Appifier, still in beta but already accessible to a few early users, helps bloggers reach the mobile market, by giving them a dedicated mobile version of their site, with a simple registration and a few clicks.
With the number of blogs estimated to 151 millions in Feb 2011, Appifier is attacking a big market, in a time where users’ attention is shifting to twitter and mobile applications.
Bloggers can experiment with the current software, customize logos and colors, and preview results on their iOS devices with the Appifier Sandbox app. If they are satisfied, they can publish it on the App store, but either paying a one-time fee or pay a recurring subscription fee, on a SaaS model that gives the blogger additional analytics, push notification delivery, and also free updates of the application.
Having both business models is interesting. The first one gives pricing power to publishers, allowing them for instance to charge premium content, depending on their audience, and is also more interesting if they are doing exotic content. Of course, that means more time is required for management of the application. The recurring subscription fee is interesting for those who don’t want the management hassle, and will probably the revenue model chosen by resellers.
Check the video below to see how it works:
I’ve tried the service, and it’s a little bit more complicated than what was promised, since you have to install a json plugin, and you have to be persistant to go through the process, but it’s certainly a hundred times simpler than hiring your own iOS developer and UI designer. With Appifier, you can reach the mobile market with no upfront investment. The process seems magic, a bit like phpFog and all those new Iaas/Paas platforms where you can get a new app built for you in a few minutes, but just pointing to a url.
With this new service, Appifier is targeting 2 different markets: wp developers who can resell it to their clients as a value-add, and also end-users, from whom they collect directly valuable feedback. Mike Gozzo, one of the founder, says:
“we also spent months validating that both the need for an iPhone app and the need to have it rapidly built was indeed present among bloggers and other WordPress users. We got involved with Canada’s WordPress community and even worked with sites like Montreal Tech Watch and Forget the Box to understand their unique use-cases and guide our product development [...] we worked hard to ensure that the resulting product was something that they would find remarkable. “
An engineer and MBA, Mike Gozzo (@gozmike) partnered with Steve Panetta (@stevepanetta), an experienced graphic and UI designer, who got tired of turning away customers who wanted a mobile version of their site. With releases every day, and early customer development, they’re on their way to make a star product, and maybe become one of the early Montreal startups which will be profitable from day 1.
Appifier is testing now the product, squashing bugs, and is open to talk to investors interested in media and mobile markets.