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A real obsession launched by Snap, Uber and Facebook, now seems to have diminished. Julia Enthoven tells on “atrium” ( the experience in Google as founder of the Kapwing website ( , born as a start-up and explains why to create a website it’s almost always safer to start with an app.

Kapwing is nothing more than a generating platform of meme-video, born imitating the many different apps. “Thanks to the magic of SEO” — writes Julia -, “the site in a few weeks has reached hundreds of creators of memes”.

According to the Chrome team’s research, people spend more time on apps downloading to their smartphone than they do on mobile websites. The use is, however, concentrated on those apps indicated as favorites (eMarketer). On the other hand, instead, time spent on the web is distributed more evenly: people visit new websites they find on Google, or through links to articles or other apps. In a few words, they navigate without the limit of the installation, prerogative of the applications. As a result, it is easier for an unknown startup to reach users for the first time thanks to the web.

Julia then provides four reasons why websites are a safer starting point: easier to build, distribute and monetize.

· First of all, when a developer sends changes to his site, each user sees immediately update, while with the app you should install an update (an activity that many people do not do very often). In fact, Apple and Google, in the last 18 months have added more hard requirements for app updates unknown in the Stores. Whenever a developer sends change, he risks delays due to more restrictive reviews. “When we launched the Kapwing iOS app for the first time, it took almost 2 weeks to go through the review due to issues not related to the product.” Then there is the question of the starting expanses: a license on the App Store costs $ 99 a year, while a Namecheap domain is less than $ 10 a month, making it easy to start an idea for almost everyone.

· The second point is crucial: nobody wants to download apps anymore. URLs can be easily shared and viewed in Google search, and new users do not need to install a software package that takes up space on the phone. In addition, competition in the world of applications has dramatically increased acquisition costs over the last five years. The number of Android apps in the Play Store peaked in March 2018. The SEO instead allows you to acquire new users for free, exploiting the power of research.

· Works on all devices

· A startup has scarce engineering resources and it is expensive to initially expand on more platforms. Building for the Web means reaching mobile devices, desktops, Chromebooks (the most popular hardware in the United States) and any other device connected to the Internet, while an app is specific to iOS or Android, but above all does not mean giving up mobile users. Almost 50% of Kapwing users navigate from smartphones or tablets. A web-based product for simplicity can be developed in Javascript and then declined in different front-end languages. If you create an optimized website, prepare your users for the app transfer already. Millions of active users have installed Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, Reddit and LinkedIn after receiving a feedback on the mobile version of the website. In addition, browsers automatically translate text, so developers don’t have to do extra work to reach foreign users.

· Finally, when it comes time to monetize, it is easier to make more money from the sites and not from the apps. Professional users expect the software to work on their work computers. The price on a site can be higher than the same service in an app. In addition, iOS and Android demand 30% of the revenue from subscriptions, while Stripe ( ) only takes 3% of payments.

There are obviously exceptions: there are some ideas to start with an app is an advantage. If the start-up requires the “position” it will work better if it is integrated into the operating system, then the data and the location. (Lime, Bird, Uber, RunKeeper, Maps).

Same concept for the localized tools such as accelerometer, humidity sensor, camera, barometer, gyroscope. If you are proposing a low impact experience for every day, several times a day, an app is perfect: like apps of appointments, Venmo and Telegraph. In general, it is easier to start with a site and eventually, if users request it, build an ap.



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