It seems like every other day a new app is going viral. The vast majority of these apps are games. They're easy to create, play, and share with your friends. And because people are playing them, their friends feel obligated to play as well. Game developers are realizing that they can make money by capitalizing on this virality loop through in-game purchases.
Is there any way to make an app go viral without using social media?
The answer is yes, but not everyone can do it. Apps usually go viral for one or more of the following reasons:
1) They are truly innovative
2) They are marketed in a unique way
3) Their producers have significant amounts of money that they can spend on promotions
4) They simply started out with a large number of users to begin with.
Unfortunately, the only factor you have no control over is the last one. But there are ways to design and develop your app in a unique way and increase its chances of going viral. And fortunately, they aren't very costly either. Here's how to do it.
Your App's Value Proposition Must be Self-Evident
One of the most common reasons why people never download an app is because they don't understand what it does. Many designers and developers like to put their best creative foot forward, focusing on making their app as pretty or interesting as possible. Unfortunately, this doesn't do much for your app's value proposition.
A good value proposition should be clear and should precisely state the value that your app offers to users. If you don't make it clear what your app does, people will delete it without ever having used it because they won't understand its purpose. The best way to ensure that your value proposition is self-evident is to limit the amount of text in your app and to use icons and symbols instead.
Smart Use of Icons and Symbols
Icons and symbols are universal - they don't need any translation and almost everyone knows what they represent. Also, you can include multiple types of icons in your app to help people understand what it does at a glance. For example, if you have an icon for photos, one for messages, and another for music, people will quickly be able to understand that your app has something to do with communication.
If you include the right number of icons in your app, people can figure out what your app does without reading any text at all - helping them get to the action faster. Just like how good navigation helps people get where they need to go faster.
Tapping, Tapping Everywhere
The most common icon in any smartphone is the "tap icon." That's how people interact with their devices most of the time. And since that's the case, you should do everything possible to incorporate tapping into your app as well. Not only does this make your app easier to understand, it also makes it more fun and engaging because tapping is something that people enjoy doing.
Use the tap icon whenever possible in your app's design. Let users know right away how they need to interact with your app. And make sure you stick with this convention throughout the entire user interface otherwise the majority of your users won't be able to seamlessly use your app.
Going viral without using social media is hard. Social media sites have put a lot of effort into making it as easy as possible for people to share content with their friends. But you can still design your app so that it has a better chance of going viral by focusing on the right things. With a little effort, you'll be able to create an app that people can share with their friends and family - and grow your user base organically.
Zara Raza is the Marketing Lead at Sunvera Software. Sunvera is a local software development firm based in Irvine, CA, providing intelligent software solutions for small and mid-sized businesses as well as entrepreneurs and startups.