Welcome to Tuesday Trends a new installment of thoughts on trends that affect your leadership and outreach to youth. Some of the thoughts are new and some are well known. Regardless which of these is true for you my intent is to translate the motive and logic behind each so you can chase the thought down a little bit more.

Mobile Apps
In a recent study, by the firm Harrison Webber, research results conveyed that digital natives are growing increasingly creative and even more integrated in both technology and social media as a means of expression. The study which was aimed at the future of classroom education reinforced the reality that the future of outreach, education, and marketing is already in the palm of our hand with mobile phones and tablets.

In response to the digital advances in mobile technology brands are pushing and pursuing app based platforms to target teens, tweens, and millenials with both their product and message. This has dramatically changed the online landscape where websites, fanpages, and social media outlets are taking a backseat to feature rich and instant publication that mobile apps offer.

Implications for Youth Work

Smaller – Apps are no longer consider as an additional feature to create cool points with your audience. Instead, mobile apps are now a serious necessity as technology hardware and advances become smaller and more portable. You literally can accomplish the majority of tasks and connectivity with your smartphone as you could with your desktop or laptop. Pushing the envelope has made content delivery unlimited with smartphones. Last year alone 40% of all Facebook visits were through mobile apps and this number continue to increase. Last years most requested Christmas gift of teens and tweens was either an ipad or smartphone. Brands have realized that the future conduit for communication with the next largest generation ever will be via mobile apps.

Clean Connection – You still need a website but if your website is not social media friendly and functionally connected to your social media offerings and app services you’re shooting yourself in the foot. An app with push notifications, user rich experiences, and community engagement can and should seamlessly birth itself into your online site as an anchor. This will permit you to continue the conversation and add more context to your information, action, and representation. Get your site updated… yesterday.

App Clients – You don’t need to know code to have an app. The market for user friendly app builders is growing. As this market grows prices will decrease and ease will become even more user friendly. For a moderate monthly fee you can custom build an app with friendly templates, publish to any smartphone platform and begin create a presence for your mission.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that mobile apps are the future website but now more than ever you will be challenged to create this conduit if you want to connect intentionally and efficiently.

The Cusp – Mobile Apps are now offering brands opportunity to be seriously accessible, visibly present, and community cultivators with gamification, check-ins, push notifications, and rich content delivery solutions setting them apart from competition. The window of apps as just cool points is closed and it’s now the next platform to have.

Start your research here.

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