C is for Curious

Be open minded about how your app is used

Some users might be interested in your app for very different reasons than the ones you built it for. This can be an amazing opportunity and it’s very important to look for signs of this phenomenon. It could surface in the app store comments, in support emails or wherever your users are talking about the app.

When I released TextingStory I thought people would make short text message jokes with it and post them on Facebook or Instagram. Some users did but I realized at some point that the app was mostly getting traction with kids writing fully-fledged short stories with it. These users were writing fictional conversations between two characters in their favorite cartoon or show. They would post this ‘fan fiction’ on YouTube but they would also enjoy just writing creatively on their own.

Trust me, it is not easy to understand kids online. But discovering what they were doing with the app was very interesting. Did you know the fan fiction genre has a subgenre called ‘ships’? It’s short for ‘relationships’ and consists of making up a flirtatious sequence between two characters who aren’t romantically involved in the original show where they appear!

Anyways, I embraced this direction and prioritized features that would cater to this kind of use. Implementing a scroll through the messages became very important as the stories were much longer than what I had expected!

Catering to this niche fan fiction crowd turned out to be a steppingstone for the app. Be aware that kids leave the most heartwarming comments in the app store, filled with ♥ emojis!

Other uses I hadn’t thought of showed up later. Being aware of them shaped the way I worked on the app and is probably why it is as successful as it is today. Be on the lookout for unconventional uses of your app!

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