I was reading the WSJ blogs and came across Andy Jordan’s article on ‘crap apps’ iPhone applications that are the code equivalent of the whoopee cushion or the paper hat that you get in a Christmas cracker. In ‘The Trucker Hats of iPhone Apps’, one of the people interviewed rationalises these applications as ‘…add users social credibility, useful at bars or social situations.‘
Another developer described the target demographic as ‘younger, “social” crowd and impulse buys‘. These applications aren’t universally appreciated and it wouldn’t help Apple’s cool branding if the iPhone becomes associated with jackasses.
Facebook has faced a similar dilemma with the variations on the poke application, zombies, vampires etc. Even in the UK, where consumers have drunk the Facebook kool-aid, I recently saw the results from a survey claiming that a third of UK respondents resented receiving invites on the social network. Facebook’s redesigns and process changes have partly been about reducing the impact of these applications.
Whilst we are not looking at a Burberry-esque brand meltdown, a Nokia is starting to look the smarter choice.