We are in New York for the Inside Social Apps conference at the New Yorker Hotel. Managing Editor of Inside Network AJ Glasser sat down with a panel on the topic of platform opportunities for 2013. The panel consisted of Jamie Conroy, Director of Special Product at TripAdvisor, Josh Hubbal, Head of Business Development at App.net, David Miyoshi, VP of Social Games at GSN Digital, John Spinale, SVP of Social Games at Disney Interactive Media Group and Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit Media.
The panel offered perspective on what major platform operators ought to be doing to improve the developer ecosystem. The Following is a paraphrased account of what was said on the panel.
Glasser: Platforms are a constantly evolving space, where are your users coming from?
Conroy: More and more people are coming through mobile or Facebook. Facebook is interesting as a touch point for users. It is important to optimize experience on Facebook. It is important to fit into the flow of the platform that you choose.
Miyoshi: Mobile is more for paid content.
Spinale: There is a casual gaming audience there as well. Dependent on User interfance and platform. More and more people are accessing mobile platforms.
Toeman: The No. 1 driver is app store SEO. It’s a highly specific, highly known universe. You get natural uplift from television viewers and associated app SEO.
Hubball: We’re starting to see other social services using app.net, word of mouth and cross posting on Facebook and Twitter.
Glasser: What is the biggest challenge in becoming a cross platform developer?
Miyoshi: Hiring top talent. Everybody wants to work on mobile right now so you need people that are willing to work on separate platforms.
Spinale: Creating the right experience at the right point in time.
Conroy: Now that mobile has proliferated it is especially complex. Developers need to ensure they are available to their users across all the platforms and provide a good experience there.
Toeman: We need a more purposeful experience. People access our products through different devices so we had to reinvent what the experience is. It is important for you to create the right experience for the item they are using. You need to figure what to be rather than being cross platform.
Hubball: We focused on building the API. It is the most expressive use of information available. Instagram focused on iOS when It started which allowed it to focus on a good job. Focusing on being cross platform makes you spread out resources.
Glasser: What is the best technology to use for apps that aren’t games?
Toeman: HTML is the only way to go, it is versatile. The Android tablet experience isn’t at the level of what could be offered at the moment.
Hubball: Our initial strategy was a hybrid of different technologies.
Glasser: The cost of user acquisition is rising. What do you expect to see in the competition between the platforms in the next year?
Toeman: Next year it is going to be much more expensive for iOS user acquisition so it is important to focus on that until the new year.
Glasser: Do you see potential other emerging platforms in the future?
Miyoshi: Windows is worth a look with how heavy they are pushing this platform as a competitor.
Toeman: No way. consumers are smart. It is one of the best products they have put out, the ship has sailed for windows.
Miyoshi: We look at iOS users as the most valuable, the Android user is dead. We may see windows. They may not dominate, but there could be a shift in user base.
Toeman: The iOS is so much far ahead than others and that is why we may see better experiences.
Glasser: Which phone do you have with you today?
All the panelists say they have an iPhone with them.
Conroy: It is important to look across the world as many users are outside of the english speaking territories This is why iPhone and Android are see large growth ant the market can still change.
Glasser: If you could go back a year, what changes would you make based on what you know now?
Toeman: Simplify. Cut things down. Get everything you can get in your app in the simplest way possible. Reduce the clutter.
Hubball: The business model of the platform for which you are developing for is important. if your plan does not fit into what they are doing, you need to adjust.
Spinale: We would have jumped on the Android bandwagon earlier.
Miyoshi: Focusing and doubling down. Once you see success, you should focus.