You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the sensation that is the game Flappy Bird. Although I haven’t played it myself I am really interested in learning about it and the success it has had over a very short time period. The app world changes so fast and it is always interesting to hear what is working for other apps on the app store.
Also over the past few weeks we have been blogging a lot about how In-App Purchases account for 96% of the top grossing apps on the app store, as we are always keeping on top of the ways our clients can make more money from their apps. Earlier today I came across this interesting article: How in-app review mechanics pushed Flappy Bird to the top of the charts on VentureBeat. One thing I was surprised to learn is that Flappy Bird developer, Dong Nguyen, had “zero marketing spend”! So how on earth did an app with zero marketing spend shoot to the top of the app store rankings. According to VentureBeat it seems the immense number of app reviews contributed to its climb to the top. A “rate” button was put at the end of each session in a place where the user would normally tap to play (know as a “dark pattern”). When Flappy Bird was at the top it was receiving 400 reviews a day and at the very top received 700,000 in around a month. Although Apple doesn’t make its algorithm public, developers are speculating that there is a formula that takes ratings into consideration.
I encourage you to read the original article as it is a very interesting look into this “rate me” tactic. What do you think of this strategy?