How to Make An App Go Viral: A Step-by-Step Guide

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The Anatomy of a Viral App: What You Need to Know

Viral is a very common word that we hear on a nearly daily basis. It started way back when the only viral thing was an infection or disease. However, now with the rise of applications, social media platforms, and all sorts of trends, “viral” can be literally anything. From videos, photos, songs, movies, etc. Literally, any form of art or media can go viral. To achieve this, experts have set a standard or made a prediction of what characteristics can make something go viral. For instance, a movie can go viral if it is exciting and has a plot twist. However, we are talking about forms of media, so let us broaden our horizons and ask another question. Can apps go viral? Read this article to learn how to properly make an app go viral.

Take One: Can an App Go Viral?

Our first take on viral apps is a great question: can an app go viral and how? We’ve, for sure, seen a song go viral and take over all the local and global charts. We’ve also witnessed many great movies go viral and generate billions of dollars. However, how can we really tell that this app is viral?

Virality, especially for an app, is a very broad term and process. As it contains many factors and methods that can accomplish such a goal. The mobile app market and industry are valued at $228.98 billion, with many predictions for exceptional annual growth in the following years that could reach up to 13%. With such growth comes great competition, which makes virality the main aim of any app. Throughout the years, you definitely witnessed some viral apps that came and conquered the app stores and achieved exceptional success in such a short period of time (or so you think). This answers our question with one simple answer, which is definitely

Examples of Successful Viral Apps

For instance, the moment Instagram started to gain some recognition, it instantly became a hit. Who could possibly forget the retro Instagram design with the grainy and vintage filters? Everyone was obsessed and started uploading millions of pictures of the then-new platform; even celebrities were head over heels.

Another example is Facebook Messenger, a true instant sensation. The fact that Facebook users were able to view their messages in a more expanded and clear view in a whole other app was wild. They could also receive real-time notifications about new messages and not wait until they logged in to their accounts.

The last example is, of course, the most viral app of all time, which is TikTok. This app possesses all the factors that could make an app viral, which we will explore in detail later on. TikTok went viral in all its versions and forms. First, in late 2015–16, when it was under another name, which was It instantly became one of the greatest overnight app success scenarios. Later on, it got rebranded and appeared as the TikTok many of us use and know now. People thought that it was a one-time success. However, the application came to prove them wrong and continue accomplishing exceptional success and dominating the app store charts.

In your opinion, what is the one commonality between these viral apps? Or why did they actually go viral? If you analyzed why Instagram went viral, you might come up with various reasons. Such as the unique idea, novel design, great marketing, or feedback and reviews from everyone, including renowned celebrities, and the list can go on forever. This is also applied to the other two apps. Executing a viral app is somewhat doable and easy to accomplish. However, it is not all about execution or development; it is also about keeping the application going and living up to people’s expectations. So, let us explore the characteristics of a viral app that would not only make it go big but also help it keep going.

Take Two: What Are the Characteristics of a Viral App?

1.) Unique and Innovative Features

Unique and Innovative Features

A viral app is characterized by its unique and distinctive features that make it distinct from other apps. This could take the form of a unique approach to solving common or existing users’ problems, just like Facebook Messenger. Or an innovative user interface and experience, or an innovative feature that has never previously been seen in any app, as the one Tiktok and Instagram offered. The app’s reach and potential for virality can be boosted by offering users something new and engaging. This will encourage them to recommend the app to other people, like family and friends. It is essential, however, that these features are readily available to all users and truly add value to the application.

2.) Usefulness

While it’s important, it’s not enough for a viral app to simply have interesting and new features; they must also be of actual benefit and add value to the user. People are more inclined to recommend an app to others if it helps them in some way and solves their problems. And as we all know, referrals and good feedback are two of the most important factors in app success. So, always keep your app’s users in mind while developing features. Also, make sure the app is intuitive to use and is actually contributing to making users’ lives easier and more streamlined.

3.) Unique Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

This might come as quite a surprise, as usually onboarding processes are not given the same attention as everything else in the app development process. However, the onboarding process is always the user’s first impression and interaction. It usually indicates the quality of what comes after. Think of the onboarding processes as doors; I mean, they are what got Alice to Wonderland. If a person comes across a colorful and pretty-shaped door, he’ll be very curious and intrigued to find out what’s behind it. The same happens with applications, if you execute well-designed, easy, and engaging onboarding processes, you are most likely to attract a large number of users. Thus, you are one step closer to creating a viral app and achieving great success.

4.) Powerful Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy  

A viral app is not merely a result of chance or luck. Behind every viral success story lies a powerful marketing strategy, which is why it is one of the most important characteristics of a viral app. You can’t deny how many times you were drawn to an app because of a great ad or social media post. For instance, every mother’s favorite app, Candy Crush Sage, has one of the most powerful marketing strategies to ever exist. This includes many advertisements, leveraging word of mouth, and positive feedback. This effectively amplifies the app’s visibility and increases exposure to an exceptional extent. Which, in turn, engages users and encourages them to use it and even share it with others.

5.) Seamless Performance

One of the key characteristics of a viral app is seamless performance. You never witness and could never expect a viral app to have a poor performance. On the contrary, users always expect apps to load quickly and function smoothly without any glitches or bugs. If an app crashes, freezes or runs into any performance issues frequently, users are most likely to abandon it and move on to find another app that could solve their problem while performing perfectly. Before releasing your viral app to the public, make sure it has undergone thorough testing and validation. Updating the app frequently and addressing any issues detected are also essential for maintaining user satisfaction.

Take Three: How Can You Create a Viral App

So, our final take on this topic is the how. How can someone create a viral app? In addition to the characteristics mentioned above, a developer needs a well-established and executed plan to first develop an app and then drive it to virality. If a developer is into traditional and authentic ways, he could easily go for the traditional development process that involves coding, prototyping, etc.

However, we all know well enough that such a process could take months or even years, especially, if he is aiming to develop a flawless app that could easily go viral. If a developer is into adventures and exploring new and emerging technologies, he could save much time and effort by going for low-code or no-code development. The new and innovative technology made it possible for everyone to go beyond their horizons and develop as many apps as they wanted, with different features, designs, and functionalities.

Low Code and No Code Are Here for the Rescue!

Low-code and no-code not only allow everyone, even people with no coding knowledge, to be a developer, but they also include all the aspects and steps of the app development process, not leaving anything out. All in one place and in no time. For example, the nandbox app builder, in addition to being the only native app builder on the market, also allows developers to test and publish their apps directly through the platforms without any external interventions. They effectively created a platform where the developer could turn to accomplish everything regarding the app development process. Nandbox offers all these great benefits and many others that are more than enough to create the perfect viral app at the most affordable price on the market, starting at $49 per month.

Now that creating an app is as easy as it can ever get, virality is just a matter of well-executed planning and research. Also, with the vital characteristics mentioned above, you can rest assured that your app is not only viral but also here to stay. Try the nandbox app builder now and enjoy the exceptional taste of virality.