At Jana we love to talk with our mCent members. In many markets such as India and Indonesia, we have users following and communicating with us on Facebook. This enables us to get constant feedbacks on our app and identify potential candidates for user interviews even when we reside in different timezones. This works well, until we decided to enter China market this year. As Facebook and Twitter are not available here, and WhatsApp has yet been widely adopted, we need to find an effective new way that we can reach out to dozens of users with high interest of our app.
After trying out some platforms and services, we finally found that QQ is a great app to leverage. As many of us may know, QQ is similar to Wechat, in that they are both instant messaging and social apps with large user bases in China, developed by Tencent. In 2015, QQ has more than 800MM monthly active users . Besides its large user base, we find this app especially helpful because of its two features:
First of all, QQ enables users to search QQ groups created by other users using keywords, each group with up to 2000 members. This helped us to get into many potential user groups, introduce ourselves and have some potential users to try out our app out of interest. Once we start searching for QQ groups, QQ will start recommending similar groups for us to join. This soon helped us source enough potential users to talk with. In addition, users usually will have some blog posts in their QQ Zone, so you can quickly have a sense who they are.
Secondly, QQ has desktop and also mobile version, both providing a rich set of features. Most of QQ users have it installed both on their laptops (if they have) and smartphones. Also, conversations on one version are synced on the other one seamlessly for the same QQ account. This is particularly helpful when we are conducting user interviews. During the interview, our users can start video chat via QQ on desktop (so we do not need to ask users to install Skype) while trying out our app on their smartphone. After the interview, they can continue discussing with us anytime and sending screenshots that shows bugs of our apps on their smartphone inside QQ.
So far we have leveraged QQ to talk to more than 100 users in China and conduct more than 15 user interview sessions. What’s more more, we created our own mCent QQ group and invited those with strong interest of our app to join. There are also new users joining this group when they searched ‘mCent’ among QQ groups. Users with different backgrounds but same interest started to discuss inside the group what they like and don’t like about the app. This small but growing community helped us get constant feedback and complete other tasks. For example, we received instant comments and recommendations when trying to translate specific words and statements used in app into Chinese in the most appropriate way. Recently, when a popular local brand of smartphone manufacturers released its latest version of Android, we were immediately informed by the group that new members of our app could not register successfully if they are using this brand of smartphones, due to a bug inside this latest OS version.
Are you also interested in working on an app that have users in many different countries, including China? We are hiring.
Also, have you ever tried any new service or creative ways to engage with your app users in a different country? Please tell us about it in the comments.