The Pros and Cons of Forcing Mobile Users into Mobile Apps
Forcing mobile browser users into mobile apps might seem like a good idea, but is it really the best way to gain traction for companies? While some may argue that it is, others believe that it is a flawed strategy that could actually harm the company in question.
Those in favor of mobile apps argue that they offer marketing benefits, such as displaying the company’s logo on the user’s home screen. Additionally, they believe that mobile apps provide better push notifications and offer features that are not available on the web, such as the ability to use the accelerometer. However, critics point out that users who have already been attracted to the web experience may prefer to stay there, rather than being forced into a “walled garden” where the app store takes a chunk of the company’s revenue and may dictate the app’s styling.
Furthermore, apps can be less user-centric than the web, which puts the user in control. Users cannot block ads or telemetry in an app and are often unable to prevent tracking, which undermines their privacy. Also, users cannot easily save their favorite content from an app without the company’s permission.
Even though companies may believe that they can extract more revenue by getting more mobile web users onto their apps, this strategy may be flawed. For example, they may not have a clear idea of how to properly model the value of their users. They may also not know how to split users into contributors and lurkers, which can impact engagement.
Another issue with forcing users into apps is that it may increase friction for users to replace a specific app with a competing one. This may be the main reason why companies prefer to boost their mobile numbers instead of focusing on user research.
Despite the pros and cons of forcing mobile users into mobile apps, it is clear that companies should be more cautious when implementing such a strategy. While apps can be useful, they should not be used at the expense of the user experience. Companies should always prioritize their users and consider their needs when making decisions about app development. By doing so, they can create apps that not only generate revenue but also enhance the user experience.
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Author Eliza Ng