Post originally published on The Next Web When marketers approach outside consulting, they often expect to hear what they should do. In reality, however, they’ll most likely get feedback on actions they’d better stop taking. In the mobile marketing business, this includes features they should not develop or (if developed) remove from their product. It’s a common phenomenon that entrepreneurs go to the apps that have made a name for themselves in the market and directly copy the successful features from those apps into their own apps. This is a big mistake, as not all features achieve the desired goals in every app – each app has its own needs and processes. The following list presents four of the most abused and misused app features available. If you’re in the mobile app business, I recommend you check the list to see which features you’re having trouble integrating into your product for no reason.
The “share” feature can be a great tool in many applications and serves as a catalyst to reach more users. However, other apps that don’t rely on social interaction between users and don’t have inherent virality at their core, may not need that feature. Unfortunately, many apps don’t realize that and implement this feature simply because it has become a staple in the industry. For example, an alarm clock application does not require social interaction between users to fulfill its purpose because it fulfills a utility need. Implementing the “Share” feature in such an app would most likely not be necessary as the app offers no interesting content that users can share with their friends. In this case, I advise app makers to choose between the following options: remove the feature and keep the app’s clean, simple look, or give people a good reason to share app content. For example, let users share the average number of times they hit the ‘snooze’ button before fully waking up.
Like Share, gamification can be effective, but only under the right circumstances. In some social applications, gamification can exert its appeal by increasing competition and attracting users back to the application, ultimately increasing user retention. However, there are too many examples of Web and mobile products in which gamification is understood as confusing and unnecessary. Let’s take a look at the Google News Badge – in 2011 the service introduced a feature that allowed users to accumulate badges as they read more about a certain news topic. Now, is there a real value to this feature? Do we really care how many articles we read in each topic? Most people would say no, which is why this feature is construed as confusing, unhelpful, and doesn’t advance any of Google News’ goals. Another example is Swarm’s feature that allows a user to become a “mayor” after visiting a certain place the most times within the last 30 days. This feature has attracted negative attention, for the same reason as Google’s feature – it doesn’t provide users with any value and as a result doesn’t advance Swarm’s business goals. Bad gamification can annoy users as they may also consider it unnecessary and make the overall impression of your product seem silly, negatively impacting how they perceive it. Generally speaking.
Geolocation has turned many applications into huge successes. Tinder, Snapchat, and Foursquare are apps that rely on or have successfully implemented this technology to leverage their marketing goals. On the other hand, some apps are getting it all wrong. Since geographic location has made many applications successful, it has become a “trend” and many applications implement the technology when it is not important to the functionality of the application. Such app developers not only add unnecessary features to their apps, making the app more complicated than it actually is, but also negatively affect their users. When asked to share their location, users are often surprised and some even delete the app immediately. So if geolocation is only implemented in your app because that’s what “all the cool kids are doing”, then you should definitely get rid of it. profile building Allowing users to create their own user profiles began more than a decade ago with social media platforms. Users love the idea of having a page that belongs entirely to them. They can edit it and share content and information about themselves with friends online. Profiles have become just as famous and are now a ubiquitous feature in many of the most dominant desktop apps of our time – mobile devices. Social apps and games in particular allow users to create and edit their own profiles. The main benefit of such profiles is that they make things more personal. On the other hand, some apps give users the option to create a profile, simply because it’s become so familiar in the tech world, without thinking about how it actually contributes to the experience. user. The Skype app, for example, allows users to create their own profile and publish their “status”. While this seems natural to many of us, it doesn’t add any value as we don’t “discover” new people on the app, but instead talk to new people. people we already know and so a profile picture and name is enough. This is a serious drawback for applications for two main reasons. Firstly, it complicates things, and second, users may not be excited to fill out profiles, making perfectly functioning communities seem dull and inactive. I continue to be curious how difficult the process of removing features from the app is for entrepreneurs. They spend time developing the features and elements of their product and have trouble separating themselves from the process. Sometimes what app creators need is to take a step back and have an objective perspective to help them through this challenging editing process.