Should You Make Your App International?

When you sit down and start developing your app, there’s always that inner battle to make your app local or international. There are advantages to keeping it local amongst them, the ability to focus better on an audience that you already know and understand very well; less costs and more targeted marketing. However there are also good reasons to make international ones.

The Advantages of Mobile App International

  • Faster User Base Growth

    Even though the costs of adapting the app to meet the local language and cultures – region specific marketing, etc, the rate of growth, measured by downloads is much higher than for an app exactly the same but only restricted to a certain region. Growth in the user base translates to revenue growth that ultimately you need to make a decent profit or do so well that your app ends up being purchased by bigger players in the industry.
  • Franchising Opportunity

    An international app presents numerous franchising opportunities. Even though this is a concept that still needs further exploration, the app business is almost similar to any other business. If your app has a lifetime life span, and the potential to always upgrade it and keep it relevant is very high, then it can be franchised to other regions globally. In the long run you reduce the amount of money and time value spent on localization activities.

The Disadvantages of Mobile App International

  • High Costs

    The process of making an international app is more time consuming than a local one. A lot of time is spent in the research and testing phases. An app cannot be truly international if it caters for only one audience, say the English – speaking audience. It would have to be translated into other languages, which means translations of other elements of the app such as the use of certain symbols and colors. Testing and compliance with the different privacy policies will consume even more time that equates to more expenditure.
  • High Probability of Failure

    Entering a market that a developed or publisher is not very familiar with is scary. On top of that there’s the culture and user behavior to deal with whilst under the pressure to deliver an app of the highest quality. Ultimately this pressure could lead to more focus being placed on things that don’t matter in the bigger scheme of things that bring the success needed. One of those frustrating things is creating marketing strategies for audiences that one doesn’t fully know or understanding, which failure to deliver on; you end up hiring a marketing team from that region, bringing the app team to the above point of high costs. These are costs that could result in failure before launching.

Each developer’s situation is very different. A thorough analysis of one’s situation and app goals ultimately help determine on whether to go for a non-international app.



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