Fifteen Minutes of Fame

July 23, 2011 By In iDevelopment No Comment

When your app is published on the AppStore for the first time, it shows on the New and Noteworthy section. This is your fifteen minutes of fame.

New and Noteworthy section is the Apple way of promoting apps entering the AppStore. It currently shows 32 new apps (it’s app icon, name & category). You may have to scroll a bit to the right, as all of the new apps don’t fit to view. This is your fifteen minutes of fame. If you do not hit the charts in this time window (== make it to the What’s hot or later on to Staff Favourites), it is gone.

Kanami’s fifteen minutes of fame resulted in 2 buyers. To be honest – I don’t know how long apps keep showing in “New and Noteworthy” and by what logic. But given that there are likely some hundreds of new apps per day… I’d say that 15 minutes might be an overestimation?

The needle in haystack

After the app is gone from the New and Noteworthy, it’s a needle in a haystack. Your app can be found in the AppStore by app name & keyword search, or by browsing the categories. In real life – as there are thousands of apps in AppStore, you’ll have to either:

  • Know the exact name of the app to find it in the AppStore.
  • Have an external link pointing to your app from some other place. Website. Tweet. Status update. Google Ad. Whatever makes it work.

In addition to the fact that Kanami had a really niche target audience, I did not get the most important thing with my first app – marketing, marketing, marketing. The tempting easiness of the iEcosystem – where you don’t need to negotiate with any marketing & distribution channels as you had to before the iEcosystem era – makes it far too easy to forget that probability of getting ANY real visibility in the AppStore is practically zero.

Enter marketing

In addition to Apple’s guidelines for maximizing visibility in the app store (the importance of the application icon, right categories and keywords, description text) you have to do a lot of PR for your app. Dumping An App To iPhone AppStore is not marketing and Marketing 101 For iPhone Apps by ArcticStartup are good to read to get the basic idea. “Polish up your marketing material – have links pointing to your apps – have a free and paid version of the app”. Anyway – you get the idea; the point is that you have to do the marketing by yourself. And don’t be surprised – there are vultures circling around the AppStore newbies

Being such a niche app – there’s probably not much I can do with Kanami (see the link pointing to the app), but hopefully I can do better with my next project. I am currently working on a game project I call “Bounce, Inc” , which is a mixture of classic “bounce the falling stuff to safety” beefed up with currently oh-so-popular cocos2d and especially chipmunk physics.

The fun part – coding & making the app – is easy, but once again the old theory is proven. It’s just about 5% of the work.

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