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The next big social platform is the smartphone’s homescreen


BeReal, LiveIn, Locket… what do these new consumer social apps have in common besides a highly-ranked position on the App Store’s Top Charts? They engage their users through a combination of push notifications and homescreen widgets, instead of forcing people to spend a long time browsing their app, scrolling feeds, or watching creator content.
The popularity of this homescreen-based form of social networking is, in part, tied to Apple’s move to launch a widgets platform for the iPhone with the release of iOS 14 in 2020. In doing so, it invited a new ecosystem of apps to emerge.
Initially, this began with apps that allowed users to better personalize their homescreens with widgets and custom app icons that matched their backgrounds, sending apps like Widgetsmith, Brass, Color Widgets, and others to the top of the App Store. But over time, devel …

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