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The Week in Mobile: June 21-27, 2015

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Salesforce expands mobile support features, browser vendors launch WebAssembly, studies suggest usage data key to app success and more


Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Salesforce Expands Mobile Support Offerings

Salesforce is moving deeper into customer service for apps with a new private beta of Service for Apps. The beta includes the ability to instant message with help agents inside an app, providing user context to the agent in order to better understand and meet customer needs. Additionally, Service for Apps includes tap-to-call function and the ability to provide users with articles and FAQs which are crowdsourced to create the most relevant response to a customer question. The company’s mobile SOS service, a button for initiating one-way video streaming with customer service agents, will also become more widely available. The beta is currently iOS only.

Browser Vendors Launch WebAssembly

Mozilla is working with Google, Microsoft and WebKit engineers on WebAssembly, a new binary format for web applications, which will allow developers to create faster, more powerful web experiences. The intent is for WebAssembly to provide developers with a single compilation target for the web that will, eventually, become a web standard supported in all browsers. It is expected to make Web app creation easier for developers, and users stand to gain Web apps with performance and functionality on par with desktop apps. The idea isn’t to replace JavaScript, but complement it – with WebAssembly being most useful for performance critical code and compiling other languages to the web platform.

Recent Stats on Mobile App Usage Suggest Usage Data Is Key to Success

Last week, ReadWrite contributor Matt Asay dug into recent studies on mobile app usage and what those numbers mean for developers. His conclusion? Developers need to spend more time thinking about user data and how to use it to deliver an exceptional experience if they want to succeed. While a recent study by Go-Globe found that 89 percent of time on mobile devices is spent in apps and overall time is up 21 percent from last year, a BI Intelligence Report says more than half of that time is spent inside a user’s two most used apps. What’s more, Recode highlights the harsh stat that 25% of apps are used once, then get deleted. That’s why, according to Asay, mobile strategies must extend beyond just getting an app built, and in order to stay competitive, a more comprehensive understanding of what your users do and what they value is needed.

The Internet of Things Predicted Have Huge Economic Opportunity

According to a McKinsey study, companies who embrace and adapt to new connected technology stand to make major gains. The study predicts that by 2025 the Internet of things will create between $4 trillion and $11 trillion in economic benefits globally, with profits going to device-makers, new businesses and consumers, who are saving due to better-run products. However, not everyone thinks it will be smooth sailing for IoT. Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Labs, points out IoT creates new entry points for attack. He warns that companies looking to adopt new connected technologies be cautious.

Facebook Messenger Looks to Increase User Base

In an attempt to increase its user base, Facebook Messenger no longer requires a Facebook account to use the app. That means Messenger users can choose to log in with a Facebook account or just a phone number. Since Messenger launched as a standalone app a year ago, the platform has received several updates that aim to attract more users, improve user experience and keep those users engaged for longer periods of time. It’s possible that this most recent update will attract a larger user base and businesses, who could connect with Messenger by phone rather than Facebook profile.

Twitter Announces Product Pages and Collections

Twitter announced new functionality that will allow users to more easily discover products and places. The new product pages and collections houses tweets, basic product information and even allows users to make purchases. It’s the company’s latest advancement in e-commerce following the roll-out of “buy” buttons last fall. The goal is to provide more information and content around specific products encourage purchases. Twitter also hopes the new functionality will improve user experience by providing more personalized and relevant information.

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