On Monday, Paytm unveiled its Mini App Store embedded within the digital payments app. There is an ongoing buzz around Paytm trying to compete against Google's Play Store. But this seems like a battle between two unequal competitors as Paytm's Mini App Store is not an actual app store.
So, what's exactly in a name?
Narendra Yadav, the vice president of Paytm was quick to clarify, "This is a mini-app store and not an app store. Essentially, without investing a lot of technology bandwidth developers can create their mini web applications, which gives end-user an app-like experience, and can be integrated with Paytm. Any developer needs two things - distribution and payment - and we are offering both, including the entire distribution of Paytm at zero percent fee along with payments for free."
So, how is this new Mini app store different from Google's Play Store?
In the case of Google Play Store, apps are available for download on Android smartphones, whereas, Paytm's Mini App Store is a web-based service within the Paytm app.
Paytm is actually hosting links to progressive Web apps (PWAs). These are light apps that can run within a Web browser without any installation. Currently, the Mini App Store has few apps, although Paytm aims to list 300 services in the coming days.
Therefore, just because a web page pops out inside the Paytm app, it does not qualify to be called an app.
Is the comparison between Google Playstore and Paytm mini app store unjustified?
To a certain extent, Yes!
As long as Paytm wants to be functional on Google Play Store, it will tactfully avoid calling itself a full-fledged app. Hence, the name mini app store comes in handy.