Elad Natanson, Founder & CEO: “Appnext Actions puts actions first and apps second by enabling users to search for services rather than apps”.
Mobile discovery company, Appnext, has taken its app-focused business a step further and released a brand new patent-pending feature that rivals the likes of Facebook and Co. Designed to consolidate daily tasks on mobile devices, Appnext Actions helps consumers make better choices by predicting their next move. We met with Elad Natanson, the company’s Founder & CEO for a chat.
Appnext, a leading mobile discovery company, has recently announced the launch of Appnext Actions, a unique patent-pending product which streamlines dozen of daily on-device tasks, helping people make better choices, faster and more efficiently. Dipping its toes into the non-ad solutions market is a first for Appnext, and the latest product looks promising. It integrates AI-based features to expand the efficiency of mobile search and enables users to discover apps and be offered services.
Thereby, Appnext Actions essentially performs the function of a platform and turns any app into a “super app”. Recommended third-party content is individualized to suit consumer real-time contexts and preferences, making ads and suggestions more contextual, resulting in better quality and more relevant ad content. The future of search is undeniably predictive, meaning that users won’t have to type to receive the information they are looking for.
For insights, Appnext has coupled Actions with its Timeline feature which interprets daily user actions by analyzing hundreds of device signals.
Following a $10 million investment to expand the infrastructure and 18 months to develop Appnext Actions, the company found that user retention was 32% higher within super apps. Click-to-purchase jumped four times the average.
We met with Elad Natanson, Appnext’s Founder & CEO, to better understand how the new offering will affect advertisers, publishers and users.
You spent 18 months developing Appnext Actions, the company’s first non-ad product, which is actually very relevant to advertisers. What prompted you to create it?
Natanson: “We have invested many efforts and capital in developing Appnext Actions because we believe that usage patterns in mobile have changed – users do not want to download apps – they look for services, whether it’s to order lunch or taxi, buying flowers for your spouse or tickets for a rock concert. Advertisers can gain a lot from understanding this, and now we can provide them with an intelligent predictive tool. I think Appnext Actions will change the way both advertisers and publishers interact with the users.”
What does Appnext Actions mean for developers? How specifically can they monetise?
Natanson: “Developers of relatively small apps can easily offer services of ‘bigger apps’, because now we provide them with the tools to become a “super app” – this means that if you are, for example, a messaging app, you will now be able to provide other 3rd party services such as order food, playing a game and others, through your app, without losing your users to other apps. Developers will be able to monetize their applications, while offering a service to users. Think of a user who wants to order lunch, sitting in his office. Actions will suggest him a few suggestions of food ordering services and he will choose from a drop down list. Brands will be able to bid on placement in the list and will get paid when a user clicks.”
You are currently testing Appnext Actions with a handful of selected developers. Could you share some early insights or any successes?
Natanson: “Before the official launch, we have begun working with several interesting companies, advertisers, and developers through an invite-only process. I can say with much satisfaction that the technology is being integrated into fifteen different applications, all with large, multi-million user audiences. The feedback we are getting is amazing and more potential partners are talking to us to find a way of working together.”
Could this be the end of in-app advertising as we know it?
Natanson: “Appnext Actions will not replace traditional ads. There is still room for good quality, relevant ads. We see high demand for our native ads and other types of ads. Having said that, the way users interact with their phones and more importantly, the level of service they anticipate – gets higher. I assume intelligent digital assistants, such as Google Assistant, Siri and Bixby will be used by more and more people and they will rely even further on their mobile phone to get the daily services they need. Users want accurate, valuable information fast and in real-time and are willing to reward companies who can provide it.”
Some comparisons to Facebook M suggestions have already been made, but how does Appnext Actions differ?
“We cover a lot more services suggested and more selection of apps to be used in more countries. In addition, Facebook M is a FB product, while Appnext Actions enables all apps to integrate third party services.”
Which other areas of the mobile advertising ecosystem do you see Appnext Actions performing well in?
“We see Appnext Actions driving repeated usage and new revenue streams for our partners. It will be useful for OEMs, keyboards, messaging apps and other platforms that cannot integrate ads but are so essential to the users day to day routines.”
Where do you see Appnext Actions in a year from now?
“I see it helping millions of users completing day to day actions with the right services / apps for them at that right moment.”
What are Appnext’s future plans?
“Growth, innovation and delivery. We will continue to deliver technology that enables developers to grow their business and hope they join our mission to change the way users experience apps throughout the day.”