App makers all agree on one thing: user retention is a huge challenge. By some estimates, the average Android app loses 77 per cent of its DAUs within the first 3 days after install. Within 30 days, that figure rises to 90 per cent. And within 90 days, it’s over 95 per cent. The solution? Better social features and the resulting network effects.
Or so says Tapglue, the Berlin-based startup that wants to make it easy for developers to build social into their app. The company, which exits private Beta today, provides an API and mobile SDK to help take care of the heavy-lifting inherent when integrating the social graph of exiting social networks, such as Facebook, and adding social networking features of your own.
“Tapglue provides a unique way to tackle that challenge by bringing the power of social networks to any app within hours,” explains Tapglue CEO Norman Wiese. “Network effects are what drives retention, engagement and virality of the most successful products out there, but those were limited to products that invest heavily in this area until now. With our API and SDKs we provide developers with the building blocks to add those network effects to their product with ease.”
In practice, this can be a simple activity feed, showing the app activity of users who you follow, or something more akin to the social features of Facebook, such as the ability to reciprocally ‘friend’ not just follow other users.
“The core of Tapglue is a ‘plug & play’ social news feed that shows the activity, recommendations, comments or posts of a user’s connections,” adds Wiese.
“With Tapglue you can build experiences similar to Facebook’s home feed or Spotify’s activity stream with a fraction of the development work that used to be necessary. Tapglue handles everything for you: From infrastructure and a state-of-the-art API to client SDKs and will even launch drop-in UI components for the major platforms in the near future”.
To date, Tapglue’s typical customers range from indie developers and small startups to established companies that have millions of users, such as dailyme TV, one of Germany’s leading TV apps, and DaWanda, the European online marketplace for unique and handmade items.
The startup makes money by charging for usage of its API, offering various monthly plans based on number of users. The cheapest is $79 per month for up to 10,000 users. In addition, Tapglue sells enterprise features, such as raw data access, analytics, premium support and special infrastructure setups.
Wiese conceded that Tapglue isn’t the first to offer off-the-shelf social features and infrastructure to developers, but says the company’s USP is that it is mobile-first and has a relentless focus on user retention.
“The goal of Tapglue is to increase our customer’s user retention and engagement. Within the next months we will add powerful features to our platform that go far beyond what any competitor is doing. Those will enable our customers to achieve results in the areas of retention, personalization and virality that is currently limited to the big players whose core business those topics are,” he says.