Just days after Instagram’s accidental rollout of new messaging service Bolt, Mobli, the mobile app maker now famous for its Yo app, is launching its own photo-message app called Mirage today.
The app lets users send a picture or video by tapping on a contact; pressing down the contact will initiate a video message. You can also add text. The app’s functionality mimics TapTalk, and like SnapChat the messages self-destruct.
What differentiates Mirage from some these competitors is that you can send messages via SMS to people who don’t have the app. The app will also add your favorite contacts once you link it to your phone number.
Yo has found enormous success in a short amount of time. Last month the app surpassed a million users. “We’ve learned from Yo that the simpler you make it the better it gets,” Mobli co-founder Moshe Hogeg told VentureBeat.
Increased simplicity is definitely the name of the game for social apps, if Yo is any indication. And other app developers seem to agree. TapTalk, SnapChat, and Tap, a one touch location sharing app, are all geared towards making communication as effortless as possible.
Only Facebook’s social messaging app Slingshot seems to eschew simplicity. The app forces users to send a message in order to receive a message, which is just an unnatural way to communicate, though it’s hard to gauge the success of the app just yet.
As the field grows and clones continue to emerge, one of the most interesting ways one-tap apps will differentiate themselves is through their marketing department. “I would never send something to my brother on SnapChat. People use SnapChat to send funny stuff, awkward stuff, sexy stuff,” Hogeg said.
It’s true SnapChat has a reputation for being that quirky app, popular with kids for sending goofy messages. Hogeg said he wants to pitch his app as a way of making digital communication more like real life communication — a goal a lot of apps set and few achieve. But also one that focuses on the app’s functionality over its cool factor.
Because these apps are so simple, much of their success will hinge on presentation. How Mobli positions Mirage against Instagram’s eventual Bolt or TapTalk may be more important than what the app actually does.