Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
3/30/2011
08:17 AM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
Commentary
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AppMakr Adds Social Networking To App Development

What would you pay somebody--or a firm--to develop a mobile application for your business? I'm talking about an app that lets your customers use their smartphones to get news about your company, check out promos, and browse through products.

What would you pay somebody--or a firm--to develop a mobile application for your business? I'm talking about an app that lets your customers use their smartphones to get news about your company, check out promos, and browse through products.What if I told you that you could develop an app like that for free? Well, you can, with a product called AppMakr. But that's not even the news I want to share with you today. AppMakr's been around for a little while now. What's new is something called Socialize, a feature that lets users communicate with each other from inside an application.

"This is a transformative thing. Every app has a community of users that has never been able to socialize around the app, until now," says Daniel R. Odio, CEO of AppMakr. "This social layer is baked into every one of our apps, allowing communities to engage with each other and with the app's core content. They can comment inside the app to each other. They can like, share, and comment on in-app content such as blog posts, images, and video…. It's as if we're turning the lights on in a room full of people who have never been able to communicate before."

Capitalizing on the trend toward wireless, AppMakr just made its app-creation offering available for Android and Windows phones--a smart move considering analyst firm IDC's prediction that mobile-content consumers will purchase more than 25 billion apps in 2011.

Up until now, application creation has been free, and that will continue to be the case, Odio says. But AppMakr will be monetizing its model come year's end. What will happen is this: App creators can opt to pay or be paid for the usage of their apps. In "pay" mode, the app creator runs its own ads in the application and pays a fee based on the number of people who use it. In "be paid" mode, AppMakr runs its ads in the app and the creator gets paid a percentage of AppMakr's profits.

Today, AppMakr has just under 100,000 users, and Odio says using it to develop a mobile app is as easy as using Gmail. AppMakr customers run the gamut, from small, local companies to well-known operations such as Newsweek, but 90% of the company's customers are SMBs.

A couple of examples of how businesses are using AppMakr: Red Heart, a company that makes yarn, has an app that lets users browse its products, search through patterns, find local retailers, access Facebook and Twitter feeds, and view YouTube videos. Romano's Hotel, a pub in New South Wales, has an app that provides patrons with entertainment info, promos, photo galleries, and live video.

Do you run a business and feel as if you're missing out on the mobile revolution? The social networking one? If so, you might want to take a look at the latest iteration of AppMakr.

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