It’s not all about making an app that is the most complex and useful; all you need to do is make a nifty little app that can become popular at the right time, and you can have a hit on your hands. Outfit7 has discovered this: somehow they have managed to surpass 60 million downloads of their “Talking Friends” apps across iOS and Android.
There are some absolutely mammoth numbers to consider: a lineup of 8 apps has surpassed 60 million downloads. 35 million of those belong to Talking Tom Cat, which has garnered enough attention to even show up on a recent episode of Modern Family. They’ve had 6 apps be listed in the iPhone’s top 200 grossing apps, 5 apps in the top 60 of the iPhone App Store’s top paid list, and 3 apps show up in the iPhone’s top 100 free list. As well, the app is popular with international users, with 67% of downloads coming from outside the US, compared to an average rate of 30-45%. While many of their apps are free, they are seeing an average of 10% conversion rate on in-app purchases within those apps, so they’re making some money off of
What do Outfit7 attribute to their success? The CEO of Outfit7, Andrej Nabergoj, says that it’s in part due to their apps’ appeal to kids. “Our growth is powered by what I would call the Law of Unintended Consequences. Kids are using smart phones in ways that were never anticipated. While observing kids playing with our apps, we realized we were no longer an app developer, but a mobile toy maker.” As well, the international appeal can be traced to apps like Talking Tom Cat being based off of manipulating the sound and touch of users, allowing the apps to be easily adapted for use in non-English speaking countries.
It’s mind boggling to consider just how popular and lucrative these simple little apps are – they may be simple little toys for smartphone owners to play around with or entertain their kids, but there is clearly some serious business in these apps, and it is a good time to be making these apps.