How to Make your App go Viral

The Flappy Bird phenomenon took the whole world by surprise. Who would have thought that a simple game, devoid of fancy graphics and breathtaking visuals could become such a rage? So much so that the creator, Dong Nguyen actually took down the game because it was too addictive? It is pretty much impossible to predict how an app is going to do in a market. It depends on so many factors, the timing, the advertising, the reach and so much more. Even today, the market pundits and app developers are confounded on how such a basic game like Flappy Bird became a household name in a matter of days after its release.

Yes, if you are an app developer, you probably dream of tasting the success of Flappy Bird. But can you, as an app developer really influence the popularity trends of the App market?  Maybe. Maybe not. But here are some pointers to help make your app go viral.

The basic idea behind virality is the viral loop. Once you initiate such a loop,  the number of users of your application multiplies without you having to spend money and time on advertising.

To initiate such a loop, all you have to do is have your new users invite more users to use that app. To facilitate this process, many applications simple ask for the users email id and use their e-mail contacts to propagate the app. Facebook and other social networking sites relied on this kind of propagation when they started out. In addition to being unethical, this can prove to be quite a put off. After all, who liked receiving spam and advertisements in their mail? So ensure that when you use your users to spread your application, you do so with their whole hearted consent. Inviting new members at the same time is not enough. Constantly reminding people of the existence of the app is essential to draw them in.

Make your application useful to the lone user. People generally use networking apps only if their friends already use it. So getting the first few people on board is the most challenging aspect. Make your app attractive even to a person who has no friends using the app, so they can start the trend.

Don’t keep an upper limit on the number of invites a person can send. Some people prefer to not propagate the app and would send no invites while others might wish to send a 100 invites. By assuming an average number of invites a user would send and introducing a limit, you will handicap the growth of your app.

If you do app development for iPhone, or on any platform for that matter, keep at it. Make apps you would want to go back to as a user. Here is to the next Flappy Bird!