2022: A Year in Review
Dec 16, 2022
Sociability birthday party
With 2022 rapidly coming to a close, we’ve been taking the time to reflect on what a busy year it has been at Sociability HQ.
Whether running mapping days across the country or launching exciting new partnerships and big-ticket product updates, 2022 has been a year of milestones for Sociability.
Here’s a quick tour of some of our favourite moments and memories…
Big Product Changes
At the core of what we do is our user app and, perhaps more importantly, the feedback that we receive from users across the world. This year, we’ve been focused on building a really solid foundation for our platform so that everything runs as quickly and reliably as possible.
Across the year, we shipped 14 key app updates this year! Sometimes these are small tweaks under the hood to tidy up our codebase and squash bugs that shouldn’t be there; other times these are big ticket upgrades that instantly impact the user experience – hopefully for the better! Chief amongst these changes were the adoption of Google Maps into our platform and an overhaul of our database design to drastically speed up the user experience when searching for new venues.
Mapping Days Galore
Portsmouth Mapping Group!
This year, we wanted to lean into our growing user community by hosting more Mapping Days in more places across the country. For us, Mapping Days are great opportunities to both meet our users and to have our users meet each other. At Sociability, we’re all about empowering people to have the peace of mind to explore their communities – and spending time with other disabled people is a huge part of that. This year, we ran 7 mapping days across our widest range of locations – including Brighton, Southampton, Portsmouth, York and Leeds. We met faces familiar and fresh, added plenty of accessible places to the app and – perhaps most importantly – shared cake, coffee and tea with users across the country.
We’re thrilled that more and more people are keen to both join a Mapping Day in their local area, and also requesting Mapping Days in their towns! We’ve got some really exciting plans to grow and evolve our in-person community engagement work in the new year and Mapping Days will play a crucial role in this. We’re always doing our best to ensure that disabled people everywhere can enjoy the growing sense of community and confidence that only a Sociability Mapping Day can bring!
More Venues, More Users, More Followers
Alongside this growth in product and Mapping Days, we’ve also been thrilled by the general growth in venues mapped and users of the app! Having first launched in the depths of COVID-19, we’ve not had it easy in terms of getting more venues onto the app and encouraging users to find and share their favourite places.
That’s why we’ve been so thrilled to see sustained growth across all of these metrics in the past year – in particular, we’re proud to have signed up more than 2500 new registered users, mapper more than 2000 new venues and grown our social media following to more than 12 thousand followers in total. A huge thank you to all those who’ve stuck with us through the early days and a very warm welcome to all those who’ve recently become part of the Sociability family!
In the new year, we’re excited to lean into a range of exciting growth plans to get even more venues and users onto the Sociability app and to become the go-to name in accessibility information across the UK.
New Team Members
We’ve not only been growing out in the field but also inside the office! This year, we’ve been so grateful and excited to see our HQ team double in size as we’ve onboarded the amazing Isadora, Behzad, Gem and Kirsten into key new roles. Importantly, each new team member has brought a wealth of enthusiasm, passion and expertise to Sociability – helping us reach ever higher levels of quality in our work and mission.
And we’re not stopping there! We’re well on the way to growing our Mapping Team to 10 members, and are actively hiring for new developers to join our Product Development team. If you know of any talented and passionate candidates, please do send them our way! We’ll be hiring for a range of roles in the new year too – so, if you’ve got the skills and the drive to empower disabled people across the globe, please get in touch when the time is right!
Celebrations, Conferences and Competitions
Matt mid pitch at Slush 100!
Finally, 2022 saw the return of ever more in-person events as we continue to re-emerge from the COVID19 pandemic restrictions. This year, we were thrilled to attend not one, but four (!) in-person conferences – including two overseas – that ranged from general disability to general tech, and from startups to disability-tech specifically. Most recently, we were thrilled to make the Final 3 at Slush 2022 – Europe’s leading and largest startup conference – where we pitched for 1 million euros in front of thousands of attendees.
Alongside conferences and competitions, we were also chuffed to be able to host our first in-person Birthday Party. We celebrated the Sociability App turning two years old in September this year – and it was a fantastic evening filled with fun, food and friends from all parts of our community. We can’t wait to welcome more and more members of the Sociability family into our events in the future – and we’ve got some exciting ideas in the pipeline indeed!
And that’s it! As we head into the new year, we’re super excited about the opportunities ahead and the growth we’re hoping to achieve. Of course, we couldn’t have done any of this without all of you – our users, our supporters, our partners and our community. At the end of the day, Sociability is all about people – and we’re so grateful to have such a wonderful community of you all to learn from, to listen to and to build with. Thank you for keeping us on our toes, and moving in the right direction.
From everyone at the Sociability team, we wish you a very happy, safe and rejuvenating holiday period and all our very best for an even bigger and better 2023!