Oh sure, I get what you're saying. But as Chris has noted, they're a long way from social critical mass. The reason people hit those four apps is because of the size of the audience at each of those places, and the robust flow of new content. Adding an app does not accomplish the reason *why* people use an app.
For Cake, it's far more important at this stage to build that audience size and steady flow of new content. Will an app help that? Maybe. But the only real benefit would be push notifications, which are also available through the browser (and with much less engineering required than deploying a native app).
Much of the "apps are necessary!" mentality present in the iPhone audience was a conscious creation of Steve Jobs as a function of creating the walled garden. It's not a universal perspective. It's the outcome of a strategy to get users to willingly buy in to isolation in the name of an "experience", despite the fact that multitudes of apps are nothing more than a native wrapper around an HTML5 viewer.
David Weinberger and Doc Searls (both of whom I wish participated on here) were part of the original group that wrote the Cluetrain Manifesto back in 1999, a movement I was part of. They released an update called "New Clues" in 2015 that included this:
The Gitmo of the Net.
We all love our shiny apps, even when they’re sealed as tight as a Moon base. But put all the closed apps in the world together and you have a pile of apps.
Put all the Web pages together and you have a new world.
Web pages are about connecting. Apps are about control.
As we move from the Web to an app-based world, we lose the commons we were building together.
In the Kingdom of Apps, we are users, not makers.
Every new page makes the Web bigger. Every new link makes the Web richer.
Every new app gives us something else to do on the bus.
Ouch, a cheap shot!
Hey, “CheapShot” would make a great new app! It’s got “in-app purchase” written all over it.
As I mentioned in my "Fuck Your Mobile App" piece, if an app doesn't offer substantive differences in either audience size or functionality which actually require native device libraries, they suffer from low adoption. The apps I mentioned aren't audience builders; they're access points to the massive audiences that already exist on those networks, audiences that were all built on the desktop, through the browser (with the exception of Instagram and Snapchat, who offered substantive differences in actual functionality).
@yaypie , what's the current breakdown on desktop vs. mobile traffic for Cake?