For mobile app developers, “discovery” is the most important key to the success.
Appboy, an Edmonton-based startup has created a SDK (software development kit) that caters to “check-ins” and enables developers to easily get their apps discovered.
How it works:
Using the Appboy+ SDK tool developers are able to integrate a check-in feature, allowing users to share their check-ins with Facebook or Twitter within the app. It works somewhat like Glue, an app that helped extend the “check-in” craze beyond just “places” like Foursquare’s main agenda.
This free form of advertising sends out the “check-in” as a tweet or Facebook share with a link to the app on Appboy’s site, where users can get more information, reviews, ratings and see other users checking-in in real-time.
Aside from sharing with social networks, after a developer has added the Appboy logo and check-in feature, users will be able to earn badges, points, receive promotions and get recommendations based on the apps they “use” not download.
The gaming mechanics of the “badges” have been included and come with 15 possible badges that users can earn for utilizing the check-in feature, similar to using Foursquare. But with Appboy check-ins, instead of becoming a “mayor,” users compete to become the “Captain” of the app.
Not including the Apple approval process, it only takes 10 minutes for developers to implement and it’s capable of getting your app discovered overnight, the founder told us.
We spoke with Mark Ghermezian earlier today about how he’s trying to solve one of the biggest issues in the app market — discovery.
In the first 2 weeks of launching the iOS check-in SDK, Appboy gathered over 250 sign-ups and it’s being used across all types of apps, not specific to any one category, Ghermezian mentioned. He says that Appboy check-ins aim to solve two things; discovery for the developer and recommendations for the user. He tells us that users who have the ability to use Appboy+ check-ins are using the feature 50% of the time and he said “that’s huge”.
What Motivates users to check-in?
This unique, clever software development kit for check-ins motivates users to share what app their using and rewards them with a series of badges. There are 15 badges in total ranging from “newbie” stickers to “captain” of the app.
Another thing that drives users to check-ins is prizes. Appboy brings developers a way to design custom campaigns to offer their users promotions when they utilize the feature. For example, “The 100th person to check-in at 1pm will receive a $25 iTunes giftcard.”
More Features Coming
The Check-in sharing feature currently only works with Twitter and Facebook but Ghermezian tells us Foursquare will be added shortly. Additionally by the end of next quarter we should see the SDK available for Windows Mobile 7 and Android. Appboy is additionally working on an in-app chat feature so users will have the ability to chat with other users of the app in real-time.
The Bottom Line:
Appboy’s SDK is a solid tool that developers should consider adding within their arsenal of app marketing strategies. The SDK also includes numerous great motivators to encourage users to check-in; promotions, recommendations, badges and the ability to share.
Developers can get access for free by filling out the form at Appboy.com/sdk.
Users can begin a profile at Appboy.com to find new apps, see who’s “checking in” and read reviews.