The List App Review: Why BJ Novak's App Rocks / by Lewis Lin

In list format, here's why rocks.


Here's why people like it

  1. Easy to read. Lists are super scannable. Especially on a mobile device, on the go.
  2. Easy to write. Lists are fast and easy to generate. They're short.
  3. The community. If you've been on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Quora, you know what I mean
  4. BJ NovakHe posts a lot.
  5. Tweetstorm-esque. Not as awkward to use as the Twitter (hack) version.
  6. Addicting. The Travel Channel in the late 90s discovered a trend that every single publisher has copied in the last 20 years. Audiences love lists and rankings. And the numbers (below) back it up: 45% of content with 20k social shares revolved around a comparison or ranking. Look no further than Buzzfeed, and you'll find that lists are super addicting. Examples include top 10 European beaches, top 10 U.S. colleges, and the 5 Best Seattle Restaurants 2016.


Here's what they use it for

  • Share opinions.
  • Share favorite things.
  • Share things they hate.
  • Share general purpose information. It's easier including party / event notifications, for sale items.
  • Share stories. Below is a great example. It's like Snapchat Stories but in a different format.

Will people keep using it

  • Yes
  • Absolutely
  • For Sure

Final Thoughts (not in list form)

The list revolution is on. It's similar to when Twitter introduced 140 character messages, Instagram introduced filters, or Vine revealed 30 second videos.

By adding constraints to communication (aka list format), it will ironically increase creativity for the medium.

And just like Twitter, Instagram and Vine -- this is perhaps the first time the "list medium" is wrapped up with a social network.

Hundreds of people at Medium, Facebook, and Google are kicking themselves right now for not developing their own competitor.

Well done, team.


PS Find me on @lewislin

PPS Photo credit: TechCrunch, Fractl, Hobvias Sudoneighm