What Mobile App Sales Tell Us About The Value Of Social

We wrote a while ago about how the Instagram app might not make it to the BlackBerry 10, which prompted a deeper discussion regarding mobile app acquisitions and the importance of socialization.

While most believe that such acquisitions only take place with large-scale companies, the truth is that app acquisitions are becoming the standard for both developers, individuals, and companies trying to get into the mobile market.

Social News Daily sat down with apptopia recently to discuss these topics as they relate to their business. Apptopia helps make app developers money by performing app acquisitions on a slightly smaller scale than we normally see in the headlines. When it comes to app acquisition, they’re the grunts, so to speak: the boots on the ground, soldiers on the front lines who view mobile apps as invaluable assets. They were able to tell us about the importance of app acquisitions with regard to monetization strategy, how an app’s social and viral nature helps it sell, and what market trends their day-to-day business foreshadows.

SOCIAL NEWS DAILY: Does the viral nature of certain apps help sales (For instance, if a game is social in nature, does it sell faster)?

APPTOPIA: Yes, definitely. A game that’s social in nature enables its users to share scores and make recommendations to their friends more easily. The effect of this is often a stronger user base for the app, which directly affects traction. Apps with high traction are extremely valuable to big brands whom often acquire apps on Apptopia – especially since user acquisition costs in mobile are so high at this point in time.

SND: Is Apptopia seeing more social-based games go up for sale or traditional single player games?

AT: We are starting to see more social-based games looking to be acquired (Heli Swarm andZombie Tap, social games integrated with Game Center OpenFeint, are good examples of this).

SND: On that point, do social apps out-sell individual-focused apps?

AT: There is no way around the fact that social integration adds value to an app. An app that has social sharing, for example, no matter what category it may be in, is more likely to have a greater amount of traction than if it didn’t have those capabilities. It’s not always easy to turn a game into something social, so developers usually put more time into these types of apps. As a result, these apps will often be acquired at a higher price point – especially if they have a strong user base.

SND: Are more apps (outside of games) becoming more social?

AT: Yes, absolutely. This is one of the major trends we’re seeing. We’ve had several apps sell that didn’t initially have social integration included where the first thing the buyer did post-acquisition was implement a social framework into the app. At the same time, social apps on our site will be acquired solely for their social capabilities in which the buyer will re-skin the app’s original concept entirely.

SND: Anything else you can tell us about social media and mobile through app sales?

AT: Our highest acquisition to date occurred a few weeks ago with a 9GAG app for Android. 9GAG is the Y Combinator-backed social sharing humor site and the app was acquired for $25,000. The funny thing about this is that the app was developed by an independent developer and has been doing much better than 9GAG’s official iPhone app in terms of traction/market share.

Apptopia’s founder, Jonathan Kay, had more to say about this:

[quote type=”large” align=”left”] “The 9GAG app that sold for $25k on Apptopia boasts stats that include over 855,000 downloads 37,000 ratings. This is great to see as this app (built by an independent developer) is far out performing 9GAG’s official iPhone app (which has less than 10% of the stats). 9GAG plans to enter the Android Market ‘later this year,’ but I would be quite shocked if they built something from scratch versus acquiring the best available option (and customizing it to fit their brand/API). In my opinion this is what makes the acquisition so interesting – there is a massive opportunity to then flip this back to 9GAG when they are ready. Just remember it’s about the users, not the technology.” [/quote]

In short, your interest in and demand for social apps is something that’s directly driving the mobile app market right now, and all of the right people are listening. Developers are paying attention to your every move like never before, in order to bring you the quality social/mobile/gaming experience you’re demanding. Feels good to participate, doesn’t it?

Apptopia is a marketplace that brokers the sale of apps. Managing the process through competition, they start with recommending app valuation connecting sellers with buyers. They conclude with escrow services, code review, and interfacing with Apple Google on the customer’s behalf until a deal is wrapped.

You can check out their “about” page and meet their staff here, or visit their homepage here and browse for yourself.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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