January 5, 2015

Trends for 2015: Light apps, unbundled experiences

A timelapse created with Instagram’s Hyperlapse, one of a new breed of apps.

Why people are loving Facebook Messenger, RWND & Hyperlapse

Ayelet NoffThe past year has been a year of exciting revolutions in the mobile universe. New mobile messaging and sharing platforms in every conceivable medium — images, videos, texts and even two-letter words — are constantly inventing and reinventing new ways for us to communicate.

With different apps available in different mediums, communication is getting better. In the past we may have thought that the most convenient platform for messaging or socializing would be a one-stop-shop that enables communication across multiple mediums. These days, the latest trend is apps becoming ‘‘light.’’ With specialized apps becoming more popular and concise, it’s become clear that we no longer require a single outlet for our social mobile needs when different platforms can suit our specific needs perfectly and better convey a tailored experience.

Despite early resistance, Facebook Messenger was the most downloaded free app for iPhones in 2014, passing both WhatsApp and Snapchat

With unbundling becoming a growing trend, we’re starting to see more and more specialized apps with unique advantages. Facebook’s Messenger app is a great example. When Facebook first launched the new app, users were reluctant to adopt the unbundled app. Complaints and angry op-eds were everywhere. Yet despite early resistance, Facebook Messenger was the most downloaded free app for iPhones in 2014, passing both WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Some were also skeptical about Instagram’s Hyperlapse, which has been extremely popular with users and made it onto several best of 2014 lists. Hyperlapse features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic feel, as the Instagram blog puts it. Yo (disclosure: Yo is a Blonde 2.0 client), which is a zero character messenger app with one feature, has garnered incredible success worldwide, emphasizing people’s desire for light, sleek and simple apps.

RWND: A focus on simplicity & fun

Another great example is RWND (disclosure: RWND is a Blonde 2.0 client). RWND is a light, simple and fun applet, with one function: an instant replay button. It lets users create an endless loop of their perfect moments; a baby’s first steps, a proposal, or your idiot brother falling on his face attempting to jump over the family cat. Any video recorded or uploaded will play back and forth on an endless loop. RWND is all about one basic thing – fun! You’d be surprised how many hours you can spend watching loops of hilarious videos, created either by friends or random strangers using the app.

The RWND team previously worked on a video sharing social network called Zarfo. They noticed that users were always skipping back to short moments in a video, uploading long videos when all they really needed is 2.5 seconds. That’s how they came up with RWND (in only 30 days). They realized their users were looking for something clean and simple, and they gave them exactly what they wanted.

Both the mobile world in general and the app universe specifically are constantly changing and evolving. At the moment everything is shifting toward unbundling and lighter, simpler apps in general. Everyone is following this trend – and with social media giants like Instagram and Facebook are already on board, many more are sure to follow in the near future.Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

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