WTF??!?! Launch the lifeboats, it’s all over! This blog may be a bit tricky to write coming from an agency that actually creates the things that are about to become extinct. We’re even blogging about their imminent demise on a website, oh the irony!
Before we all pause and observe a moment’s silence, what crazy person has made this bold claim? Step forward, Facebook’s director of product design, John Lax.
Maybe he has a point. Increasingly, companies, news outlets and many others are providing their services by building in, and on top of, outside mobile platforms and operating systems that dictate how they should look.
The key driver is the proliferation of mobile devices and the two dominant operating systems, Android and iOS, and the apps they brought. Apps are brilliant, but ask yourself, how many do you really use. John says 7 is the magic number and we think he’s probably spot on. The rest just take up valuable space and may be used once in a blue moon. Obviously he thinks Facebook is going to be in there, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, a weather app, news app and a browser, …and we’re at 7 already.
John, despite the vested interest in his point of view, makes a really good point. ‘If you’re a company and you are building an app, you really have to ask yourself: How can you be one of the seven? Statistically speaking, there are a few million apps in the app store, and they can’t all be in your seven. Power is just concentrating, in a way.’ We think, and it’s just our opinion, if you’re a small or medium size business, forget about apps. Even if you build something with an amazing user interface, great look and you have a great product/service, how are you going to break into those 7?
So if you’re not going to build your own app, what are your options? Well, we don’t think it’s all over for the humble website. One of the 7 will be Safari, Chrome or another browser. It’s not like Google are saying search is over. It really isn’t. We think it’s being smart with your marketing mix and learning to embrace the opportunities that exist within the 7 apps that your clients and customers use alongside other channels. Sure, you’re losing some ability to be unique as your message will be carried within a predefined ecosystem but they enable you to reach an audience that you would otherwise not be able to get at. We still believe that your website is still massively important as part of your marketing strategy. Potential customers will almost certainly check it out to find out more about you.
While the landscape is shifting, we think that the death of the website is being exaggerated. What is great though, that these guys are investing massively in platforms that can carry your message to new audiences really efficiently and effectively. They should be part of your marketing mix… give us shout if you want to talk it through… as always, we’ll get the coffee!