Today I present another written interview with Dino, one of the creators of the mobile application “Ruffee“. Ruffee is basically an app that connects other dog owners together, a unique concept to say the least!
I asked him several questions about mobile development and some challenges he faced as an app designer.
Check out the interview:
1. What got you interested in creating a mobile application? Share your story.
When I looked at the most popular social networking apps recently, I realized that they were all about human connections. I then came up with an interesting idea: What would happen if I create a social networking app for human’s best friend – dogs? If you are a dog lover/owner, it’s pretty common that you would like to find more dog loving friends so you and your friends can share the common interest. With that being said, I started doing more research to find out what features we should be providing in the app. At the end my partners and I came up with three main features:
- To let users share their dogs’ photos and stories
- To let users chat
- To let users find local dog lovers
2. The mobile marketplace for Android and iPhone devices has thousands of applications, what have you done to stand out as being different?
Yes, I cannot deny that competitions are everywhere, especially in the social networking field. The way that we bring ourselves unique and stand out as bring different is how we carefully define our target audience. Facebook has won the competition entirely and it’s basically monopoly. It’s pointless to fight for the market if you are targeting the same type of users. However, instead of purely human connections, I want to make our goal more specific and narrower. We would just want to bring DOG LOVERS together and it’s all about dog lover connections. Yes, the market is obviously smaller, yet our message can be crystal clear.
3. What are your thoughts on publishing a free application vs. paid? How have you gone about monetizing the free version of your application?
At this moment, all we would like to see is to have more users. We do not want to create any barriers to prevent people from using Ruffee. Therefore, we decided to keep this app free to download. As a startup, this is always a tough decision as we do not have a huge budget, yet we still need to maintain our servers and everything. However, for now users are always the no.1 asset to our company so we will still keep our free download promise.
4. What are some tactics you have followed to help push downloads for your application?
To help downloads for our application, the most important thing is to increase our app impression. We tried every possible way to deliver Ruffee to the public. We hired SEO specialists, asked for bloggers’ help, and launched Facebook and website ads. As today, it also helps let more people know about Ruffee while I’m doing this interview.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
We are really hoping that more people will get to know more about Ruffee. Meeting other people in your community who are passionate about their dogs can lead you open to many new friend connections. Especially when you are new to a city, it is always nice to connect with neighbours and to find out about all of the wonderful places in your area that are available for you and your canine.
We have lots of plans about how to develop Ruffee further, but we would also like to hear what the market really needs as well. So please try the app out, and also let your family and friends know too!
Check out this promotional video for the Ruffee App: