Today Scringo go out of private beta with their first public offering. If you've ever wanted to build a community around your app, and take advantage of real social networking, you have to look at this.
With a team of just five developers, Scringo started off in August 2012 with a mission to create one place for app developers to go to solve two of the biggest pain points in mobile development: improved user engagement and finding monetization opportunities that actually worked.
Through their private beta, 1,000 app developers signed up. This was all done on a zero dollar marketing strategy where people found out about their product through Twitter and Stack Overflow. From those 1,000 developers, more than 200 apps went live on Google Play and Apple's App Store giving a million end users. For a startup in it's early stages, this experience was invaluable, as the team were able to learn what the users were doing to make Scringo 2 even better
What the developer gets is a really nice sidebar feature that can be fully customized on the online dashboard. This is where you can really build a community around your app.
There are a number of different features you can add to this sidebar, including
- Connect with your contacts list/Twitter/Facebook for increased user discovery, so that you can find which friends are using the app.
- A messaging component that allows your users to communicate with each other,
- A feedback component so that users can get in contact with the developer. This is invaluable - rather than getting your feedback through reviews on the app store, you will be able to interact directly with your customer base
- A radar feature which finds who is using the app nearby in a neat map view
- An App Deals section which lists related apps. This is an early attempt at bringing in some additional earnings for the app developer, rather than relying on in-app advertising.
All the above are added using this really simple online dashboard
And what about Scringo's business model? Surely a service like this can't always remain free? When I put this question to Ran Avrahamy he explained that "Scringo will always be free. Whenever a developer makes money, Scringo makes money. And we will always work on new ways to add revenue streams to your app". This philosophy makes this product one of those rare developer focussed offerings, where the companies success is directly linked to your own app's success.
While in the closed beta, the team at Scringo ran some A/B tests to figure out how effective the solution was. There was a 97% increase in the average time spent within the app with Scringo enabled, along with an 89% increase in the average number of return sessions.
Right now, support exists for iOS and Android, with other platforms being investigated, as well as providing API support for SDKs such as PhoneGap, Appcelerator and Corona.