Experiment: spreading apps on social networks

by Giuseppe Lanzi on 05/26/2017

Today I’m writing to share an interesting experience I had with the publication and testing of a mobile app. It’s a utility for people who, like me, are passionate about Role Playing Games.

It all started when a friend asked me to create an Excel spreadsheet for him to simplify management of a rule, a task that usually forces the game coordinator to write over and over again on a sheet of paper that quickly becomes both illegible and inconvenient. As often happens with those of us in IT, I got a little carried away, and I made an app with Instant Developer Cloud that I called Who’s Next?.

For the analysis I took Andrea’s advice, creating three documents: the User Profile, the User Stories, and the Business Model. For the UI, I used the Ionic2 component to get a nice interface quickly, and I have to say I’m pleased with the result.

At that point, I had an app ready. I had a clear idea of the target it’s meant for, and it seemed like a bit of a waste not to keep going. I thought I’d launch an experiment and make it public to see what would happen.

I decided on a social approach, so I put a few posts on Facebook groups of target users in Italy, since initially the application was only in Italian. Users with common interests gather in groups on all social networks – it’s in the nature of these networks – and it wasn’t difficult to find an interesting one. I presented it as an idea, asking if people might give me feedback, suggestions, or even tell me if they didn’t consider the app necessary.

The result was very interesting.

Presenting it this way wasn’t viewed as an advertisement, and quite a few people downloaded it: about 120 in the first two days. The people who got involved proved to be much more interested in giving credence to a group post rather than an ad.

Reports on bugs were offered in a spirit of collaboration, and didn’t in fact lead people to uninstall. Instead, interest in the application was piqued, and people were inclined to wait for a new fixed version.

I got positive feedback that the app is useful for target users, something that was certainly not a given.

The many comments even contained suggestions for new features that my friends who helped me with the early tests and I hadn’t even thought of, and which actually turned out to be very important for players – “if it did this too, I’d definitely use it.”.

Now I’ve translated it into English, producing a multi-language version, and I intend to proceed the same way with it, potentially reaching 20,000 users around the world. Still free.

What do you think? Is this an approach we could attempt consistently? What pros and cons do you see in this dynamic?

And oh, if you’d like to take a look at the app, you’ll find it here.

{ 1 trackback }

The utility of social media in analyzing an app | Pro Gamma's blog
06/23/2017 at 7:35 PM

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ted Giles 05/26/2017 at 8:34 PM

Maybe I’m not your target audience Giuseppe, however the graphics and response are good. Nice work.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: