Dad’s boating app invention was off to slow start. Then daughter posted it on TikTok

Screengrab from @argonavigation's TikTok video

A dad’s boating navigation app embarked on a viral journey after his daughter shared a video on TikTok.

Jeff Foulk, who lives in Maryland, has worked to promote his social boating navigation app Argo for three years, which has been in the works for a decade, he told WBAL.

“It was slow. You do get a lot of negative, ‘No, no, not interested.’ And, people just walk by,” he told the outlet.

It wasn’t until his daughter, Megan, posted a video of him handing out fliers at an event on Jan. 14 that it caught millions of eyes online.

“Help blow up my dad’s boating app, he’s worked so hard on it and just wants people to try it out,” Megan said in the video.

@argonavigation It’s called Argo, it’s a free navigation app for boaters. Please try it out and let captain Jeff know what you think. He’ll really appreciate it:) #boating #boatlife #foryoupage #navigation #app #developer ♬ See You Again (Piano Arrangement) - Alexandre Pachabezian

Millions of viewers took the plea a little too literally — the video made the app so popular that it crashed due to the sheer amount of people trying to use it after Argo went viral.

Now, Argo’s first video has 20 million views.

“Some people are having sign in issues,” Megan said in a follow up video on Jan. 15. “The app can not handle all the people trying to sign in. It’s a wonderful problem that will be fixed soon.”

Meanwhile, new customers are sharing their stories and interest in trying out the app, which is described as a mix between Yelp, Facebook and Waze for the seas.

“New follower, just downloaded app,” one viewer said. “I’m an avid fisherman, Navy vet and brain cancer survivor. Looking forward to learning about app!”

“Downloaded,” another said. “I do sailing racing on Lake Superior, this will be super helpful.”

The Argo team has been working to minimize any crashes and bugs due to the increase in traffic, according to the TikTok.

@argonavigation Curious to learn what Argo’s all about? Stick around to hear from Captain Jeff himself! The boating navigation app is free to download and use #foryou #foryoupage #boating #boatingseason #boatingsafety #navigationapp #captainjeff #argo ♬ original sound - argonavigation

“It crashed the app for a little while. I told my developer, ‘I thought we were ready for this?’ And, they said, ‘Yeah, we were ready for the boating season. We were not ready for TikTok in a couple of million people jumping on the app,’” Foulk told WBAL.

Megan recorded her dad’s reaction to the outpouring of support and thanked everyone for helping spread the word about Argo.

The app is in the top 10 navigation apps in the Google Play store and has more than 10,000 downloads through the Apple app store as of Jan. 25.

“He can’t believe the power TikTok has and the support all of you have given him,” Megan said.

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