Superapp 2.0

by | Apr 6, 2022 | Technology

Context

Superapps are multipurpose apps, the more multipurpose, the more super. They are overwhelmingly popular in many countries because they relieve consumers from the hassle of installing and managing random apps. Now, they’re about to undergo a generational advance.

First, some context: Chinese internet giant Tencent’s WeChat inaugurated the superapp era. This “app for everything” now dominates China’s digital economy, with over 1 billion monthly active users, per Wikipedia. As a first generation superapp, it is delivered through AppStores and then installed on a consumer’s phone.

Evolution

Now for the generational advance: Second generation superapps are progressive-superapps. More fully, they are so-called progressive-web-apps (PWAs), meaning they stream from the cloud into a browser, and work equally well on phones and laptops. No installation required! No AppStore required! Cool, since consumers hate installing apps for every brand in their life.

Pypestream’s Pype is a progressive-superapp. Think of this self-service assistant as Superapp 2.0.

Criteria

Let’s examine Superapp 2.0 against the litmus test criteria for superapps, namely being multipurpose and robustly app-like.

  • Multipurpose: Superapp 2.0 achieves its protean ability through microapps, little apps for any of a million things, from make-an-appointment to change-a-subscription, to countless other use cases. They stream to the Pype what a person needs in the moment, and they do that at scale. Microapps are created, served, monitored and optimized from the Pypestream self-service automation platform
  • App-like: Superapp 2.0 looks like an app due to Pypestream Widgets – graphical and functional elements that get dropped into microapps. Widgets create an app-like UX that is immediately familiar to consumers, minimizes typing and looks great. Interestingly, those available widgets include messaging, but the many other widgets mean that a Pype isn’t dependent on textual conversation, all the better to ensure a successful CX.

Control

The fact that a Pype is a progressive-superapp means that brands control their own CX. This is because their customers use a Pype that they brand and control, versus running their CX through a first generation superapp controlled by Tencent or another gatekeeper. Instead, a Pype appears on-demand in a customer’s browser, with the brand-created microapps delivering a branded CX that doesn’t face competition from other brands, as in a gen-one superapp.

    How We Got Here

    Gartner and other analysts have written extensively about superapps, focusing on first-gen superapps like WeChat. For instance, Gartner’s Jason Wong and colleagues recently published a note titled What Is a Superapp?  

    On a parallel path, the PWA phenomenon is well documented and picking up steam. 

    Pypestream’s innovation is to bring the two together: superapp + PWA. The result is Superapp 2.0, aka the Pype. 

    Pypestream reached this point of innovation based on an extensive background in self-service automation in general and digital assistants in particular. Chatbots and Conversational AI were way-stations along that path, from which we learned that consumers prefer to swipe and tap instead of talk or type. Hence our emphasis on a self-service assistant that looks and acts like an app, versus one that looks like a chatbot and acts like a dunce.

    Revolution

    Expect to hear much more from us as our customers exploit their Pypes – their second-gen superapps – to deliver awesome self-service. This innovation enables a revolution in digital self-service and CX. Indeed, it kicks off the golden age of self-service, which is a revolution everyone can support.

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