5 incredible app innovations to watch this week
This week, there have been some particularly notable achievements in the mobile app community, and most of which are from apps you’ve probably never heard of until now. From a new Craigslist competitor to one of the proudest leaders of the 2018 Women’s March, here are five incredible app innovations that made their marks this week:
App innovations in business
1) WhatsApp Business
Known up to this point as a standard instant messaging app, WhatsApp is now taking another approach to how its content can be used: it now offers a free Android-only communication channel for small businesses. WhatsApp has been planning this move for quite some time, but now that it’s finally here, it’s time to look at what this could mean for their newly targeted, business-centric customers.
Essentially, this critical change to the app provides a common platform on which businesses can make posts, send messages, and utilize advanced digital tools to manage everyday business procedures with optimal communication. This operates similarly to how a Facebook page works now but also illustrates WhatsApp’s desire to take its wildly popular platform to the next level.
Here are some specific capabilities of the app:
- Quick replies. With this new feature, small businesses will now be able to pre-set customer service messages to customers’ frequently asked questions.
- Messaging statistics. With this new feature, businesses will also be able to keep track of data associated with their messages and therefore their specific customer interactions.
- Scalability for global industries. While this new app has initially been marketed to small businesses, it also has strong aspirations of becoming a widely utilized tool in much bigger industries, specifically those with a global customer base.
While that last point is still in the works, it doesn’t detract from the fact that WhatsApp has some serious plans hidden away for the near future. It will be interesting to see how this app takes flight when it starts to become the liaison between the customer and industry giants like Delta. This is just another example of how mobile apps are critical for business, especially when they can now give so much power to both buying and selling sides.
Another app that made a big splash this week is Letgo, an app that allows you to buy and sell things your online. This app, which has been on a mission to defeat Craigslist since its inception, has now become even more of a threat. With the addition of housing listings, customers can not only buy and sell their items but their real estate as well. This, along with vehicles sales and employment notices, has been a critical advantage for sites like Craigslist, and so it’s promising to see such a relatively young platform chip away at leveling the playing field.
While they will still have to work much harder to completely level that field, it is safe to say that Letgo will be introducing its new feature to a sufficiently large, robust, and welcoming consumer base. With over 200 million listings since its launch and an estimated app activity of “tens of millions monthly,” one can infer how well this new update is likely going to be received. Of our app innovations today, this app is particularly impressive within the context of a younger company fighting valiantly against the established and formidable Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
App innovations in social
This Saturday was home to the 2nd annual Women’s March, which took place all over the world. With this being such an important and momentous event with such a profound purpose, it just makes sense that the wildly vocal app Crunchet made its debut this year to help lead the way. Crunchet is an app created to help merge all of your social media channels into one. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or just about any other outlet, you can be assured that your message will be shared the right away, and reach everyone in your circle.
This app is simply perfect for an event with such incredible scale and cultural relevance as the Women’s March, and that’s why the Women’s March Alliance specifically allied with them for just such an occasion. And the best part? It was a huge success. With the use of this app, millions of women around the world were able to unify under one platform and have their voices heard in a way like never before.
Speaking of making a social impact, Yahoo Finance recently launched an app that makes it much more fun to save (you heard that right). With Tanda, groups of 5 or 9 friends can share a circle to save money together. Here’s how this works:
- Each person in your group contributes a fixed amount of money into the pool every month.
- At the end of the month, one person gets to collect the pot on a rotational basis.
- The more you contribute, the higher your rank, allowing you to contribute more to higher value circles, as well as to have a higher “payout position” in the circle.
While this may sound more like a game than one of our listed app innovations at first, it’s important to look into where this idea all came from. Tanda initially came into being as a project by Yahoo to help individuals reach their financial goals without accumulating more debt. The app is especially geared toward the current demographic of people trying to find jobs and housing in this challenging economy (largely millennials), which speaks more to the social reach of this new technology.
Given these unfavorable conditions, Yahoo recognized that this group doesn’t get many opportunities to save significantly, so Tanda is their answer to this crippling problem in the country. The app should offer these individuals a better way of saving, while also incorporating a little bit of fun and mystery too.
App innovations in entertainment
5) Google Arts and Culture
On a lighter note, if you haven’t heard about how Google can figure out which classical painting you look like, then now’s the time.
More seriously, Google has released a new feature for one of its pre-existing apps, Google Arts and Culture, and it allows you to upload a picture of yourself to get a percentage match with existing artwork around the world. This is an innovative application of facial software recognition, a concept that is becoming increasingly mainstream ever since Apple’s release of the iPhone X a few months ago.
Google’s Arts and Culture has made an incredible impact on the entertainment world, decimating apps like Messenger and YouTube in free downloads from the app store. This app’s ever-growing popularity is intriguing, and it will be interesting to see what other uses of facial recognition technology could emerge from these fun and humble beginnings.
How can we help you innovate?
At Luminos Labs, we’re committed to staying on top of the industry’s latest trends. More importantly, we’re committed to making sure that you are too. If you’re interested in learning more about how mobile apps can pave the way for innovation in your business, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember, there’s no cost or expectations associated with initial consultations.