Friday, February 12, 2021

Amazon’s All in on PWAs

When I think of Amazon, the words fast and dependable first come to mind. I know if I order a pair of shoes from Amazon, they’ll be at my door in two days. And knock on wood, I’ve yet to have a less than desirable experience with the process. Sound like something familiar? 👀

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are everything you love about native mobile apps combined with all of the benefits of the web. They have lightning-fast load times, can work offline, and take up a fraction of the storage space compared to native mobile app. When Amazon released Luna, their new cloud gaming service, it’s no surprise they went with a PWA.

App Store vs. Everyone Else 

Gaming is one of the few options we have when it comes to hobbies these days…that and making banana bread. It’s not a secret video game developers and the app store have had a rather tumultuous year. Remember what happened to Fortnite? The app store banished the favorite game of teenagers back in August. The app store has a long list of rules and guidelines app creators must abide by in order to stay in the app store’s good graces. Unfortunately, Fortnite had other plans.

Violating one of the app store’s top rules, Fortnite tried to sneak in an in-app purchase to be directly paid to Epic Games, the company that created Fortnite. As we all know, nothing gets by the app store; Fortnite was removed immediately. Since then, gaming services and the app store have not been on the best of terms.

Introducing Amazon Luna

Last year, Amazon debuted its new cloud gaming service, Amazon Luna. Luna will be released later this year, but requesting early access is possible. Luna acts as a subscription-based platform and is compatible with almost any device. But that’s not even the best part. Luna is not a native mobile app – it’s a PWA.

So Long, Native Mobile Apps 

Amazon is not the first cloud-based gaming system. Google Stadia and Xbox both have cloud streaming platforms (however, Google Stadia recently announced it will no longer continue to create games for its platform). Luna’s platform isn’t revolutionary…their app strategy on the other hand is.

Amazon Luna never tried to be a native mobile app. It was originally created as a PWA despite Apple’s efforts to try to make amends with cloud gaming services. As feeble as the attempt was, Back in September, Apple tried to extend an olive branch to cloud gaming services; they updated a handful of the app store’s rules for cloud gaming platforms. This wasn’t enough to sweeten the deal for Luna, however; the kicker is users would still have to download each game individually from the app store. Who has that much storage space on their device? 🤷‍♀️

Why Marketers Should Care

Chances are, you’re probably not in the market of creating gaming apps. But you should care what’s happening in the industry. As more gaming services popularize PWAs, the longevity of native mobile apps’ reign will come into question, which could have serious effects on your mobile marketing strategy.

PWAs offer brands numerous benefits. First, you get to control the entire experience with PWAs. If you’ve ever developed a native mobile app, you’ll know just how painstakingly long it takes for your mobile experience to get approved through the app store. Wouldn’t it be nice for your app to be live as soon as you hit publish? Spoiler alert: it is that easy, especially when using a low-code platform.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we hate the app store. We know ditching your brand’s native mobile app overnight isn’t realistic, but as marketers rethinking their mobile app strategies for 2021, PWAs should become a top priority. Need more proof? Take a look at the success other brands have seen when they switched to a PWA. Marketers would drool over these metrics. 😍


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