The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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The Trouble With Social Apps

I recently downloaded the new version of Bump for Android. It is billed as cross platform because you can bump an iPhone and myTouch and exchange files. On both phones, the app performs similarly, except for a few differences like the interaction with the menu being button driven on a myTouch. With the iPhone in my right hand and the myTouch in my left I could tap the two phones and make a photo move "magically" from the iPhone on which I took it to the Android powered device.via

It all works very much as merchandised, but the problem is without both phones having the app, there's no value. If my friend doesn't have the app downloaded, it's just as simple to attach the photo to an email and send it along. In that scenario, I don't have to wait for my friend to download the app and set up their profile so they can receive my file, which I would have to do if Bump wasn't on their phone already. And what if they don't have a phone with an app store? Couldn't I use Bluetooth to accomplish the same thing? Bump without ubiquitous "bump-ability" is like the sound of one hand clapping.

Which brings me to the problem with social apps.

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