Too often the logic goes something like:
A lot of people use mobile apps….we should create a mobile app!
A better term for this is ‘the bandwagon effect’.
It’s not strategic, it’s not smart, and it results in organisations sinking a lot of time, energy, and resources into apps few people use.
It’s true, a lot of people do use mobile apps…but not a lot of mobile apps are used (at least compared with the total number of apps). The odds of having a hit mobile app isn’t too different from the odds of having a hit YouTube video. You can find plenty of examples, but it probably won’t happen to you.
The problem is community mobile apps add friction without offering much more value. It might be slightly easier to view content or participate, but it’s hard to get people into the habit of using a new app.
If you have the resources to build a mobile app, you have the resources to improve the features the majority of your members are using every day. That’s a much better use of your time.