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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

The Rise of Video-Based Mobile Apps

What made the date of June 29th, 2007 so important? The first iPhone was introduced to the world. Now in 2018, just eleven years later, smartphones dictate the course of worldwide communication and the global economy. So where is the next decade of technology taking us? All signs point to the rise and revolution of video-based mobile applications. When it comes to startups, that means consumers want a direct relationship with businesses, brands and one another through live and static video content.

According to Fortune Magazine, the most Popular apps of 2017 were:

  1. YouTube.
  2. Facebook Messenger.
  3. Instagram.
  4. Facebook.
  5. Google Maps.
  6. Netflix.
  7. Spotify.
  8. Uber.

Number one, Youtube, is a video-based mobile application. Four out of eight of those mobile applications predominantly feature video content. Let’s face it: consumers are drawn to meaningful engagement and conversation. And you don’t get more meaningful or engaged than with video-based mobile apps. The setup is conducive to quick, meaningful communication. Video shows you exactly what is going on, and presents a full story, not just a static image. Live-streaming, especially, is making video apps more and more relevant for news outlets as well as artists and businesses. You can take a user inside the world of your product or story with the click of a button and connect with users the world over.

In 2016 it was recorded that 55% of app developers make less than $1000 on the sale of their apps. The average UK consumer has 36 apps on his/her device. The apps that don’t get used are the ones the consumer isn’t interested in. And the ones the consumer isn’t interested in are those that essentially have a poor user experience, either caused by latency, a lack of organized content/ usability, or a poor design/ user interface. Many apps are deleted by users within one day of downloading. Only five apps are documented to be used regularly. To have an impact on a target audience, and to keep that audience engaged, a business has to directly address these factors. Video-based mobile applications are already taking these factors into consideration and not only retaining users, but engaging them so that the relationship is ongoing.

Video-based mobile applications are on the rise because technology is evolving, and at a rapid pace. Our phones are getting faster, smarter and more accurate with the development of AI and the Wireless Network. This is crucial for the future of video-based mobile app development because the future of these video-based mobile apps is contingent upon one thing. One very important thing.

And that is speed.

No one wants to see a spinning wheel. The spinning wheel represents frustration. It is the new “waiting in line.” And no one wants to wait in line anymore. When it comes to web-based searching most users don’t sit for anything more than 59 seconds. So, if a website doesn’t speak to a user in under a minute, they are gone. With the introduction of 4G networks, consumers were able to access content faster than the web would allow. In fact 62% of millennials actually prefer to make a purchase with a mobile app instead of the web. Web development is improving its interaction with users now by utilizing this knowledge, making websites more app-like in nature. Now that 5G is entering the scene, this need for speed will become an expectation. And with video-based mobile apps the expectation will be high, higher than any other sector. There will be no patience for seconds of time wasted. However, with the introduction of 5G, direct connection at lightning speed will be possible. And with this direct engagement, businesses will be able to reach consumers at the exact time, with the exact right message, the world over–whenever they want.

With the introduction video-apps such as Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, etc. new visual storytelling formats have been born. Vine would allow the user to create and stream a video in under 10 seconds and Snapchat and Instagram followed suit, limiting the the time of shared video by users. Facebook has allowed for longer video-sharing capabilities, due to its wider audience. Instagram has just rolled out IGTV, Instagram TV, a video-based arm of its social media strategy that allows for people to essentially create youtube channels on their instagram accounts.

Video-based apps will become more and more popular in Android and Apple app stores. Users will continue to focus their time and energy in using these to connect quickly and meaningfully with peers and businesses. For startups, this knowledge is incredibly important when developing strategic plans for the next decade. If you want to have an influence with your business, you will need to take mobile-based video apps into consideration.

It’s plain to see: Video is where it’s at. And it is where it is going to be. Whether or not there is life on Mars is still a question. Whether or not a video-based mobile app is the way to go is not.

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