featured, Mobile

10 unconventional applications that made it big

Written by Zain Peracha ·  4 min read >

In today’s cat-eat-dog world, making a successful mobile apps is a process full to the brim with countless ingredients, carefully crafted procedures, complex calculations, state-of-the-art graphics and a clear well-defined purpose. Right? Wrong. There are guides all over the internet populating even the remotest of crevices and dictating exactly what you need to do if you want your apps to go viral, there are interviews and testimonies of developers who have made it big and there are entire sections devoted to the art on the biggest tech websites out there. The reality, however, is that even though following these guides and rote-learning these mantras will significantly improve the probability that your could create the next WhatsApp; a lot of this success boils down to simple chance, luck and sometime even an outright fluke.

1. Yo

yo-app-2Probably topping the list when it comes down to downright randomness, the Yo app has one simple purpose: it allows you say “Yo!” to your friends in the most ghetto way possible at any time during the day. That’s all it does and that’s all it can do. And this simple one-word text and audio notification app was recently valued at up to $10 million. Now ponder on what you’ve done in your life.

2. Snapchat

SnapchatAlthough a very, very popular means social interaction between the Generation X of today, Snapchat’s origins are not exactly very noble. The app has grown since it’s inception at almost warp speed in order the reach the level of success and acceptance it has today but initially when Snapchat entered the market it was a massive anomaly. In the world of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where everything revolved around sharing as much as possible and leaving a gigantic digital footprint, Snapchat did the exact opposite by eliminating all aspects of your data and making it essentially temporary. Visionary? Yes. And valued at almost $4 billion.

3. Tinder

Tinder AppTinder was created as a match-making application that gathered data from your present social networks (Facebook, Twitter) to accumulate a profile for you on to which it could then apply it’s location-based filters and compatibility algorithms in order to find potential candidates for dating or even maybe a friendly coffee-table conversation. With two-way confirmations and equal power to accept a possible match from either user the app received massive success on both iOS and Android. Remember when your parents told you never to talk to strangers? Tinder says otherwise.


secretIn it’s essence, Secret is an app that allows you to communicate anonymously with your circle of friends. As our consumption of the internet and its offerings evolves and expands, our respect for privacy and anonymity becomes paramount. The privacy that apps such as Secret and Whisper provide creates a much-needed environment for extroverts and introverts alike where they can, be heard and respond without being identified and judged. It is now valued at above $100 million

5. Bitstrips

imagesBitstrips was created as a compliment to social media sharing platforms and offers a simple interface through which users can create animated avatars of themselves and their friends in a trendy comic-like fashion. Based in Toronto with about 10 employees, the app was recently gathers $3 million worth of funding to move the app beyond it’s present confines within the English language with a lot of potential revenue accumulation on the horizon.

6. 2048

2048The incredibly addictive age debuted first debuted on GitHub, a developer forum, as a means of lowering stress for coders at work before it slowly evolved into a massively downloaded mobile application. The objective ob the game is to use swipes up, down, left and right to accumulate numbers of the same value into their additive (for example: a swipe that cascades 4 into another 4 would result in a tile of value 8) until you reach the objective of 2048. Although getting to 2048 is difficult enough, people have been known to get carried much much further.

7. Flappy Bird

Flappy-BirdReminiscent of the days on Mario and PacMan, this immensely pixelated and low-res offering took mobile gamers everywhere and hooked them worse than cocaine. There were cases of people being fired from their jobs and marriages were ruined, all for not being able to put off them temptation to play game after game. Considered to be incarnated by the devil itself because of the sheer difficulty which the game presents, the game still manages to lead app download charts on both Android and iOS for several months straight.

8. Meh

mehThink “Yo” but with one more letter; they’ve even made sure the logos are similar! According to a popular TechCrunch article, it’s that one extra letter that has allowed them to gain third more of funding with $1.8 million behind their reigns. The Meh app intends to provide a component on disinterest to social media, something similar to the ‘Dislike’ button so many users have asked for so many times. Disinterest is what will drive their profitability? Meh.

9. Vine

vineAn offering from the people behind Twitter, Vine once against sought to capitalise on the value people assign to every second of their time. By setting a limit of 6 seconds on every video that could be uploaded, Vine not only streamlined the entire experience of watching videos but also re-structured it in a way that would make sure they hold their essence while trimming the fat. Another use for the popular platform came about with advertisements which are often the largest revenue stream for these applications. Corporations loved the cost cutting these 6-second videos offered as well as the exposure it allowed them on these mass-reach social giants.

10. iFart

fart-app-iconThis needs no description. There is no guessing what was on the developers mind when he thought up the idea for this nor where he manages to gather the sounds required to complete it. All we do know is that it’s VERY good at the niche it is made to cater. The iFart app allows to make your selection of preferred fart sound and then with the simple push of a button revel in the sound it created (let’s take a moment to thank technology for now having invented devices that can produce a smell). With a large variety of options and an interface that’s instinctively easy to use, the iFart app quickly managed to find it’s user base and by all definitions of the phrase, made it big.

As is with all good things, this list must too come to an end. Following convention, we are always open to suggestions and editions to the article and it’s contents should you feel at any point that we’ve missed out on possible candidates. Make sure you keep checking our page for the next one and do subscribe to our newsletter in order to receive tidbits of the Freshest Bytes every Monday morning.

Written by Zain Peracha
is a 20 year old Karachiite currently studying Management Sciences in junior year at LUMS and his passions of particular significance revolve around indie music, thriller fiction novels and white chocolate. All of the aforementioned, however, are trumped by love for gadgets and all things tech. Profile