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Rego goes viral in Brazil for the wrong reason

Yesterday we at Makalu launched our latest product — Rego, an iPhone app for bookmarking locations. It’s like Gowalla, but without the social part.

The good news is that Rego is doing very well, throughout the world. But then to our surprise, it went viral in Brazil. The unfortunate news is why it went viral in Brazil.

Turns out, Rego has an “special” meaning there, and Gizmodo Brazil covered the story in this hilarious article which got thousands of retweets and Facebook likes.

Here’s my version of the story:

As they say, “All press is good press”—so we’re looking on the bright side, or maybe better, where the sun don’t shine.

Update: After posting this video, I had an interview with Daniel Junqueira of Gizmodo, the author of the brilliant original post there. His colleagues then followed up with a second article on Gizmodo, about our interview.

Update 2: You know, our first thought about this was, “Oh what a disaster!” But at that point, there wasn’t much to do. And, to be honest, it’s pretty damn funny so we just rolled with it. Turns out the situation has been very positive — the meaning isn’t that strong, downloads in Brazil have gone through the roof! And since Rego is actually a pretty great app, the Brazilians are loving it (as is everybody who has downloaded it!)

Published inMakalu


  1. Mirai Mirai

    Why not launch an android version of rego? At Brazil, Android is far more used than iPhone.

  2. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    We’re considering it, Mirai! And after this story, we’re definitely going to try to get a Portuguese version of Rego available! 🙂

  3. Ronan Rodrigo Nunes Ronan Rodrigo Nunes

    kkkkkk! I can imagine your face when discovered the significance of Rego here 😛 But, your Rego is great! kkkk

    • Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

      Thanks Ronan!

  4. Havary Havary

    Hi Matt,

    I m a Brazilian Android user and it is kind a fun the jokes of the name Rego! Daniel Junqueira wrote a fine article abaout your app and recomend to a iFriend of mine. Do your put Rego on your iphone! May you will not understand this but it is fun.

    I m wating for the android version, good luck on that, Nice app!

    Best Regards

  5. João João

    I’ve just downloaded Rego. It’s an awesome app, man. Kudos from Brazil.

  6. Sandro Sandro

    Great app, but here in Brazil I have to use hidden 🙂

  7. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    Thanks guys, I think we’re going to work on a version of Rego, translated to Portuguese. We love your sense of humor!

  8. JL JL

    Hi Matt.

    Had a good laugh!

    On a serious note… I can see myself having to buy Rego soon because I’m quickly reaching the free limit.

    I have read that you will be adding a Foursquare search and add functionality. That would be my #1 request right now since one of the reasons I can see myself using Rego is listing stores for which I would like to quickly be able to add their name and telephone number for example.

    Will let you know what else could be improved when using it more!

  9. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    Thanks JL — yep, adding location search is top of the list, and is what we’re developing right this moment. Look for it soon!

  10. JL JL


  11. Antonio Pratas Antonio Pratas

    Portuguese guy here, and as you might imagine, the expression also applies. So.. yeah, one should always confront a product name against a couple of international dictionaries 🙂

  12. Lex Lex

    Ok, so make a (insert highly popular language here) version called CoinSlot, or similar harmless entendre. Your coinslot is private. But you can share it, and we make that easy.

  13. Regis Regis

    Rego is also a surname. Or a small river.

    And you can “Regar plantas” = watering plants

  14. Moyses Moyses

    Hi guys.
    Rego (the app) is great but the name is not a so special word/meaning. Rego is a common surname for Portuguese / Brazilian descendants.

    You can find more info on Wikipedia:


  15. Rafael Rafael

    That article cracked me up!
    I could help with the translations if you like. Cheers!

  16. Mark Mark

    It’s always fun when a translation bummer like that happens, and good thing you took it with head held high and just basked in the extra exposure and downloads from Brazil.

    Colgate actually once introduced a new tooth paste in France called Cue – this is also the name of a porn magazine. I can imagine that one being a bit worse 🙂

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