rubles each is the fifth iPhone, and once 1000 rubles is a trinket to throw out.

    Once we made a common gift - realized the dream of our friend. It turned out great, but how much writing, accounting, money logistics and letters were in different social networks, mail and instant messengers ... So the idea was born of DarimVmeste.ru - an Internet service for collective gifts.
    Before we start working on it, we went through the Russian and global Internet and found several projects with a relatively similar idea. However, none of them suited us - some lacked functionality, while others lacked convenience. We began to make a service that we want to use ourselves.

    Further, some of our discoveries from the field of development and design of service.

    Facebook: private messages on behalf of the user

    Earlier, the VKontakte and Facebook APIs (integrating them into the service for obvious reasons was necessary for inviting users to the gift page) declared the ability to send personal messages to friends on behalf of users. Each network had its own specifics, but in general, having received permission for a certain class of actions, the issue could be resolved. Now the situation has changed: if you want to achieve sending messages through the API, then this can hardly be done easily. Confirmation - literally isolated examples of services that managed to implement this functionality, as well as errors that occur when trying to use the methods remaining in the documentation.

    However, there is a “plan B". Not everything is closed: in VKontakte, you can publish a video using the API on behalf of the user. This, of course, is not so hot, but still some kind of thread. Because, if you try, you can add a comment to this video, again, via the API. And this is something.

    Facebook de facto also does not allow writing messages on behalf of the user. That is, it allows, but for this, your external site should be useful to Facebook, for example, financially. It is clear that a beginner start-up can not offer anything that will interest the giant.

    For our service, inviting friends through Facebook is important, like air. We got out like this: we authorize the gift organizer via Facebook, pick up his friends ID and send regular mail messages to id@facebook.com (a lot has been written and said about the occurrence of such an opportunity).
    But these messages fall into the “other messages” folder, that is, actually into spam.

    The solution is clear - at the level of the mail server we enter in the “from” field not the address of our service, but the address of the sender. Everything starts to work. By the way, mass mailings can use this solution for a long time, sending with the help of such an algorithm anything at all in the billionth user base.
    The result is still not perfect: the information reaches the user in a filtered form, sometimes the system cuts off the most important thing - the link to the gift page. However, this is already a solution, and it works. And if for Vkontakte we are only looking for ways to reach user friends in convenient ways (because video recording instead of a personal message is still a crooked move), then on Facebook everything is already implemented.

    A social network that does not have a social network

    We consider it a mere find, the following fact: DarimVmeste.ru is like a social network, but in reality it is not. Social network in the form and design of the UI. The same wall, friends, likes. But at the same time, the site is not a “shell”, but an independent service. He is imprisoned for the convenience of solving a specific problem. People come here from different social networks (next to Twitter, then all the rest) or not at all. They create their gifts and leave Darim Together until the next occasion to give someone something ... However, the familiar mechanics of likes (for rating gift ideas) and posts on the wall (for twisting live communication and discussion flows) are immediately integrated into practice - it’s convenient for the user and the whole interface is clear at a glance.

    For this convenience and comprehensibility, we had to cut off many ideas that arose during development: we implemented only the most necessary functions so as not to overload the service and not delay the development. For example, therefore, the service does not transfer money (this puts an order of magnitude higher requirements for the level of security). And with all this, it took exactly a year to develop.


    All this time we cooked in our own juice. A post on Habré is our first attempt to go beyond the company of friends and show the service to strangers, but adequate people. Therefore, we will be grateful for any kind of feedback - criticism, suggestions on usability, questions ... Even if you just express your attitude to DarimVmeste.ru, we will thank you.

    UPD: In response to the first edition of this post, we received a lot of fair criticism of the fact that the service did not work under the Opera. However, in addition to criticism, we received several specific suggestions and tips on how to overcome our problem. Thanks to the Habr community , all modern browsers are now working in DarimVmeste.ru . Thanks!

    And the last one is a video about the service:

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