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How Huawei's AppGallery can rapidly grow your app in the Middle East and beyond

Huawei head of AppGallery MENA mobile services Naji Robehmed tells all from Pocket Gamer Connects Jordan 2019

How Huawei's AppGallery can rapidly grow your app in the Middle East and beyond

Anyone using a Huawei phone has no doubt spotted AppGallery on their device - after all, it comes preloaded on the phone, along with a range of other useful apps that users will take note of when they first turn it on.

As you might expect, this means that Huawei's app discovery centre already has a huge install base. With over 390 million monthly active users taking advantage of AppGallery, there are plenty of eyes on the more than one million developers who provide games and apps to the store.

But there's always room to grow, and Huawei is always looking out for more exciting developers to work with on its platform. That's why Huawei's head of AppGallery MENA mobile services, Naji Robehmed, took the stage at Pocket Gamer Connects Jordan 2019 to talk about what AppGallery can do for developers, and why their apps should be on the platform.

Even though AppGallery has such a global reach, Huawei makes sure that local markets get what's right for them. Robehmed noted that the company operates locally in over 170 countries around the globe, where "the service is managed at a local level, taking into account all the local flavours and requirements and needs to make sure that we attract more and more local users to the platform."

It's a strategy that has worked too - AppGallery has added 130 million monthly active users in the last year alone, making it the fastest growing distribution platform currently on the market.

The platform is growing especially quickly in the Middle East, too, especially in the GCC market where 38 per cent of the region's users come from. Back in February 2019, the team predicted that AppGallery would grow by 300% in the MEA region - but by December that same year, it had already far surpassed that target.

Explosive growth

How has it seen such explosive growth? Robehmed puts it down to one simple thing - working closely with local development partners. "We have a lot of local partners that come and put their content, their apps, their services on AppGallery, and we work with them to make sure that they acquire users, and retain those users."

But AppGallery is only one part of the Huawei ecosystem, all of which works together to help developers acquire and retain users. Co-marketing efforts with Huawei aid in acquiring users, while both Themes and the Browser help keep apps in the minds of their users.

So what do these co-marketing efforts actually look like? For starters, partners can be part of the "out-of-box experience", appearing as recommended apps for users to download when they start their phone up for the very first time. Developers can also get prime spots on AppGallery in its featured slots on the front page, as well as being part of "essential apps" groups curated by Huawei.

But that's not everything. AppGallery also offers top and middle banner slots for apps, along with entire splash screens for when developers really want to get their app or game in the eyes of the user.

Case study

One game that has already taken advantage of this is Game of Sultans from Mechanist Internet Technologies. After 14 weeks of being AppGallery, revenues for the game continued to grow remarkably well, thanks to Huawei's co-marketing efforts.

In Game of Sultans' case, this even involved offline community events for players to meet one another, as well as a rewards point plan within AppGallery to incentivise players and offer them discounts on in-game items.

Players are also incentivised to give feedback on the games they play thanks to a prize scheme. Each week, the player who receives the most likes from other users on their comment wins a chunk of Huawei points to spend on AppGallery, encouraging more people to download games to be in with the chance of winning major prizes.

And while all of these marketing efforts come at a cost, developers and publishers will hardly see it. AppGallery offers an 85% revenue share on IAP - "this is, I believe, the best revenue share currently in the market," noted Robehmed.

Want to get involved with AppGallery? Developers and publishers can find out more about sharing their apps on AppGallery over on its official website. It's a simple submission system, and soon you too could be getting your games in front of the 390 million MAUs on the platform eager for new content.