Eternal: Building a Notification System That Lasts for Eternity
Eternal is a platform for collecting and trading the best moments in gaming. They integrated MagicBell at launch so the notifications weren't an afterthought.
In August 2019, Derek Chiang had an idea: what if online gamers could capture and sell their best live streaming moments to fans? Capitalizing on the popular emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Derek decided to create a marketplace where gaming devotees could support their favorite streamers and build a valuable digital collection that they could sell and trade. In early 2021, following funding from Y Combinator, co-founders Derek Chiany, Jeffrey Tong, and their lead engineer Mubashir Mir launched Eternal.
Prioritizing a Notification System
Both Jeffrey Tong and Derek had constructed other platforms before Eternal, so they knew it was smart to address a notification system first instead of hoping to bake it into the product after it was fully built out. In their prior experience, designing a notification system from scratch was complicated, time-consuming, and expensive.
“We knew notifications were going to be a core part of the product. They had been an afterthought for the platforms we’d worked on before, and we weren’t going to do that again,” Mubashir said. “We wanted something that was plug-and-play.”
They had weighed the idea of using One Signal, but coding requirements and set up made it more work to integrate than they wanted.
The pair turned to the Y Combinator discussion boards to see what their options were, and that’s where they found MagicBell, which only required inserting a couple of lines of code to run on its own.
"We launched with MagicBell from the very beginning, and one thing I can say is: there’s nothing out there that’s as effortless to integrate as MagicBell"
Mubashir Mir, Software Engineer at Eternal
The Test-Drive: One-and-Done Notifications
Not ready to commit to the first solution they found, Derek and Mubashir decided to test drive MagicBell. They connected MagicBell’s API with the Eternal site, and then ran it end-to-end to see if it would work.
And that was it.
“There were no problems, no issues with MagicBell at all,” Mubashir said. “It was two lines of text and then we had a complete notification system.” They decided to stick with MagicBell.
Setting up user notifications was simple. The core of Eternal’s platform is buying and selling, so they started utilizing notifications in two ways: a streamer gets a notification with a request to buy an NFT (or “packet”), and a notification when the sale is complete. Within that notification, sellers can see the sale amount, the name of the packet, and a link to the buyer’s profile.
“MagicBell’s customer service was great,” Derek said. “They were very responsive and fast when we needed them...but really, MagicBell is so easy to use that we didn’t have any questions or technical issues.”
The only changes they had to make to the front end was using MagicBell’s self-guided customizations to match the notifications’ design with Eternal’s branding, which took mere minutes.
“Being able to customize the UI to be more branded, that really helped us,” Mubashir said. “ It was easy to make it consistent with our website, which we appreciated.”
…..What Notification System?
“Honestly, we integrated MagicBell at the beginning and just forgot about it,” Mubashir said. “It just worked, so we didn’t have to think about it.”
Freeing up that time has allowed them to focus on everything else about the product, so it’s no surprise that company growth has been huge. Even as they scale rapidly, they don’t need to touch their notification system if they don't want to -- all they have to do is upgrade with MagicBell as their user base expands.
“Upgrading also doesn’t require any work from us,” Mubashir said. “No new installation or code. MagicBell lets us know it’s time to upgrade and that’s it.”
Derek and Mubashir already have several ideas about how they can expand notifications to add more utility to the platform, and plan to roll those out over time. One thing they know is that whatever they choose to do, it won’t take long to accomplish.
“We launched with MagicBell from the very beginning, and one thing I can say is: there’s nothing out there that’s as effortless to integrate as MagicBell,” Mubashir said.