Is your app relevant?

We've been saying for a long time that Interactive Features are what make apps relevant.  But you don't need to take our word for it.  Dick Costolo said the same thing at Mobile World Congress in his Keynote, and comScore said as much last year.

We're in the process of working on and then releasing a survey we've conducted of the leading brand apps and how they use interactive media, which has led to a lot of thought here at Viafo about how brands and consumer facing applications are making use of Social, Location and other web services.  Naturally, our goal with this is to get people using our Gateway to make it easier to manage and control these services, but without giving our conclusions away, I did want to outline some things that we believe everybody should have in their mind as they're getting apps created for them.

1. Social Networking is core to most people's use of the web.  comScore found last year that Social Networking on Mobile was the fastest growing use of mobile applications.  So why is it that many, many apps aren't taking advantage of something core to most peoples' lives?

  •  It's not about sharing that they have an app - who cares?
  • It IS about sharing that something in the app interests them - a feature of a car, a new dress, a type of bag - make it easy for users to share that across multiple networks, sure, make sure that it is tagged as coming from YOUR app, but people want to read about interesting things
  • You're spending a small fortune on your social presence?  You've got people full time on Twitter and Facebook managing your tags, @messages and wall - are you sharing these into your mobile app?  If not, why not?
  • If a user posts from your app, do you know about it right away?  If not, why not?

2. Location

  • Location is much, much more than "Where's my nearest…"
  • Are you using location to deliver coupons and offers?
  • Are you letting users Check-In to their favorite check-in service from inside the app?
  • Are you letting users share their thoughts on where they are and what they're doing?

3. Uploading

  • Can users easily share images of your product?  Are you running contests for them?

4. Protecting your brand

  • Are you letting people share from inside your app and sending that straight to the web?
  • Do youhave any control over what people are saying and how?  If not why not?

Obviously, this is a slightly loaded set of questions because they're all core to what Viafo's Gateway does.  But if you sit back and think about it, are you really taking full advantage of the power of social and location services?

While our goal is to get the Gateway in use with as many people as possible, we're also happy to help people understand the impact on their retail and brand experience.  So do feel free to drop me a line: