If your teenage years took place in the 2000s, then you probably remember those hours and even, at times, days spent with the mobile phone in hands. Time goes on and technologies are advancing, so it is no wonder that modern teenagers have much more options of spending their leisure with a smartphone than you did at the time. We can take for an example such enormously popular apps for teenagers as To Be Honest (TBH), Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

According to the last year’s statistics, users from the USA in the teenage category are particularly active with mobile apps and spend the most hours in them (in average – 93,5 hours a month spent with a smartphone, and 27,6 hours with a tablet) as opposed to other age categories. Such readings are an obvious reason to direct your professional activity towards the teen app development niche. Given article reinforces that statement and tells how to make an app like TBH.

Creating a teen app: what it should feature

Let us examine the list of 5 major features your teen app should have in order to really engage and excite the users.

Simple and exciting idea. A product you create for teenagers must feature a simple idea (i.e. the app’s functionality must be quite limited provided it is not a social network – the simpler, the better). Additionally, it is very important for this idea to seem uncommon and exciting from the point of view of the teenage group. It must be similar to a virus that would “contaminate” a smartphone after smartphone. That description best fits such options:

Various apps with funny features which can be shared with other users. This type of mobile software includes apps like FaceSwap and SnapChat. The latter could successfully exist on the market thanks to its amusing filters alone. One of those – a dog face filter, has long before become an internet meme. In fact, you do not have to reinvent the wheel in order to create such a “bomb”. Usually, even the clone apps are able to gather a small user base (Goofy Glass app, for instance, is almost a complete Doodle Mirror clone and still it managed to be installed over 1 m times from the time of release);

Gaming apps. Do not restrict your imagination in any way with this type of apps. The teenagers readily download all kinds of games – from childishly looking puzzle Candy Crush to games based on the modern IT trends, like Pokemon Go, etc.;

Read also: How to Make an App Like Pokemon Go

Social networks or other apps based on mutual user communication. This type of apps includes various chats and, in particular, the apps which provide an ability to anonymously discuss events, places, or, for instance, certain persons of interest. TBH and Sarahah may serve as examples of these.

Personalization. The teenagers have a tendency for self-expression more so than any other age group. That is exactly why we recommend to make this feature either a fundamental one in your app (i.e. direct a general functionality towards presenting a user in a vivid and interesting image – the examples are once again the popular SnapChat filters, Doodle Mirror, and apps alike) or bound to its general functionality (apps like social networks where each user has their own profile that can be personalized by many parameters).

Communication capabilities. People are social creatures. The teenagers, in their turn, spend extensive periods of time communicating online, which can be beneficial for your new app development. Provide them with the ability of mutual communication via the private and public messages, sticker packs, and emojis which, in turn, help to most precisely express the dialog partners’ emotional state.

Extensive number of graphical elements. The teenagers who are, in fact, not children anymore still, from time to time, like some essentially childish things. Take a craving for vivid pictures for an example. That is why it is recommended to try and dilute the blocks of text with various graphical elements and stylish fonts as much as possible (of course, with consideration of all the requirements of Material Design for an Android platform and Flat Design for an iOS platform accordingly).

Low-cost. Wouldn’t you agree that there is a ton of things that you want to spend your money on when you are a teen? A purchase of a smartphone app is rarely among those things, however. That particularly indicates the fact that the teenagers tend to prefer free apps over the paid ones.

Apps which practically not a single teenager could ignore

We have approached the most interesting subject. Presented to your attention below are 4 of the best mobile apps used by millions of teenagers daily. Perhaps one of those will inspire you to build your own potentially successful project.

To Be Honest. This anonymous app for teens appeared on the App Store in the beginning of August 2017. Today, its popularity is so enormous that Facebook decided to buy this startup in the October of this year (which is only two months after the initial release, just think of it). That is not surprising if we consider the fact that daily audience of the application consists of 2,5 million users. TBH’s functionality implies the arrangement of anonymous queries via the suggested set of questions in respect of a certain person (factually, the users cannot offend each other or send mockery messages as it happened with possibly shut down projects – Secret and Yik Yak, which were actively used for the cyber-bullying purposes). As a result, a person to whom a certain question was dedicated receives an anonymous notification with the collected compliments.

Sarahah. The word “sarahah” means “honesty” in Arabian. It is essentially a similar feedback provider the goal of which is to gather and send anonymous notifications to registered users. This application, similarly to TBH, has already been downloaded by more than 5 million people all over the world.

Facebook. We all know Facebook as a progenitor of all the modern social networks. Public posts, private messages, memes, emojis, communities – all of these elements have become an essential part of many modern teenagers’ lives. That, in turn, provided millions of downloads for the application.

SnapChat. This is an incredibly popular mobile app that enables users to post brief messages with attached videos and photos. What can be simpler, it may seem. Nevertheless, the fact remains: the SnapChat’s number of downloads rapidly increases on a daily basis and, as of today, comprises over 5 million downloads.

Read also: How to Make an App like Snapchat

How much does it cost to develop an app like TBH

We can only calculate the approximate development value in man-hours as every IT-company has its certain pricing. Thus, in order to develop an application similar to Sarahah or TBH, the developers will have to go through following stages:

Consumer market research. This is, usually, a task handled by the separate marketer companies. The sufficiently objective research would take at least 700 man hours;

Project conception. Before initializing software development, the developers divide the process into a set of sequential sub-tasks and choose implementation tools and approaches. This can take around 120 man-hours;

Functionality development and design. This is the most labor-intensive software creation process which takes a minimum of 780 man hours;

Beta testing. The beta testing procedure plays a very important part in releasing the high-quality, competitive product. It is conducted not by the developers but by the groups of volunteers. The whole process usually takes no less than 400 man hours;

Tech support. The tech support services are needed to be employed from time to time in order for your application to stay “afloat” as the time passes (for example, to fix bugs detected after the release of an app or updates). Such services could take approximately up to 20 man hours a month.

How to make a teen app: conclusion

Let us summarize. As we can see, the general activity of a developer that builds an application for a teenage category must be directed more towards the marketing research and design, than towards an implementation of complex and uncommon functionality. In such manner, we recommend to create and distribute one’s own query with polling before initializing the development (obviously, the teenagers like to express their opinion on various things). The results of such query would comprise a more or less comprehensive picture of a future mobile app’s functionality.

How to Make a Teen App that Rocks
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