Social Mobile “Native” Takes Off: The Rules Behind New Apps Generation
Social goes mobile, while “mobile” takes part of our lives, deeper and deeper. Devices, uses, interfaces, services…apps stores. Everything goes faster and easier. Seems another generation of apps is born, kind of bubble inside the bubble when you see the growth of Line, Whatsapp, Mindie, Snapchat and so on. Found myself thinking of it and made my mind around some rules/behaviours, that could trigger the whole movement. Let’s share it here and get your impression to feed discussion.
#1 key is in “mobile native” DNA
Let’s figure out and realize that big champions (Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook) have been created in web era environment. They obviously look at to the next trends for mobile (experience, audience, traffic…) and try today to build the best interfaces to be there. But in fact, when you have the whole field of web screening to play, it’s hard to spread the same experience on mobile smartphones, without simplify, then give up some features…generating frustration, as a negative effect. Exception: Twitter, turned out to ne a smart, simple screen for SMS-like conversations, but then actually find itself in business (solution to make money?). I was an early adopter for it, found it likable. But like Facebook now and the race for profit, the web interfaces have been corrupted with ads, ongoing commercials that blink the experience and play with my nerves. Definitely, the false freemium model is worse than ever…Hurry up to create a sustainable model where fans (eg that make the whole value), could be rewarded for their activity or contribution…Mobile “at-a-glance” concept can seed for it.
What we see now is that the recent blue chips are all mobile native: created for mobile and only on mobile devices. They straightly optimized their interfaces for it and profit from the large growth of mobile addiction, keeping a sharp eye on user experience, loyalty and returning rate. Mobile native encourages “instinctive” social moments and free all complexity.
#2 Speed, speed, speed: the key to “time-to-market”
Delivering a mobile app, only for mobile platform is speedy, all along the road: lean conception (with betas), lean distribution (appstores), and quick download (low weight and energy/bandwith consuming). Everything is designed for accelerating the cycle for conception, then adoption…then viral spreading to final buzz. When you search the relevant solution, you already have formerly one that exists, even if not perfect, has many customers yet and starts to grip the wheel. I’m so surprised on the capacity to recruit users so quickly. Tip: speed to fail and dead-end is pretty high too. The road is competition all the time and needs a loyalty program and community management, keys to cross the chasm to critical size…
#3 MOAS: Mobile App As a Service
“Use” instead of “Have”. More flexible, lean and affordable. The recent model of SaaS for softwares is re-usable again for mobile apps. In fact, when you download an mobile app, you get access to base usability and you’re linked to release, more or less accessible, and sometimes free but sometimes not. Build this infrastructure is lighter and more flexible than historic softwares, while in the same time cloud prices decrease…
#4 Big fish eat the smallest ones
Big Silicon Valley stories try now to get more mobile than ever: m-commerce, social m-apps, geo-localization, mobile chat…any opportunity to grow and hold users is relevant…and grow revenue forecasts. The hard line is when you all developed in a web environment, with large interfaces, crowded with datas. Google that always held its pure interface has no problem to shift in mobile…But not the case for many players, who prefers “buy” mobile success stories platforms (see: Facebook with Whatsapp and the fail for Snapchat big offer…).
#5 Change in communication rules
Walls, timelines and private messages, everything is melted into smart “one button” applications. Do we stand in a finally merged “private/public” wall? Where we pushed contents to walls, timelines and public discussion, the SMS syndrome resists in mobile native build-in smarter applications. Moreover, SMS methods created new forms of expressions, syntaxes, symbols (I must admit not the best to learn academic langage…). We push contents and in the same time choose which status it must go. And frontier between private and public is sometimes quite the edge, because of the simplicity of interfaces. Look at Line or Whatsapp usability to be convinced it’s the future of mobile and quickest communication…Will we lose our voice (eg large decrease in voice communication in mobile market)? Here’s the reign of pictures, selfies, text messages and half-pics so far, rhythm of my life. My children learn new apps every day, they switch from one to another, bringing engagement to snapshots. Snapchat lives in a superficial contents environment, contents that disappear after consulting it. I have to deal with these new methods, not sure to understand the final round…Even if I try like you, to stay up to date. “Mobile, for a while won’t deny”. A story that now, makes our day …