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December 23, 2015

Applications Trends for 2016: It Takes an Ecosystem

I spoke with Josiah Humphrey -- CEO and cofounder of Appster -- about the trends they are seeing with their customers and in the apps markets in general. Appster is an accelerated execution partner based in San Francisco with over 300 people in three countries (and continents). 

We started off by discussing the significance of Flipkart in India. This is a mobile commerce site that does a good job of seamless shifting from native to Web using Google’s Chrome and Android as its software framework. Its website is Chrome replicated just for the India demographic.

We then talked about the Apple ecosystem and how Apple devices are expanding the market with the Apple Watch, Apple TV and HomeKit. In effect, Apple continues to dominate the preferences of app developers and has expanded the opportunities both in touch points and market segmentation. To me, this meant you probably don’t want to stream to a watch, but you may want to watch what you can manage with HomeKit from both Apple TV and the Apple Watch.

Beyond the developer’s interest, an underlying theme was the need to build stickiness in the applications. It’s not enough to be useful; the goal is to be consistently relevant. The logic is that a single-purpose app loses the user’s attention, and if another app has more similar services the impact is the eventual loss of the user. 

This manifests itself in interesting ways. For WeChat and for Uber this means a desire to expand the services that are available from the app and make it so the user wants to stay on to see what else is available.

In Facebook’s case the impact is to make their components that appear on the Web as cohesive as separate experiences as an application.  Once again the goal is stickiness, but take WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as separate apps and the goal is achieved.

The stickiness of the application means the customer finds incredible value while the developer finds tangible ROI whether it is transaction-based or in the continuous display of ads.

Appster as a company supports customers going from concept to customers, including helping them raise capital and getting the user experience right. Based on the predictions for 2016, I think it’s safe to say you need to attach to an ecosystem to break through in the market, and I think Appster can help.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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