Folks coming from Google here is an app that allows you to post landscape to your story: matekovacs.com/stories
This post will be about how I came up with an idea and how I solved it with an app. I would like to tell you how I created Infinite Stories which is available in the App Store.
This is definitely not a guide how to build profitable apps because before I built this app, I didn’t do any market research, I just needed a solution to a problem that occurred to me. The problem was that I wanted to post to my Instagram Story a video that I recorded earlier. This video was recorded in landscape mode and what Instagram does in this cases is that it crops the video and uploads only the center of it. In my case, this wasn’t a good option. I wanted to show the whole video fitted into a portrait video because that’s what Instagram supported. I quickly searched in the app store, but I didn’t find a good solution to my problem. Another problem that I faced that the maximum length of a video in your story could be 15 seconds, any video which is longer than that could cut after these seconds. My video was also longer than 15 seconds, and there was a few solution in the App Store for this problem, but I decided to build this feature into my app as well instead of going through 2 apps everytime I want to share a longer landscape video.
So this was the two problem that I wanted to solve. Nothing really complicated and definitely not a “house on fire” problem. I created the first version of the app in 3 days while I was doing support for my other apps, so as I logged my times, it wasn’t a full-time work on it, I would say it took me 14 hours to release it in the App Store. My workflow was pretty straightforward, I opened up Sketch and created a logo that shows to me the main functionality of the app and tries to tell that this is connected to the Instagram Stories as well. So I came up with this:
After that, I wanted to create the views in Sketch because that helps me to figure out the structure of the app before I begin coding. In this step, I decided that the whole app will be a bit different from a “normal” iOS app which uses the mainstream UITransitions to push views in a navigation controller or show them modally. I’m usually using them, but I wanted to get some experience in creating custom transitions. This looked like a simple enough app to experiment with.
In this step of the design process, I made another decision to change the monetization model a bit. First I wanted to make it a freemium app with ads in it until the user buys the “pro mode”. This sounded a good idea to me, but then I realized how much I make with my ads in my apps and how distracting and ugly are those. Ads today in these small niche apps doesn’t make too much money, while it shows to the users that you don’t value them and their time. This is especially true for the interstitial ads. God, I hate them! So I switched the model a bit and decided to offer the longer video feature for free and I put cropping feature behind a paywall. To be clear, I just checked my sales and yesterday I earned 47 USD with the sales in the store and 2.63 USD with my ads. It’s not even in the same league.
After I decided how and what to do in the app I implemented my ideas and quickly uploaded the app for review in the Itunes Connect. Two days later my app was ready for sale. I made some sales and it looks like my users are quite happy with the current version of the app.
This is how I came from a problem to a working app in the App Store in a week. Right now I’m looking to get some traction to the app and trying to figure out how to reach the influencers on Instagram to show the app to my audience. My long term plan with this app is to eventually become the go-to application for Instagram Influencers to create and edit the content they post. This is obviously a lofty goal but I already started collecting some feedback from my users to figure out what else they would use in an app like this.
If you have some ideas please write me an email to me[at]matekovacs.com