Apps had a great year in 2017; millions of different creations have been released upon the world since apps became part of the public consciousness in 2008, with hundreds of thousands being released in the last twelve months alone. Despite only being open for ten years, the App Store has experienced unprecedented growth in the iPhone arena, while Google Play has similarly been tackling demand in the Android quarter. This trend isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon; as we integrate digital technology further into our lives, apps will become a common feature of our social and industrial landscape. But not every app makes the cut! As we head into 2018, what can we learn from the successful apps of 2017?
The app industry is worth billions of dollars. However, it is crowded and extremely competitive. To make it big in the app industry, you need to predict where the trends are going, get yourself ahead of the curve, and come up with a foolproof marketing strategy to boot. It’s not easy by any means, but the start of the New Year is the perfect time to look back over the year just gone and assess the success and failures of that period; hopefully, by doing so, we can glean some insight into the success to come.
When we take a look at the top of the charts, there’s little surprise; most of the big hitters are familiar faces who’ve been dominating the arena for years. Snapchat and Bitmoji (both developed and packaged by the same company, Snap), took the second and first places respectively, while Facebook Messenger and Instagram followed hot on their heels. You don’t need to be the Oracle of Delphi to figure that one out; social media is huge, it’s here to stay, and the big boys have it all pretty much wrapped up. Despite that, it’s important to notice just how crucial social media is; people relish the ability to communicate with each other online, and that can be applied to any industry, and therefore any form of app.
The most surefire way to success is the gaming app sector, as it accounts for over 25% of the market share. However, with great market share comes great competition; if you decide to go down that route, the marketing of your game is absolutely crucial, as it’s the most saturated app genre across the board. Expect visualisation to play a bigger part in marketing in 2018, as more and more apps try to capture the attention (and hopefully wallets) of a burgeoning audience.
Some of the most successful paid apps of last year were those which catered to a nice audience and did so very well, by enhancing their lifestyles or hobbies, i.e. the guitar-focused Tabs & Chords. If you can find an idea for an app that people will genuinely find useful, then you will find success. Look to your own hobbies or pastimes, and ask yourself what you can do with a smartphone that might make life easier on you; that will always be a surefire path to App Store victory, whether it’s 2018 or 2028.