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Depending on which chart you subscribe to or which article you read, Tel Aviv is either the fifth– or third-best startup ecosystem in the world.

The city in Israel has become known for innovative, early-stage companies, an apt description for Elasticode, a Techstars alumnus that provides real-time deployment of personalized mobile onboarding experiences.

Continuing the theme of innovation, Elasticode has today announced the launch of BackView Experiences, a solution that brings retargeting to a unique area of Apple’s iOS 9-powered devices — the app switcher.

Apple launched the app switcher in 2013 and redesigned the experience last year with the launch of iOS 9. As a mechanism for switching between apps, it works as well as any other, revealing apps as cards that you can flick through, rejoin, or remove from use.

But BackView Experiences make intelligent use of the app switcher to re-engage users, helping app marketers improve app conversion and retention rates. Our research shows that businesses with apps are spending between $10 and $20 to acquire a user, and some mobile games companies are spending much more, so increasing retention is — as DJ Khaled might put it — a major key-emoji.

Here’s how it works.

Let’s say that you’ve downloaded an app and you’re walking through the onboarding experience, or you’re about to make a purchase, but a phone call comes in. Or you get a message you can’t ignore. Or maybe you need to switch away to perform another task.

Notifications interrupt our activities all the time, in a world where, according to research, the average human attention span is now just eight seconds… oh look — a cat that raises its hands in the air.

Sorry. Where was I?

In a world where the average human attention span is now just eight seconds, that’s a realistic scenario.

As soon as you switch away, BackView Experiences gets to work. It places an eye-catching overlay on top of the app in the background, one that the Elasticode customer has full control over, including all the visual elements, text, transparency level, and more. Elasticode tells me that additional design options, such as being able to display a blurred screen or add call-to-action buttons, are coming soon.

Now, when you are looking through the cards in your app switcher later that day, instead of seeing the app — something that could easily meld into the background — you see the eye-catching retargeting message, one that causes you to rejoin the app to finish what you started.

Elasticode BackView Experiences in action when using the iOS app switcher

Above: Elasticode BackView Experiences in action when using the iOS app switcher

Image Credit: Elasticode

“With increasing churn rates and ad blockers becoming the new norm, the mobile industry’s shift in focus from acquisition to retention is more noticeable than ever,” Shai Wolkomir, cofounder and CEO at Elasticode told me. “BackView Experiences provide marketers with a creative and innovative new way to communicate with app users.”

Marketers can control how and when these retargeting messages appear.

The experiences can be displayed as the default choice whenever the app runs in the background. But that could cause the opposite of the intended effect — if you keep on pushing a “come back” message every time a user leaves, they may leave for good with the most permanent of all app user responses: the uninstall.

BackView Experiences therefore allows you to trigger based on specific app sections or user behavior. For example, an abandoned shopping cart could fire off a message reminding users what they were about to purchase, or a user could be encouraged to complete a registration process that was interrupted. For games developers, the feature could be used to send game tips to frustrated users that gave up mid-level.

The new experiences are available as part of Elasticode’s online studio from today and require no coding, App Store approval, or end-user updates. BackView Experiences work on devices that use iOS 8 or higher. Default display of a BackView Experience is available for all plans, whereas section- or segment-based experiences are available as part of the company’s “basic” plan and above.

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