Techniques for Making Your App Go Viral

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One of your top goals of iOS or Android app development should always be to make the app go viral. We would like to share with you some ways of doing this.

What Do We Mean “Go Viral”?

When an mobile app goes viral, it is beautiful for the mobile app developer. People share the app with friends who share it with their friends and so on and so forth. This is how one user turns into millions of users; it’s like “word of mouth marketing” on steroids.

Most people think they can make apps or other projects go viral sharing them on Facebook, Instagram or some other social platform. While this can work maybe one time in a million attempts, the other 999,999 are usually doomed to failure if this is your only method of “promoting” your app.

If you want your app to go viral, it must have virality built into its structure. There are three types of virality.

Inherent Virality

This means that one lone user can’t enjoy the app. For example, any social media app has inherent virality. If there is only one user on a social media platform, it is impossible for it to have any function. You don’t get any use out of it because there isn’t anyone to “socialise” with.

Incentivised Virality

This is when the app gives you points or other reward units for sharing the app with someone else. For example, “Share on Facebook for 100,000 free points.” Or “Share on Instagram to reach the next level.”

Word of Mouth

This is when your app is so cool, so useful or so visually striking that people share it with their friends voluntarily. Social media and the internet have made it a lot easier for people to communicate with a lot of other people on a daily basis. The equivalent of this would be a song or a picture that is so striking it has a million Facebook shares.

Sharing is More Fun than Lone Usage

Some of the most successful modern apps and products have gone viral because it is more fun to share experiences with them than it is to just use them alone. Think games like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush. Think FitBit or RunKeeper. These are great for sole use, but even more fun if you are sharing results with people.

Tips for Creating a Viral App


No matter what your app is, you should always build an incentive that encourages people to share the app. This can include incentives such as points, new play levels, new lives, exclusive content or access to some premium features that normally carry a fee.

Remember, don’t just give the person who shares the app an incentive; give the person who is invited and downloads the app an incentive, too.

Don’t Wait ‘til it’s Too Late

Monitor your app’s metrics closely to find the perfect moment to offer an incentive for sharing. Most people are likely to use their app heavily for about a week before their attention wavers. You may find that sometime on the sixth or seventh day, offering some incentives could get them to share the app with their friends and rekindle their interest, making them more likely to become a long-term user.

On the other hand, if your app is really addictive, to a point where it is being used several times a day right after download, you may want to offer incentives right away.

It’s Not Polite to Interrupt

If you only remember one thing from this article, let it be this:

By Smarterapps Australia

r allow any incentives or offers to compromise the user experience, even a little bit.

OK, so When do I Offer Incentives?

Offer incentives during a natural pause in the game. This is best done after a game or segment of the game is over. For example, FitBit offers incentives when you earn “badges” for accomplishing fitness and activity goals.

Contact SmarterApps Today

Of course, all of this knowledge isn’t going to do you a bit of good if you don’t have an app to promote. If you have an idea, contact us today to learn how we can help you make it a reality.