Wanting to be an app entrepreneur in 2015 is as difficult as it is easy. It is easy because you have a plethora of options to have your app made and difficult because whatever idea that comes to your mind, somebody has already made an app for it.
There are already more than a million apps in both the Play store and the App store, still new apps are being developed and uploaded by the minute. What’s even more surprising is; we still see millionaire app entrepreneurs rising up and experts term it as just the beginning of what apps can do.
What kind of apps are in demand?
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
– Steve Jobs
It is not always creating something new. In fact in the recent times it has been more about creating something better. Google succeeded despite the presence of MSN and Yahoo. Facebook succeeded in spite of MySpace and Friendster. And maybe Apple pay will succeed despite Google wallet was launched way before.
Apps are essentially products which you want your user to buy or at least use. To create something new and make your customer accustomed to it is great, and difficult. But to create something your customer wants and sell it to him is easy, and profitable.
I have identified some categories; mentioned by experts, talked about in trends, some common sense and a bit of gut feel, in which the future of mobile apps would lie. I have listed the categories as below:
Anyone, practically anyone with any bit of knowledge about technology and apps can safely predict that social media is going become even more addictive and get more and more users on mobile. But Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Viber, WeChat and a million more are already out there.
Hence, the important point is; what should the social media app of 2015 focus on? I was going through a blog post that broadly categorized social media apps into two categories: Needs and Wants.
The ‘Need’ category has the apps that once essentially needs for communication and being in touch with one’s social circles. Apps like WhatsApp, BBM, Skype, Viber, Line etc fall in this category.
The ‘Want’ category, on the other hand, has the social networks where the user portrays him as he wants him to be. Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Viber and Facebook fall into this category.
Now, before you decide on going after any of the categories, there are two, somewhat contradicting insights to follow. We have seen in the recent past that the users have started to limit online socializing to a smaller, more personal group. The reasons can be anything from cyber security to unwanted noise. This is a trend that can go on to prove fatal for the ‘Want’ category in the future.
The ‘Need’ category would always exist, but the challenge that this category faces is; huge competition and ways of monetizing. Talking of tackling the issue of competition, the strategy used by India based messaging app called ‘Hike’ is worth mentioning. But the ways of monetization is still not clear is speculations have risen sky high after the astronomic acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook.
The ‘Want’ category has seen a new popularity element: selfies. Twitter and Instagram have already seen and rode the selfie storm of 2014, 2015 is predicted to be the year when selfies are taken to the next level. The rise of Dubsmash into Top 10 apps on the app store and launch of Instagram video and Skype Qik already give a glimpse of what to come.
Another category of social apps taking on the rise is the location based sharing apps. The gain in popularity of Plague, Yik Yak, and Shout suggest a potential in the category and I feel the monetization of such apps can be much easier owing to the geographical limit of the audience.
Apps like Slack
Childish title? I disagree. If you don’t know or admire Slack, I don’t think you are in the right business. Slack figured out a problem, worked on an app and made the life of people easier, much easier. It aims to kill the workplace email and chat.
Enterprise collaboration apps have been on the rise in 2014 and they are in a nascent phase as of now. Talk about great apps in the domain and you end up with Slack every time! Don’t you think the category and the customers deserve more?
Enterprises have a huge concern with security and I do not doubt the security standards offered by Slack, I feel there is still something you can do about it. This space has just opened up and can accommodate quite a few players along with Slack.
Though I always reserve myself from blatant promotion but our immensely talented team at OpenXcell have created our very own and awesome collaboration tool called WorkHive and it is out there for your free download.
This is a report by App Annie of Google Play apps by revenue of December 2014.
You can see AVG Anti-Virus security at the bottom. You would argue that other all are above it in the list, but you should also keep in mind the AVG entered the top 10 download chart in Google play, last year.
The rise of Cheetah Mobile’s Clean Master and Clean Master Security to 5th and 8th spots respectively asserts the opportunity for well working and usable apps in the category.
Mobile apps are essentially software and all software, no matter how robust, has a weak point. The black-hat hackers keep looking for them continuously. As the number of apps increase, so the threats and malware increasing the scope for Anti-Virus and security related apps more and more.
The increase in enterprise-grade apps may also just open the flood gates of opportunities the developers have been eyeing upon, in this category for long.
The team of experts at OpenXcell can always help you with your idea with discussion and insights. Feel free to drop a line.