An app developer with new app idea always has high hopes for the virality of apps. Famous apps drive millions of downloads, has good reviews on app store and brings excellent revenue.


Though that can be the dream of any app developer, but app stores are heavily loaded with abundant amount of apps already. Hence, an app should have the potential to outcompete the other apps in the market.


So, what does an app really requires to go viral? Let’s find out mantra to make the app addictive.


The Hook Model

Any app has the ability to go viral if it meets the elements of Hook Model (in accordance with Nir Eyal’s guide to developing habit-building products).


Some of the elements of this model are:


Trigger: People get hooked to apps when a trigger is given.


External Trigger: A notification, ad image, a rating or a review, emails, recommendation, etc are all outside triggers which entice the user to reach a particular app.


Internal Trigger: These triggers are generally the reason why an app is built. E.g. Games, social media, streaming, slack or Sea Hero quest app helping in medical research.


Both internal and external triggers are interlinked. E.g. an ad of food advertisement (external trigger) is responding to hunger (internal trigger).


Action: Let us take an example:


When we read something interesting on social media and we want to share it with our friends. By just clicking the share button we are done. Here, motivation to take this action meets our ability to do so.


Opposite to this, out of boredom if we logged into social media but the internet connection is low. Here, we are motivated but lack the ability to meet our motivation.


An ideal app should have minimum hooks to keep the user motivated. Let’s take example of snapchat. Even if there is no internet connection, it offers the flexibility to use filters and upon internet connection it allows to share snaps or videos.


Reward: The user needs to be rewarded for any action it takes. Let’s take an example of Quora (a Question and Answer sharing platform). You came across an interesting question and therefore answered it. A week later, you noticed that your answer has hundreds of views and upvotes. In this case, Quora is offering you attention (through notification), acceptance (by making your answer viewed), and appreciating you (through upvotes and increasing views).


Investment: When a user is hooked with an app, he starts investing. An investment is a user’s reaction to the hook.