Jessica Olie, a yogi influencer who posts bendy and nakey Instagram photos next to Rupi Kaur quotes to her 657,000 followers, has released a new app for meditation and yoga.
Unfortunately, the reception from her followers has been less than namaste.
The app, called Align With Olie, became available about two weeks ago. It currently holds an average of 2.1 stars out of 5 in the App Store. According to some unhappy customers, the guided yoga routines are pretty basic for the premium price (starting at $20/month).
“Having a large social media following and taking a couple trainings DOES NOT make someone a good teacher,” one user wrote. “The instruction is horrible. It’s very very obvious to anyone who practices regularly that Jessica has hardly taught. For the high price I expected so much more. Super disappointed. Do not buy!!”
Others claimed the app crashed and that there was no sound in some videos.
“I’ll stick to YouTube,” another added. “This app should be free.”
I reached out to Jessica on Wednesday about these complaints and have not yet heard back. This is the part of the reporting/newsletter where I remind readers she’s the same person I wrote about in August last year, when she did respond to me and tried to explain away why her “weekly giveaway” promotion was not, in fact, weekly.
I also downloaded the app to see for myself, and paid the $20 — which I will thankfully be reimbursed. I’m a touch-and-go yoga person. I will feel a burst of inspiration to get into it once a year and commit to practicing regularly before I fall off because yoga is very difficult and sweaty and requires lots of limberness. It’s a fun game I play with myself. Anyway, I was genuinely excited to see how Jessica could inspire me to implement it into my life.
Every other day, the app seems to offer yoga practices and stretching techniques, with nice mantras and places for you to log your thoughts and progress.
It does seem like the things noted in initial reviews have been fixed by her developers. The app never closed or lagged on me, but there were crucial functions that simply didn’t work. For example, a button you needed to press to complete building your routine didn’t do anything when I pressed it repeatedly.
There were several typos throughout the app, but this was pretty minor and easily fixable. My grammar heads out there, have fun spotting them for yourselves:
I understand why fans are upset and feel ripped off. But herein lies the magic of an influential person who’s perhaps more famous for their persona than for their ~craft~. This is Jessica’s yoga app — and she’s banking on fans buying into her. The yoga is secondary.
For $20 a month, and their special rate of $155 a year, you can probably join a decent yoga studio near you. Or pay for any number of other yoga apps available nowadays.Regardless, to the disgruntled buyers, some of whom emailed me directly about this: I hear you. I see you. My mind’s eye sees you. This is Jessica’s very expensive yoga world, and we can opt to live in it or not.
Best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.