Creating your own app is getting easier — and less cost prohibitive.
DWNLD, which launches today, will help companies and individuals build their own apps using existing content, including blogs, social-media feeds, videos, GIFs and more for a flat monthly fee of $15 per app.
Coco Rocha, Molly Sims, Song of Style’s Aimee Song and Fashion Toast’s Rumi Neely have all signed up for the service, according to cofounder and chief executive officer Alexandra Keating.
“With bloggers, the biggest thing is, the majority of traffic comes from mobile,” said Keating, who was Thrillist Media Group’s vice president of marketing and is also the daughter of Australia’s former prime minister Paul Keating. “From a media perspective, it’s better to drive that traffic into a native app as opposed to a mobile site.”
Brands and retailers have turned to apps, which can be costly and labor-intensive, to help them grab prime space on users’ home screens and interact with their most-engaged fans.
With DWNLD, bloggers with massive social followings can maintain their own apps, which are optimized for any screen size and can be built from templates featuring various themes and functions. So far, 200 people have signed up and created apps that will be released in stages — about 25 to 30 will roll out every 10 days.
Song, who has 1.7 million Instagram followers, said the app she made using DWNLD would “enhance my brand with readers and with advertisers — who care about mobile.”
“My following has been asking me to create an app for years as they now expect a superhigh-quality mobile experience,” Song said. “A native app is the best way to do that.…With trends moving away from laptops and more towards mobile, it makes complete sense.”
The company was founded two years ago, and Keating has raised $2 million in seed funding.
“Right now, we’re at the launching stage,” Keating said. “We’re trying to sign as many influential people as possible. It’s more about quality than quantity in next few months, and then, from there, we want to go much larger.” Ideally, she would like to see 100,000 apps created in the first 12 months.
DWNLD is available for download at Apple’s App Store, with an Android version coming in a few weeks. DWNLD must submit apps on behalf of publishers for approval before they go live.