In a rather surprising move, Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek releases a new mobile app for its lifestyle division Go-Life on Wednesday.
Consisting of Go-Massage (home spa and massage service booking), Go-Clean (house-cleaning service booking), Go-Auto (vehicle maintenance service booking), and Go-Glam (beautician booking service), the Go-Life features were previously included in the original Go-Jek mobile app, together with its ride-hailing and courier services.
The new mobile app is already available on App Store and Play Store since early February. When users open the original Go-Jek app, they can still see the services on it. But once they tap the icons, users will be instructed to download the new app and input their usual login details to use it.
However, the new mobile app has not included Go-Jek’s cashless payments feature Go-Pay yet, which is set to be included in the platform “in the upcoming one to two months.”
In a press conference at Go-Jek office, Go-Life Founder Dayu Dara stated that up to the second week since its launch, the app has been downloaded 10,000 times.
Go-Life is also set to launch new lifestyle services this year. Dara declined to give more details though she hinted that new services are already ongoing due diligence process.
Two is better than one?
Why does Go-Jek decided to separate its services into two different apps?
Dara told DailySocial that the separation enables greater maneuver for the lifestyle division, as Go-Jek plans to continue on focussing in its transportation and logistics services.
“From technical point-of-view, the separation of these business lines will make expansion much faster and more dynamic,” she stated.
So far, Go-Life has enabled new features such as the ability for advanced booking for users, and the company is also making sure that the services are available in all Indonesian cities where Go-Jek operates.
The Go-Life division claims to list up to 7,000 professionals in their respective fields that have undergone various training, including the English language.
The next question is whether launching two different apps is a smart move for the startup dubbed as Indonesia’s first unicorn.
Generally, the digital age has entered an era where industry players have started to question the relevance of a mobile app. As quoted by MIT Technology Review in 2011, former Google engineer Brian Kennish stated that in a few years, native apps “will be mostly dead” though he also stressed that it will not happen to all apps.
The launch of services such as WeChat’s “mini-apps“, which enables users to use the features of a mobile app without having to download the app itself, indicates the direction where the industry is going.
Chatbots are also seen as the possible replacement of the apps.
Users have also grown more conscious about having too many different apps for different purposes in their device, and this is actually where the strength of the original Go-Jek mobile app lies. That users can get different kinds of services –from on-demand grocery shopping to tracking the TransJakarta bus— in just one app.
The number of downloads that the new app has secured –10,000 compared to the original app’s 33 million– does not reflect users’ enthusiasm, as the platform has only been around for less than one month.
But it will be interesting to see what is going to happen next.
Image Credit: Go-Jek