As of 2017, there were more than 2.8 million Apps on the Google Play Store and 2.2 million Apps on Apple’s App Store, the two leading App stores in the world. Despite these large numbers, only a handful of Apps gain the attention of users.
According to Anushka Bandara, co-founder and chief executive officer of Elegant Media, Australia’s leading App development company, “one of the ways of getting thousands of downloads is by building an App that has the possibility of going viral.”
“The question everyone wants to know is, what is a viral App, what features should you include to increase the likelihood of it going viral and how do you know when it has gone viral,” Anushka added.
“A viral App is an App that users share of their own accord on social media platforms or through word of mouth without any forced incentive from the builders of the App. An App that catches the attention of the user, adds value to the user’s experience. This compels them to recommend the App to other users, making an App go viral.
“In simple terms, a viral App is one that people love to use to the point where they strongly advise other people to use it too. It is an App that is not just downloaded by many people, but is also used by everyone who downloads it continuously.”
“For an App to go viral, there are certain metrics that an App developer can work on so that the virality can be influenced from the day the App is launched,” Anushka added.
Anushka has provided a list of tips to follow to increase the likelihood of an App going viral.
- Design it to be extremely user-friendly. The interface should be such that it can be understood even by those who are not too tech-savvy. The design should be something that appeals to the masses and provides a genuinely good user-experience that will encourage them to refer the App to others.
- Include share options in the App so that users can directly share the App’s content on their social media accounts. The sharing process should be quick and uncomplicated. Most popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have their APIs to make this process easier during development.
- Give it a good title and description. An App that is not easily visible on the App store will never attain the status of a viral App simply because it is difficult to find. Make sure that the App’s title and description contain some specific keywords which will increase its visibility on the play store.
- Ensure it adds value for users. Add features that will make users want to use the App regularly and share the content with their friends. By doing this you will increase the likelihood of the App going viral.
“Apps also need positive reviews so they look more appealing to new customers. It’s really important to ask customers for reviews and connect with them to solve any problems so they write positive reviews. Apps can also be used periodically to ask users if they are happy with the App, and if so to rate it in Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
“Rewarding users is also important. This strategy is being practised by a lot of high-growth Apps. This simply requires App users to be rewarded for sharing the App with their friends. Friends can also be rewarded by clicking on a link.
“Candy Crush Saga is a viral App that nearly every smartphone user has heard of and used. Its easy to understand gameplay, beautiful graphics, and addictive gameplay has contributed to the App’s virality.
“Uber is an example of a viral App that has popularised incentivised user-acquisition. However, this approach can get expensive and isn’t ideal for everyone. On the other hand, Snapchat is an example of an App that went viral purely because users shared content on the App on their social media pages.
“There are key rules involved in developing a successful App. These combined with a good marketing strategy can deliver life-changing results.”