Great Q. The way I see it, apps like Yo, Facebook’s new Notify, Hooks and even Pocket’s new profile feature —they are all ways for companies to provide valuable content without getting their apps on people’s phones. The shift is towards providing content rather than providing an increase in the device’s functionality. We have the tools to do everything we want on iOS, but someone needs to pick them up and create cool things that utilize these tools.
This is also true for services — they’re increasingly being based on existing infrastructure to make sure the barriers for entry are kept extremely low. Solutions that work for content providers don’t necessarily work for service providers, and thus these companies base their offerings on different platforms. For example, text-based services are everywhere you look recently.
Why is this happening? Well, it turns out that many different apps actually share the exact same functionality with a different content/service layer. Uber and Pushforpizza are very similar in functionality, they just provide different underlying services. When it comes to content apps, well, why wouldn’t I just use Yo to get my game scores AND Producthunt notifications instead of downloading several different apps?
Maybe it’s a little like having different TV sets-one for watching the news and another for sports. It’s much, much simpler to just change the channel.
To address your specific question — imho, you should find a platform to piggyback on. Use notifications, text messages and other invisible interaction layers to provide value. You get your users and they don’t have to get another app.
I like to call this paradigm Apps 2.0.
Let me know what you think :-)
More articles about invisible design
The hardest-working designers — and some of their best design decisions — are the ones you don’t even notice.medium.com