For web and app developers, it always pays to look ahead to what might be popular in the near future. Sometimes we can’t necessarily predict these things. But it’s worth trying, because having designs in mind for the next wave of useful or profitable apps may just wind up in securing some good work. To that point, we’re taking a stab at identifying five types of apps that could be huge in the next few years.
1. Live Streaming
The expansion of live streaming was mentioned in a piece about social media trends to anticipate in 2018, and it’s actually interesting to consider in a broader context. While services like Periscope and Facebook Live have certainly helped individuals to spread live streams to their friends, we’ve also seen a subtle rise in live streaming entertainment content. For instance, online gaming platforms are using it to provide live dealers for card and roulette games. And the mobile app HQ Trivia has to be one of the hottest entertainment experiences of 2018, revolving around a live stream of a trivia host. It’s a broad spectrum, but all of these apps indicate that live streaming is getting hotter in several areas.
2. Augmented Reality
This is probably one you could anticipate. Augmented reality represents one of the bigger tech developments in recent years, and already it’s spawning its own branch in mobile app stores. While we’ve seen a sort of explosive emergence for AR though, and there are plenty of excellent apps, this phenomenon is not done by any means. There’s going to be a lot more development in this area in the coming years.
3. Personalized News Feeds
In some ways, personalized news feeds are old news. From Pulse and Flipboard to Apple News there have long been apps that curate a selection of headlines and tailor them to our stated preferences. With more and more news content becoming available, however, and people gravitating more to the sources and stories they like, expect a resurgence in personalized news feeds, as well as some new innovations. For instance, some newer apps essentially send users alerts and text messages just for the stories they’d be interested in.
4. Sports Betting
When you think of sports betting in the U.S., the closest a lot of people come is fantasy sports. While apps like ESPN Fantasy, DraftKings, etc. deal in some sense with sports speculation, however, they’re not betting apps in the traditional sense. Now, however, we’ve seen that major leagues like the MLB and NBA are supporting new legislation to legalize sports betting, and there appears to be real momentum in that direction. Make no mistake, that would mean a rise in sports betting apps – some run by professional leagues, and others by third parties, but all looking to get in on a potentially lucrative industry.
5. Content Creation
This is a very broad category, but one worth considering. Whether as a hobby, side hustle, or full-time job, creative types are making more content than ever, and they’ll continue to need mobile platforms with which to do it. That might mean digital art, podcast recordings, blog entries, or any number of other things. But this is one area in which app creation will need to remain steady, if not even pick up the pace a bit in the next few years.