After 30 years emojis are still clutch. Type in emoji/emojis/emoticon/emoticons or smileys in Topappcharts.com and you'll see tons of apps flooding the top rankings.
Apple originally introduced emoticons with iOS 4 after a huge number of requests from Japan, and emojis instantly became a classic. Now Apple has unveiled a whole new set of emoticons that have already captured the user's attention and are making serious money.
If you want to learn about making your own emoji app (or making money with apps), sign up for our free Emoji App Workshop.
Fun Fact: 57% of messengers would rather tell a “crush” their true feelings with emoticons rather than – gasp – words. – Yahoo
I hate to say it, but I'm definitely guilty of using emoticons. Probably more than I should. Whether it's after a couple beers, or talking to a developer halfway across the globe, emojis somehow make their way into my conversations.
Sometimes I feel like my IM chats NEED an emoticon. Other times I'm offended when someone DOESN'T include an emoji.
Why is this person being such an asshole? Add a smiley to the text and we're best buds.
We've all seen emoji apps on the Top Charts, but is it possible to make money in this competitive category? The answer is:
Emojis aren't going anywhere. In fact, Apple added more emoticons with iOS 8.3, and you can damn well guarantee we're going to see some new funky emoji apps murder the Top Charts in the years to come.
If you're not using emojis, you can follow these simple steps to join the party.
The History of Emoticons and Mobile
Emojis were initially requested by Japanese app users.
In Japanese, 'emoticon' literally translates to: picture characters.
By activating the Japanese Romaji Keyboard (picture to the right), users could create generic emoji faces in text.
Now decades later, emojis are a common method of communication which means millions of dollars in app revenue.
Apple released 300 new emoticons with iOS 8.3. The big news is the emoji diversity. Now there are 5 new alternate skin colors that can be used.
Apple took it a step further with gender diversity, more national flags, and updated electronic emojis. No more VHS cassette and fax machines from the 80s. Now we can text with modern tech devices.
Users can use these new emojis by simply hovering over an emoji and tapping + holding on top of the emoticon to show 5 additional characters.
How to hit the top charts with emoji apps
There is nothing really new with emoji apps. The functionality is exactly what the user wants. Plain and simple. Emoji apps dominate the Apple algorithm by following 3 rules:
1. Ease of Use
2. Speedy Mobility
3. User Retention
All you need to do is conquer these Big 3, and you're off to the races!
Emoji apps are meant to be opened and closed quickly. Users probably only spend less than 10 seconds in the app itself. So you ask: How do developers keep high user retention?
The answer is: You have to be creative and know your audience. And it's easier than you think.
Animated Emoji Pro has integrated games in their app. While searching for the right emoji, users get sidetracked and end up playing a game for several minutes. This boosts the app's rating within Apple's algorithm.
Stick Texting is a perfect example of an emoji app that dodged the competition. And its not going anywhere.
Well they probably have huge marketing campaigns, big funding, and cross promotional networks right? I could never compete with these apps.
Stick Texting weaseled its way through Apple's review process with killer metadata. The full title Stick Texting – The Emoji Emoticons Killer (Emoticon Emojis), made it through Apple's review process and hit on dozens of long-tail keyword searches (Emoji texting. Killer emoticons. Stick emojis…).
The developers used organic ASO methods to bring in strong search results. Take a look at all of the variations of the word 'emoticon' used.
Also look at the reoccurring words in the app's description. This is a classic Android tactic that came up big for Stick Texting.
This is the type of niche app that leads to buckets of money.
How do I know?
I've developed over a dozen emoji apps using the exact same themes and ASOs as high ranking apps. The outcome was Top Charts gold.
Learn how to turn any idea into a winning app with this free 21 step app checklist (download here).
Emoji animations and gifs
Although nothing tops classic emoticons, animated and 3D emojis are sharing the spotlight. By simply changing all the images from PNGs -> GIFs, we've created a whole new experience.
Now we can use animated images in our app.
A still image isn't enough anymore. Users want to see the full emotional sequence from start to finish. Instead of using a German flag, lets have a Bavarian emoji eating a schnitzel and drinking a Doppelbock.
Why stop with emojis? Why not add real-life animated expressions?
Users want to pinpoint an EXACT emotion to the receiver.
LOL or WTF just don't cut it sometimes. In many cases a facial animation is necessary for illustrating a reaction.
Instead of paying for resources to be created, I found tons of free-license sites with animated gifs up for grabs. Apple did throw a couple rejections my way due to trademark infringement. But guess what – the rejections took 2 minutes to fix and could be easily submitted again.
Chances are you're not going to beat the heavy hitters in the emoji category. Mostly because a lot of these apps have been around for years and are grandfathered in.
Target niche categories. I came across an article written by an emoji-fanatic demanding an emoticon app for redheads. What a classic idea that hasn't been done yet!
Find a non-competitive area. Maybe its something like lazer-cat texting animations or animated gifs from the 80s. The more specific, the less competition.
Emoticon Apps are Still Blasting Off – Make Your Own Emoji App
Many developers are missing out on picking niche themes and being creative to keep users in the app.
Emoji apps are incredibly easy to develop, maintain, and skin. Speaking from experience, there's no better way to get revenue and downloads than having a network of different niche themed emoji applications. Users can't get enough of these apps.
App geniuses like Chad Mureta aren't quitting on emojis. Why would he?
Chad's hit emoticon app took only 2 weeks to create, and was averaging $500 a day only six days after its release. Mureta has sold his best emoticon app and has gone on to develop tons of new hit emoji apps.
These types of source codes are incredibly affordable. You can develop your own or purchase one of many source codes already packaged up.
It can be really easy to make your own emoji app. Bluecloud offers a premier emoji source code as part of it's Bluecloud App Formula course. You can learn more in the free workshop here to get access.
Don't miss out on the next wave of emoticon apps. If emojis are something you're interested in and have wanted to develop in the past, its not too late.
Get off the couch and start hustling!
If you want to read more – sign up for our app business workshop and get the 150 page free ebook. This publication is easily the best place to start if you want to learn more about apps.
If you want to make your emoji app, you can get your hands on a ready-to-go template here.
Have questions about creating your own emoji app? Leave a comment, lets chat about it.