I receive solicitations for various joint ventures, affiliate partnerships and network marketing opportunities on a weekly basis. I was recently approached by several people who wanted to share the “next big thing” with me.
This time, with all the hype that could be mustered, I was introduced to Rippln, a new mobile app that promises to change the app world forever.
If you haven’t heard about Rippln yet, I assure you that you soon will.
I’ve had an opportunity to evaluate the opportunity and I want to share my initial reaction with you.
There’s no doubt that mobile is the future. With hundreds of millions of smartphones on the market, we have all become accustomed to checking email, surfing the web, texting, video-chatting, playing games and buying all variety of applications for our mobile devices.
It was just a matter of time before someone would devise a plan to infiltrate the app marketing by providing an incentive for people to download and use an application. The incentive? Money, of course.
The premise is that when we find an app we like, we share it with friends and family members without any compensation. Rippln believes we should be compensated for our referrals.
I honestly don’t know much about the upcoming app at this point. Whether or not it has any inherent value has yet to be seen. It’s not available yet. But the early buzz is that it will be a “voxer-like” communications app.
If Rippln succeeds in becoming an app that allows users to quickly and easily communicate with their friends, it could become a great tool for marketing as well.
The owners of Rippln have chosen to leverage the network marketing model to create a viral-like buzz around the app. The model for getting new users is based solely on creating a buzz to tell as many people as possible about the app and encourage them to do likewise.
In the absence of an actual app that people can use right away, creating buzz and getting as many people on board to use the app when it is actually available may prove to be quite brilliant.
I watched a couple videos related to the Rippln. Check out the first video which provides an overview of the Rippln concept.
Seems simple enough. But when I watched the compensation plan video, my eyes glazed over just a few minutes in. It may be that it was late at night, but I found myself having flashbacks to network marketing companies.
This is my understanding from my first look at the plan. I may not have it all correct.
The first goal is to become a “fan”. This happens when you sign up for free after being invited. Since I am signed up, I have the power to send you an invitation. You can read more about this below.
Once you invite five other people who become fans and use the app, you become a “player”. You can become a domestic player and a global player. When you have five people using the app, you get a $20 one-time bonus. Not bad for just telling a few friends to download and install an app.
There are then various bonuses for different signups, and so forth. (This is where I started glazing over…)
Ok, great. So I tell people about the app and I make money when they download and use it. I still don’t know what the app actually does, but undoubtedly a LOT of people will download it to try it out. Smart move IF the app actually delivers on value.
The compensation plan becomes more complicated as your downline recruits others to use the app. Rippln compounds the confusion with commissions and/or bonuses from advertising revenue, in-app purchases and other ways of monetization. I’m not saying any of this is bad. I’m saying that I found it confusing.
Toss the “inner circle” label in there and who doesn’t want to be included?
Would you like to see the full marketing and monetization plan for yourself? Watch this video…
Sigh. Alright. So what have we actually got here?
1) As for the actual application that will be released for various mobile platforms, I have no idea as to the value and/or quality. I will reserve judgment until I have seen it. If the app is good, I can see people using it and the marketing plan could be very effective. If that’s the case, it makes sense to sign up and get some other people on board. If the app turns out the be less than addictive, there could be thousands and thousands of people who have signed up for a dud. In that case, it hasn’t cost you anything to try it. The biggest losers would be the owners of the company.
2) A network marketing plan designed to create buzz before the release of the app. If the owners can get enough people talking about, and anticipating the app, they will have a hit on their hands. Whether or not the the hit has legs will be determined by the actual value created by the app itself.
3) A “what have I got to lose” attitude.
Since the signup to participate in Rippln’s marketing plan is absolutely free, I see no harm in signing up and seeing what happens.
I am not making any claims of income, no promises as to whether or not this plan will work, or telling you that it will be easy to make money with this plan. I just know it seems simple enough to invite people to participate. Whether or not the app or the Rippln compensation plan will succeed rests in the actual stickiness of the app and the execution of the marketing plan.
So will Rippln create a ripple-effect in the app world? Will people make money on this compensation plan? Will the owners be able to monetize the user-base effectively so that they can make payouts? Only time will tell.
What do you think of Rippln? I’d welcome your comments below.
For those who have questions about the NDA, please be aware that I never signed one. The videos have come from Rippln’s YouTube channel. They were set to “unlisted” but they are not private. I have spoken with the CEO of Rippln about this and he has agreed to let my blog entry stand without any need to edit or correct.
Once information has been released, a company has the choice to try to legally quash the dissemination of that info or to allow it flow organically. Since the very nature of Rippln is that people tell people, this information is already spreading far and wide. I think it demonstrates great wisdom on the part of the company to go with the flow in a positive manner, rather than come out with a heavy-handed negative attempt to stifle dialogue.
To my understanding, the company is going to permit the sharing of these videos. I believe they will also be forthcoming with the fee structure for those who wish to become part of the revenue-generation plan.
After seeing the compensation plan and receiving an incredibly small payment for my limited involvement, I do not see Rippln with a sustainable model. I didn’t didn’t find the first app they released to be very impressive and I continue to lose confidence with the team’s ability to make this work. It’s unfortunate.
I think the entire model has fallen apart. There may be a lot of angry people out there. And that’s all I have to say about that.