The Generation of “Click Yes” AppsAugust 6, 2012
When was the last time you actually had to fill out a form to register for a web service or application? It seems like history, no? All we have to do now is click “yes” a series of times and we are logged in and a new service is filled with our data. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare Connect: just liberate the APIs and you will never have to fill out a form again. Writing a blogpost like this, with lots of letters and words, seems almost old-fashioned. We are now entering a time where the success of a web service is based on how easy it lets users click “yes”.
There are fascinating possibilities to make use of our data to our own good. But what seems convenient also bares the danger of losing data and control. Here are two examples for illustration and some hints for brands how to deal with this thin line between ease and privacy.
Vizify is a new service which pulls data from all of the above mentioned services and clusters them nicely into subjects, education, quotes, etc. It is a cool way to visualize what you’ve done during the last, well, years. This is just one of myriad examples for visualization of data pulled out of social networks. Brands can play on that field too, like Intel showed us with the museum of me or VW with “Meet the Volkswagens”. Both great examples for making creative use of all the unexplored user data inside the social networks.
For brands, here is a big chance to establish connections between their products, contents and the users. If they manage to understand the data in a way that relates it to the brand, they open up new automated ways to let people understand their services and products better. Which generates lots of touchpoints and possibilities for insights, marketing and of course sales.
But beware. With data comes responsibility. In times of the “Click Yes” apps it gets ever more complicated for users to know and decide which kind of access is necessary and justified. So we just go on and let things happen. And can be sometimes left with a bad feeling after discovering what an app can do on our behalf.
The latest craze on Facebook is Songpop, where users compete against each other in guessing song artists and titles in different categories. It also comes as mobile app so you sit on the train and guess songs against friends and the interface is surprisingly smooth and straightforward.
But just like Farmville in the good old days, Songpop shares almost every event on the Facebook timeline of its users: what you guessed, how fast, against who you competed and which level you released. Part of the viral success indeed but also very annoying. A simple advice is appropriate here: always select the “share only with me” option whenever an app wants to act on your behalf on Facebook. So you never risk to get on the nerves of your friends with sharing from an app.
Marketers are always keen on these viral effects, ask themselves and their agency how to build in sharing and invite features into their apps. Here is our advice: Leave it to the control of the users what they want to share. If the content is interesting and also necessary for their own success it will come naturally. Build apps that are easy to use and straightforward, but use the connect features to only pull the data you really need and you will have longterm success without leaving a bad feeling amongst your followers.