Starbucks Proves That Mobile Apps Work… To The Tune Of $1.2 Billion

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Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 5 to 10 minutes every week – about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you’re interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I’m really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed: 

  • Heather B. was off today.
  • There’s often talk that it’s hard to make money with mobile apps. Maybe more brands need to make an app like Starbucks. How’s this for some interesting data: Starbucks has $1.2 billion loaded onto Starbucks cards and the Starbucks mobile app as of the first quarter of 2016. What’s most crazy about this? The number exceeds the deposits at many US banks, including California Republic, Mercantile and even Discover. 
  • We talk so much about Snapchat, that we sometimes forget Facebook‘s little billion dollar acquisition: Instagram. Well, Mark Zuckerberg was thrilled to post a picture to his own Instagram account this past week celebrating the fact that the photo/video sharing app now has 500 million monthly active users, with 300 million people per day snapping away. 
  • Ok. Fine. We will talk about Snapchat too, but only because they made a very interesting announcement. Snapchat is starting a digital magazine called Real Life that will cover the world of technology. Instead of focusing on the news of the industry, Real Life will feature “essays, arguments, and narratives about living with technology,” according to a blog post from Nathan Jurgenson, a Snapchat employee and social media theorist who will serve as Real Life’s editor-in-chief. What makes this most interesting? Real Life will live on the web, not in the app. It will publish one piece of writing each weekday, which lines up well with Snapchat Discover, the part of the Snapchat app where a number of publications offer up new content every day. I’m curious to see how long it will be until it has it’s own Snapchat Discover segment as well.
  • App of the week: Google Chrome extension: TL;DR.

Listen here…