A successful approach to Apps


We are in the midst of some heavy riffing on what makes for a good digital app here at F/F, and have noticed that many of our favourite apps fall into what we are calling the 3S formula:

Simple + Social = Successful

A highlight app on heavy rotation across mobile and tablet at the moment is photo sharing app Instagram. It exemplifies the 3S formula perfectly.

Simple: Take photo, apply filter, share. View photos from other and Like.

Social: API connectivity to your existing social accounts (twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc). Internal user follows and easy activity streams/notifications.

Successful: In the case of Instagram, it has recognised that content, not connections is the primary currency. Users come together through mutual content appreciation as well as existing connections.

I only have one personal experience of content bringing two people together as users in say Facebook (excluding people joining a page). In Instagram it’s a given much like Twitter that if you post interesting images you will attract followers, likewise if you see interesting content you will follow.

Flickr before it managed this social connectivity by content appreciation well as a website, but their app has never quite delivered for me – so much so that Instagram is my workflow tool for day to day photo saving to my Flickr account.

This is where the Simple factor is such a fine balance and increasingly we are finding an attraction to the most controlled and refined in terms of number of tasks the app performs.

Better 3 or 4 focused apps for individual tasks than a one stop does all – especially with the limited real-estate of the smallest mobile and touch devices.

As is said in these parts Keep It Simple Idiot.

Our top 5 3S apps will follow soon.

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