People need your service but don’t want to install your app.

Facebook and Google are betting on it!

The two giants, along with other major players such as Microsoft, are making serious investments to solve a problem you might probably face: people need your service but they don’t want to install your app.

With a handful of top class apps consuming most of mobile users free time and storage quota, your app struggles to stay relevant so people install and keep using it. Developers are being involved in App Stores and retention wars, but Google and Facebook already know the truth: this is a battle they’re gonna lose. Maybe a couple of cases may eventually succeed and become the next unicorn, but I wouldn’t put all my chips on being one of them.

So… How do you engage and deliver a great user experience when people need your service but don’t want to install your app? That is the question these guys are trying to answer in different ways.

Facebook and the chatbots

Facebook is betting on chatbots: messaging robots that will enable you to deliver your service and a great user experience where people already spend most of their time: messaging apps.

Facebook took messaging UI to the next level and launched Bots on Messenger as beta on April 12. It enables developers to create rich, interactive interfaces within Facebook Messenger. You can learn more about it here.

Microsoft also found this as a likely future and created Microsoft Bot Framework: a cross-platform tool to build chatbots for Slack, Skype, Office 365 and other messaging apps.

You can also start building your chatbot without writing any code on Botsify.

And if these messaging channels aren’t targeting your entire audience, Take.net is aiming to deliver the same experience over SMS with its Smart Contacts strategy andOmni app.

Here are some other cool references to understand the chatbots trend:
There’s a chat for that: Apple’s biggest platform opportunity yet
2016 will be the year of conversational commerce — Chris Messina
Chatbots Magazine

Android Instant Apps

Google’s approach to this is just awesome! If people don’t want to install your app they are aiming to stream a small part of it, use it on the fly and then dismiss it.

No download, no install process and no storage compromised.

Google announced Android Instant Apps on Google I/O two weeks ago but it will only be available next year.

In the meanwhile they also announced Progressive Web Apps. And this is something you can do today to improve (a lot) your mobile web experience. It involves running part of your server side code on the client. In poor network connectivity scenarios it performs even better than a native app.

What will be your client’s weapon of choice? I wouldn’t dare answering that question. But I do see a bright future for bonuz.com combining both chatbots and Instant Apps.

We have two moments of truth: when a user discovers new ways to engage with their favorite brands (and get rewarded for that engagement) and when a user redeem rewards they’ve earned.

Discovery often happens while someone is browsing the web or a social network and stumble on a campaign link. Or when someone shares a campaign link with their friends. Basically a web link. We understand the best experience we can offer at this point is to take that person to our app and let them experience our full potential. But not everybody has our app on their phone. So Instant Apps comes to the rescue.

When someone earns a reward we notify them by SMS, Push, Facebook or even e-mail. Basically messaging. At this point we want people to be able to redeem their rewards as effortless as possible and quickly enjoy their well earned prize of choice. So we can’t wait to start using chatbots and letting people do that in a rich UI without having to jump to another channel.

We are already working on both strategies at Minutrade and I hope we can share some good results with you on a near future.