Urban Airship, the enterprise push notification service has decided to sunset their IAP (in app purchase) and subscription based services as of the 1st of July. This means that if you track your IAPs or subscriptions through Urban Airship, you’ve got less than a month until you have to either migrate out or cancel these services in your app.
The reason, according to UA, for this is due to their messaging products taking off in such a big way that they have been unable to support these services and have now decided that it is better to sunset them rather than have an effectively unsupported product sitting there. This is sadly often the case for companies providing services, one section takes off and the rest gets left behind.
An interesting question is whether this trend is likely to continue throughout the mBaaS industry. After all it’s not unusual to see a business slowly streamline itself over time until they are providing a specialised service that they have been guided to by the market. Could this mean that this may be the start of a migration into more specific service based products for mobile app development? Urban Airship are moving into messaging, but there are plenty of other areas for mBaaS providers to supply a service.
This, on the other hand, seems to be a reverse from the major trend in tech where companies start off specialised and then slowly start absorbing other companies and services until they can provide users with a cross platform and cross service experience. UA’s decision points to them growing faster than they can actually handle at the moment, which shows us an interesting dilemma of modern business, growing too fast.
Like anything, too much growth can cause a business to become overstretched and implode rather than expanding to meet demand. Whilst they didn’t lose control and have instead only folded away a small part of their service in response, it’s worthwhile noting that this could have gone much worse for them.
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