In February this year, Fred Wilson wrote a great piece about the need for mobile app “glue” (my words). Here is the exact phrasing:
“When I was at the music hackday a few weekends ago, I noticed that it was easy to build something interesting by simply snapping together a few web apps and then building some light glue between them. I suspect it will be even easier to do that on mobile and the era of “meta apps” that deliver functionality across multiple apps is upon us. And I think that has the potential to create some new startup opportunities.”
Well, Kik has become one of the first gluemakers. Read their blog post – The Kik SDK: Build Real-Time Sharing into Your App in 10 Minutes.
Kik has provided a device resident SDK so that application developers can build sharing into their apps. It is such a powerful idea – sharing done on the device. Until now, if a mobile app developer wanted to do sharing, that capability had to be basically hosted “in the cloud”. Think about picplz & instagram. They have had to use Facebook, Twitter and other “web” platforms, and connect to them via some cloud servers. Well, with Kik’s SDK, mobile apps can now share “natively” on their mobile platform. No more cloud – huzzah!
‘Everything is better with friends’ By giving your users the ability to share with each other in real time, your app will be that much more fun and compelling (see the Sketchee story below). Sharing can also give a big boost in adoption – when a user who doesn’t have your app receives a Kik content message from it, Kik offers to take them directly to your download page where they can install it. All of a sudden you aren’t asking your users to share your app with their friends, but to share content from your app with their friends – content that requires them to get your app to view and interact with it. It’s the difference between inviting someone to join a social network vs. tagging a photo of them that requires them to join the social network to view it. And best of all, it will only take you 10 minutes to add this kind of functionality to your app.
On top of all that, Kik is giving away $5000 to each of the top three applications built on their SDK. Finish your app by August 8th and you can get in on that.