Scringo offers an SDK for mobile app developers who want to add community building features like activity feeds and in-app messaging to their apps with just a few lines of code. After several months of closed beta testing, the company just announced the launch of its platform for all iOS and Android developers. In addition to the launch, the company also announced that it has raised a $700,000 seed round led by Israeli venture fund Inimiti and other angel investors.
The focus of this new version is on the new dashboard that gives developers full control over the user experience and also provides them with the opportunity to monetize their apps through Scringo’s contextual app discover service (this is completely optional). The improved interface, Scringo co-founder Ran Avrahamy told me earlier this week, was largely designed based on the feedback the company got from the roughly 1,000 developers who are currently using the service. So far, these developers have published more than 250 apps that are currently available in Apple’s App Store and through Google Play.
Most apps, the Scringo team believes, are built with a “built it and they will come” mentality. In reality, however, getting people to try an app is only half the battle and developers need to figure out new ways to increase retention now that users are becoming increasingly fickle about the apps they use.
Apps that already use the service’s activity streams and other social features, Avrahamy told me, saw their average retention increase by almost 90% and the average time users spent in the app increased by almost 100%. As Avrahamy told me, the record for implementing the free service is currently under two minutes.
Another feature that is helping developers to retain users is the in-app messaging tool, which Avrahamy told me, most of the company’s customers are also using to receive feedback from their users and to communicate with them.
In the mobile apps, Scringo lives in a fully customizable sidebar that is opened by swiping to the left or right. This, the company says, provides an unobtrusive interface that gives developers the flexibility to keep all of their apps’ feature intact while still adding new real estate to their apps through the sidebar. The service does not interfere with the existing app and developers can choose whether they want to show Scringo’s logo in the sidebar or not.
As Avrahamy noted, the sidebar is fully customizable. Indeed, the center piece of today’s launch is the new “Developer Zone” which makes it extremely easy to make changes to how the sidebar looks in the app. All of these tweaks are automatically reflected in the app itself, so developers don’t have to make any changes to the code and don’t have to send an update to Apple or Android.