The need to stay connected and informed has never been more top of mind for consumers. During the height of the pandemic, people flocked to apps like WhatsApp to stay in contact with friends and loved ones, and TikTok to learn new cooking, cleaning, or DIY tricks to fill “extra” time on their hands. As more and more consumers return to their pre-Covid lives, they are continuing to incorporate these apps into their daily routines.
Today, more than 4.48 billion people utilize social apps, with the average user accessing over six platforms on a monthly basis. The increased focus on digitized communication during the pandemic has made it clear consumers are looking to fill their time with applications that are both engaging and productive. And with employees often holding the upper hand in today’s job market and able to work remotely, they have the ability to elevate their career opportunities with advanced language skills anywhere in the world – those who speak, read and write in a second language are more employable, confident, and can earn higher salaries. It is now up to leaders to ensure they are creating apps and work environments that will help people achieve their goals, whether it is having more productive relationships or earning a greater income.
Poised to reach a market value of $21.2 billion by 2027, the language learning sector has proven to be an ideal fit for former TikTok strategist Jonathan Maxim, who identified the recurring challenges leaders of existing app platforms face and do not solve. Utilizing the creative growth hacks discovered through his journey as a tech founder and strategist, Maxim has been on a mission to resolve this issue since joining ClickStream Corp. (OTC PINK: CLIS) as CEO of its social language learning app HeyPal.
HeyPal’s mission is to unlock people’s potential through language learning, which is proven to be a mechanism for creating more empathy, understanding, and connections across borders and cultures. This belief is also integral to its company culture, which promotes a working environment where everyone is treated with respect. As a leader, Maxim believes it is important to encourage and embrace diversity in his team, to help foster different perspectives and alternative solutions to challenges his company may face.
Throughout his career as a company founder and leader, Maxim has practiced his belief that the more diverse your team is, the more successful your company can become. This has certainly been true at HeyPal, where he quickly grew the iOS version to more than 606,000 total downloads and 164,000 monthly active users in less than six months. HeyPal also launched its Android version in November 2021, reaching #2 in the Google Play Store Ranking for “Top New Free Social Apps” in the United States, and gaining 200,000 downloads in 21 days.
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According to Maxim, many language learning platforms provide basic and restrictive tools like flashcards, which often lack the most important piece: practicing with other people. “At HeyPal, we listen to our employees and users, and their ideas, then apply that qualitative and quantitative knowledge to our product to not only offer the language learning component most social media apps lack but take it a step further and ensure users are able to match with someone they feel connected to, and which may lead to a long-term friendship or something more.”
Studies confirm that language learning is most effective with a “study buddy” or significant other, rather than traditional components like flashcards and rote memorization. As a leader, Maxim calls out the need to be original and forward-thinking in order to disrupt any industry: “With current and upcoming features such as a matching feature to pair language natives and learners, predictive texting for language learners, NFT-focused reward systems for users via cryptocurrency, and enhanced content delivery and analytics for creators and influencers, the HeyPal app is proving there is an effective way to marry social media with language learning.”
Learning is in fact a focal point in current political debate. This week, Congressman Jim Himes, Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, held a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the importance of the historic early childhood development investments in the Build Back Better Act.
Following the Select Committee’s hearing on the link between federal investments in affordable family care and inclusive economic growth, Select Committee Members and advocates showcased the social and economic impact of the Build Back Better Act’s early childhood investments and discuss how provisions like early education, child care, and the Child Tax Credit can help uplift working families and address economic disparity nationwide.
“The economic benefits of early education cannot be overstated,” Himes told me. “From policy experts and academics to advocates and parents, our Select Committee continues to hear from individuals nationwide about the power of early childhood programs like preschool to increase lifetime income, reenergize our workforce, and improve health outcomes across the board. The Build Back Better Act recognizes the significant return on investment from supporting early childhood education, building an inclusive economy for all Americans, and keeping our country competitive in the global economy.”
And so, with more opportunities to work remotely across borders, along with the growing need for social and professional versatility in an ever more global society, both younger and older generations stand to benefit from learning a new language and interacting with people from different cultures. In much the same way, fostering diversity and varying perspectives in the workplace can help promote an environment that produces more creative and successful business solutions.