App Growth Series

Every year,  Mary Meeker, a prominent internet and mobile analyst with KPCB, does a detailed postmortem analysis of Internet Trends. She also provides entrepreneurs, a window into the future with what innovations to expect.

We will publish a series of blogs about what opportunities we see for app publishers and with recommendations on how to further grow apps. 

This is first blog in this series.

China at #1, and India at #2, have more Internet users than USA at #3

What should app publishers do to grow their apps?

Consider localizing your app in Chinese

Although, literate Chinese can generally read both Simplified Chinese (汉字) and traditional Chinese (漢字) but for the best user experience and user comfort, both should be offered.

People from Hong Kong, Taiwan and outside Chinese prefer Traditional Chinese, while people from Mainland China and Singapore prefer using Simplified Chinese.


Chinese is a complex and compact language.  Of the 85,568 characters in Zhonghua Zihai dictionary (The sea of characters of the Chinese Civilization), 2,000 characters will suffice for most newspaper articles and 3,000 and 4,000 are generally accepted.  This means apps have to use more vertical height in font spacing and loading and caching fonts other than the system fonts is challenge.

Consider localizing your app in Indian Languages

India is a multi-lingual country, or the land of 1652 languages.  However, of the 29 languages with more than a million speakers each, 22 are listed as official. Sources 1 and 2.

Fortunately, a number of users understand and use English in India.  40% of users use Hindi.   The top languages to localize for India market are Hindi (हिंदी), Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ) and Tamil (தமிழ்).

The top languages to localize for India market are Hindi (हिंदी), Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ) and Tamil (தமிழ்).




Cultural Globalization

Localization gets your app available to users speaking a different language.  Globalization grows your app amongst users of different cultures.  Do not ignore making your app culturally acceptable in India and China. Following is a list adapted from a Microsoft source.

Localization gets your app available to users speaking a different language

Globalization grows your app amongst users of different cultures

  • Use the correct formats for numbers, dates, times, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Support international paper sizes, if your app prints
  • Support relevant units of measurement, for example metric system.
  • Support correct currencies for in-app purchases and store purchases
  • Display text and fonts correctly, without assuming left to right writing style
  • Use Unicode for character encoding
  • Record the language of input
  • Don’t use language to assume a user’s location, and vice versa, don’t use location to assume a user’s language
  • Avoid using colloquialisms and metaphors
  • Don’t use technical jargon, abbreviations, or acronyms, that may not be understood in different cultures
  • Don’t use images that might be offensive in different cultures
  • Avoid political offense in maps or when referring to regions
  • Be careful when showing maps of areas that are disputed between countries, and cite source of maps
  • Don’t use string comparison by itself to compare language tags
  • Don’t assume that sorting is always alphabetic

As a well cited example, Evernote even changed the name of it’s note taking app when it launched it in China 4 years ago. Evernote called it’s product Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记) or “Memory Notes”.  Evernote maintained the brand identity as the second character, 象, means Elephant and Elephants are known for excellent memory.

Posted by Dickey Singh

Dickey Singh is the CEO and co-founder at Pyze and has over two decades of experience in mobile, Big Data and SaaS. He started Pyze to help app publishers engage, retain and grow their mobile users using automation. Get Pyze:

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