Who hasn’t walked by a co-worker who was looking through photos on Instagram on their phone or reading Facebook comments on their computer? It can be maddening for managers to try and control the use of social media in the workplace. But far from being a source of frustration, consumer apps that people use for social or recreational reasons have features that can greatly benefit an organization looking to develop their own, enterprise-level apps for internal use.
Instagram’s image capture — The features millions of people use on Instagram to show off their well-plated food can be a powerful tool for organizations looking for effective ways to document incidents and keep better records.
Think Facebook posts — For teams looking for a way for various members to better communicate and stay updated on projects, an app that features a messaging wall like Facebook's could be a huge asset. One team member can post an update or a question and others can comment. Ultimately, this could be a mobile way to collaborate and stay in the loop.
Spotify's navigation — Consider this common problem every department or team has to deal with: keeping track of many pieces of content, such as contracts and documents. Now, consider how Spotify, the immensely popular music streaming service, must organize millions of music tracks. Departments and teams can learn a lot about how to organize and navigate their digital stockpiles of documents from Spotify’s sophisticated interface.
Foursquare check in — Foursquare works when you “check in” to a particular store, restaurant or location and allows you to connect and find friends who are out and about, make notes about where you are, and read other comments about whatever store or bar you're visiting. This geolocation feature, with the ability to leave notes and read previous comments about the location, would work great for construction and survey teams. Any organization with people working in the field could use such a feature to create a detailed “map” of an area.
Take a cue from Snapchat — Many teams must deal with the problem of too many emails. Often, people send emails when they could just go and talk to one another. In the past several years, Snapchat has surprised many with its versatility and wide-ranging use. Ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat could be a smart way for team members to communicate. It’s fast, more direct than email and could do a lot to reduce the number of emails people must manage on a daily basis.
There are a lot of features to consider when developing an app for your business. Leveraging the features that make consumer apps so addictive and user-friendly can go a long way to ensuring employees adopt the technology.