Wouldn’t it be lovely to have 30 hours in a day? Just think of the things an online marketeer could achieve in that timeframe – numerous articles written, extra-long business lunches and a new high score on Candy Crush. Sadly, for the time being, we’re stuck with the rather archaic 24 hours. Therefore, anything that can save a little bit of time is a godsend in this busy digital world. Thankfully, there are a number of apps out there which are giving us a little more breathing space. One, in particular, which causing a bit of a buzz is BufferApp.
Buffer’s birth began back in October 2010 in the UK’s ‘second’ city, Birmingham. This bustling, multicultural city was home to Joel Gascoigne, a busy young man struggling to schedule his tweets. Sure, there were apps available to help him, but they were complex little critters which left him banging his head against the nearest lamppost. Aside from a cold compress for that bump on his head, what he needed was something simpler and more accessible. Joel set to work and, within seven weeks, he had the first version of Buffer in his hands. Lampposts around the world sighed a collective sigh of relief.
This is all very well and good, but what exactly is Buffer and what does it do? Luckily, I’m here to fill you in. Essentially, Buffer is an app which allows users to schedule numerous updates to be sent across social media sites. Buffer can currently interact with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s also available on Google+, but frustratingly this is only for business users. Various internet browsers such as Firefox and Chrome also feature Buffer extensions – you literally click, highlight and schedule whatever you want to share.
Buffer is certainly flying high at the moment – 90 million Buffer posts have been shared and activity doesn’t appear to be slowing up. Financially, Joel Gascoigne and – fellow founder – Leo Widrich are busy stuffing around $2m revenue under the Buffer mattress. Not bad work if you can get it, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Using Similarweb.com I found the competitors of Bufferapp.com and compared their traffic sources. It seems that Bufferapp is not the market leader quite yet, but is growing rapidly and becoming a worthy rival for sites like Ifttt.com and Hootsuite.com. These competitors allow you to execute many more complex commands than Buffer and their websites attracted around 8.5 million views each in January, 2014.
Someone, somewhere once said “Variety is the spice of life” and it’s a proverb that Buffer could do well to observe. In fact, I feel like they should get the entire spice rack and empty it all over Buffer. The social media you can post to from Buffer is rather limited at present. It irritates me that I can’t post direct to Instagram. That’s not to say it’s not possible, but it does involve going to one of Buffer’s rivals to achieve this – using Hootsuite you can integrate Buffer with Instagram, but why go the long way round?!
Despite this, Buffer is gradually gathering pace. Key to this growth is their determination to stick to their original philosophy of simplicity and accessibility. Buffer was fairly intuitive and I was Buffering away within minutes. This is in stark contrast to apps such as Ifttt and Hootsuite which leave me needing a stiff drink after the barrage of options it throws at me. Buffer’s talent at delivering content quickly and simply are what marks it out. People don’t want to have to deal with complex sets of codes and triggers, they just want to get on and get going!
Buffer has achieved a lot so far and its team are no doubt patting themselves on the back. The ever evolving web, though, means you can’t stay standing still for too long. Hopefully, Joel and Leo will start to sit down with other social media sites and begin to negotiate for integration. It’s imperative for a business to grow and one I’ll be keeping a keen eye on.