Mobile Once Again Following In The Footsteps Of The Web With Deep Linking And “App Constellations”

There has been something very interesting happening in the mobile space for months now and very few people have noticed it. You see, for years now, the mobile landscape has been following the exact same path the web took a decade ago. Almost every trend we see in mobile can be traced back to something we saw on the web in the past.

This is true for search, it is true for advertising, monetization in general, and the latest trend, deep consolidation of apps. Different people call this trend different things. “App unbundling” “App Constellations“, and just “Consolidation” but whatever you want to call it, this is a trend that should not be ignored by any mobile publisher or company working in the space.

Some of the companies leading this trend include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Foursquare, Dropbox, Facebook, and of course, Apple. So what is this trend exactly?

google-apps-ios

Very simply put, the big companies are taking over your phone’s home screen like they did to your computer’s bookmarks a decade ago. Open your iPhone or Android device at any given moment and you will notice something very interesting. Well, that is assuming you are somewhat of an advanced mobile user. If you’re not, then you will see this trend soon but as always, this can be seen clearly with early adopters first.

Take Dropbox, for example. I used to have one Dropbox app on my phone that I would use to back up and access my files. Now? I have four. Dropbox, Mailbox, Carousel, and Loom. Google? Search, Drive, Docs, Gmail, Inbox, Google+, and Google Authenticator. Facebook? Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Paper, Pages, and the list goes on and on.

So, how does this affect the ecosystem? Well, for starters, similar to the way there were portals of content on the web in the past, now we are seeing the same phenomenon in apps. Think Yahoo and all the services you can access from the home page. Same thing goes for Google. As far as the user experience is concerned, this apps are for all intents and purposes one app network. That means that the user does not have to log in ten times but rather, one single log in for all these apps. It also means that the whole deep linking thing becomes a lot more seamless.

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Disclosure: Offer Yehudai is the President and Co-Founder of Inneractive, a company which specializes in selling the services described in this post. Please share your thoughts in the comments or on ...

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