Snapchat is a clear example of what can happen when you dump the Android community. We all know Snapchat is going through hard times in terms of economy and user level, its financial results from Q3 show it. The arrival of Instagram Stories gave the yellow social network a blow that sent it to the pit-bottom and it hasn’t come out yet, I doubt that it can, especially in the non-US market.
One of the app’s main problems is the fact that its Android version was really bad. Snap wouldn’t update the app with the same care it put to the iOS version, it would even launch new features on iOS that took weeks and even months to arrive to the Android version. Moreover, the quality of the image on Android was terrible, while on an iPhone you would get an excellent image. The app was pure trash, nothing more.
Recently, Evan Spiegel – he said it himself, that he didn’t want people from poor countries like Spain using Snapchat – said that during next year he would put all of his efforts on developing a new Android app from scratch. Good news, no doubt, but too late. Spiegel himself confirms this when he says that most of the users that registered on the app in September did it on Android: “I wish we had done it before”
Android users are not less important than Apple users
In fact, we are many, many, many more. Snapchat treated Android users as irrelevant and that meant leaving behind a huge market niche, full of thousands and thousands of users that, because of the company’s own negligence, don’t use the app, since it doesn’t work as it should, considering that Android devices are quite more potent than Apple’s devices.
Snapchat is the perfect example of how not treating Android users as they deserve is the same as plummeting. But this is not the only example, this is not the only app that has treated Android as a secondary OS. Nintendo launched Super Mario Run on iOS and made us wait a lot of time before arriving to Android. Do you know what happened? It was a complete success, so their next two games, Fire Emblen Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp where launched in both systems at the same time.
Still, there are apps that still bet on launching on iOS first and then, do Android the favor of being in their system as if we had to beg them to give us our share of apps. Trivia HQ or Monument Valley are two clear examples of this.
Android is a much more extended system on a global level
Data speaks on its own. On the chart above, extracted from Kantar, you can see how, except in the United States and Japan where the fight is fiercer, Android is the most used OS on the main global markets. An app, company or service that ignores Android users would be losing a huge amount of earnings from ads and users. In Spain, specifically, Snapchat looked down on 90% of the users. This and digging your own grave are basically the same.
And yes, I agree with the fact that developing for iOS is “easier” because there are only a few devices on the market and also I agree with the fact that Apple is the leader in sales globally, but only in terms of brand. Apple and i0S can not be compared with Samsung and Android on that level, because only Apple has iOS, but Android is on Huawei, Samsung, LG and in every other Brand whose logo isn’t a bitten apple.
Not to mention the fact that Android allows to develop phones in the middle and lower range which allows to bring smartphones to poorer or developing countries. From an exclusively consumerist and mercantilist point of view, a company is interested in developing a good app for Android, because we are speaking of an OS that reaches the entire world. And we are back to the same: ignoring Android is like ignoring almost the whole world and Snapchat is the perfect example.
Developers need to start betting on Android, they should treat us, the users, with the same pamper they treat iOS’. Yes, we agree that developing iOS is easier, but developing on Android is synonym of global expansion, a bigger audience and better results. Snapchat may be late but let’s take it as a warning of what can happen if you ignore Android.