Just about anyone who’s been in the same room with me for more than 5 minutes over the last few months has likely been accosted by me in an attempt to show off my latest iPhone app: inPictures. The reaction to the app has universally been positive – people think the idea behind the app is great and the user interaction and interface is fantastic. I’ve heard all kinds of enthusiastic responses from people – gushing with praise and encouragement that this app will be a huge success.
But it hasn’t.
Since being released in early December (nearly 2 months ago now) it’s earned me enough money to buy a sandwich – and since Apple holds payments until you hit a threshold around $350 or so, I’ve not seen the first dime from this app yet.
So, what’s wrong? Why is it that everyone I show loves it, but nobody buys it on the app store?
In a word, I think the answer is: “noise”. Noise, you ask? Let me explain: The last I heard, the app store currently has somewhere north of 140,000 applications for sale. Even discounting the 40,000 iBodilyFunction apps, that’s still a *HUGE* ocean of applications, and being noticed is very difficult – particularly because the name of my app and the keywords I used when I set it up for sale are way too generic.
Currently, the app name is “inPictures”, and the keywords I used are: “Photography, Zoom, Puzzle, game, Imagination, IQ, Picture, Image, Abstract, Art, Camera, Visualize”. When I was putting this app together, I thought that these words described it pretty well. However, just go ahead and search on any of these in the App Store in iTunes – I’ll wait.
No, really – go ahead….
Did you find my app? No? Did you find thousands of other apps instead? See the problem I’m facing?
I’ve also spend considerable time and money in various marketing campaigns, which has helped some, but not enough to justify the effort.
So, I’ve decided to rename it, and need your help. What do you think I should call the next version? I’m looking for a name that captures the essence of what this app is, but is unique enough that people can actually find it.
Spit out a comment with your suggestions below. Thanks!
I don’t have any great name suggestions, because I’m not sure it matters. When I am searching for a fun game I look at the top-N lists and featured apps list. Sometimes I browse by category, but I would never even think of searching for something like “picture game”. You just need to get listed in one of those top-N lists or something.
What makes you think that a rename would fix the problem?
Yeah – how to get listed in one of those top-N lists is a mysterious and priceless secret of the hidden underworld that is the iTunes App Store. I’ve heard all kinds of ways to get listed, but ultimately you get put onto one of those lists because an Apple employee puts you there, I believe.
The main reason I’m considering a name change is due to this article, and several others like it.