Superior Conversion, ARPU, and Engagement: Revamping the App Discovery Model

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It’s hard to believe it’s 2016 and we’re still stuck scrolling through list after list on major app stores. Departing completely from list-based discovery to map-based discovery is a radical step, but it could trigger much-needed change in the app discovery landscape. For mobile users, map-based discovery could lead to a more enjoyable and intuitive app search experience. For mobile developers, map-based discovery could lead to a more level playing field and a more effective channel to gain an audience. As a matter of fact, we’ve found that 94% of app downloads originating from Yttro are not on the app store’s top 100 list. At the same time, the average ratings of these apps are very similar to those listed on the top 100. Here’s some interesting information that our partner game developer, Steampunk Wizards, has sent us:

  • YTTRO promotion’s conversion rate is 3.3 times higher than that of the partner’s social campaign.
  • In terms of ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), users acquired through YTTRO referrals rank #1: 2.3 times more spending than users acquired through Facebook Ads, 3.4 times more than users from a social campaign.
  • Users acquired through YTTRO referrals on average log 35% more game sessions than those acquired through their Facebook Ads and social campaign.

In a mobile ecosystem with over 4 million mobile titles, the current model of endlessly swiping through lists to discover new apps is quickly running out of steam. App discovery can be improved. Here’s how. It’s a fact that 90% of the information the brain receives is visual, and research suggests visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than text. It’s also a fact that on mobile devices, people prefer browsing and exploring with one thumb rather than typing in data. As a result, we’ve seen that app discovery platforms based on visual exploration are on the rise. In 2015, Apple paired with Pinterest to create a superior discovery solution for the App Store. And here at Yttro Mobile, we’ve launched a map-based app discovery platform that currently focuses on mobile games.

It’s clear that for app stores to meet the demands of this day and age, a major revamping of the app discovery model will be critical.

 

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5 Mobile Trends in China

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  1. Mobile is the Future of Chinese Gaming

China’s video game market is worth $9.7 billion and growing fast. Practically all of that growth is happening in China’s mobile market, which is made up of over 785 million mobile gamers. That’s more than double the entire population of U.S. While PC gaming’s year-over-year revenue growth has slowed in China, mobile revenues jumped 400% from 2013-2014 and over 50% from 2014-15. With the increasing prevalence of smartphone ownership, China’s $5.5 billion mobile gaming market shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. In fact, it’s predicted to more than double to $11.1 billion by 2019.

There’s never been a better time for mobile developers to enter the Chinese market. But developers can’t harness that market unless their apps have an audience.

Traditional app stores center on “Top 100” lists that cloud out all but the most well-funded apps. Here at Yttro, we offer a better alternative. Our app discovery platform Yttro Mobile literally maps out thousands of mobile games, freeing users from “top” lists and maximizing developer visibility.

 

  1. Top Mobile Developers are Targeting China

Given the size of the Chinese gaming market and the fact that 74% of China’s adult population owns a smartphone, leading mobile developers are more interested in China than ever before. Billion-dollar mobile developer Kabam is looking to publish a billion-dollar game in China. Kabam recently entered a joint partnership to publish its flagship title, Marvel Contest of Champions, in the Chinese market. Other mobile developers like Supercell have already launched blockbuster games in China, carefully localizing game content specifically for the Chinese market.

Games like Clash of Clans and Angry Birds can rely on their well-established names to gain visibility in the Chinese market. Independent developers may have to rely on advertising to achieve visibility, and when it comes to mobile advertising, native advertising is an optimal option. By natively integrating promotions into the app discovery process, Yttro ensures that users see the ads they’re interested in seeing. In this respect, Yttro has yielded higher performance than even Facebook ads.

 

  1. Casual is King

One key draw of mobile games is that they’re often casual and accessible. Whether someone has 15 minutes to spare during lunch break or 30 minutes to kill on the bus, casual mobile games appeal to a wide range of users. This is especially the case in China. 14% of mobile game downloads in China are “Casual” games, which make up the largest share among all categories of games. What’s more, each user making up China’s massive mobile gaming population downloads at least 4 casual games on average.

How do we get these gamers to find and play more games?

The answer: By making app discovery into a game.

Users don’t like scrolling through endless lists. Nor do they like typing search terms into a screen. On the other hand, users do like visual information. Users do like intuitive interfaces. In creating a visual map that can be explored with the flick of a thumb, Yttro provides users with both.

 

  1. “Light Apps” are Replacing Websites

Attention spans are short, and are only getting shorter. Thanks to smartphones, the average human attention span is 8 seconds. Recognizing the need to quickly secure user attention, many Chinese companies are using HTML5 (a powerful new web standard) to build light apps: easy-to-access websites that function like an app. Light apps don’t require users to download programs or navigate away from the page. Thanks to HTML5, users can consume fully interactive multimedia from the comfort of their browsers, making for a smooth, no-hassle app experience. Major corporations such as Alibaba are designing software to facilitate the use of simple HTML5-based content, and light apps are centerpieces of these efforts. The best light apps are seamless, shareable, and highly relevant to users—all of which are key attributes of our app discovery platform, Yttro Mobile.

Here at Yttro, we’re dedicated to providing users with the next generation of content discovery. That’s why we’re working to push the light app envelope and to create an intensive HTML5-based light app for our platform.

 

  1. Virtual Reality is Rising

The Asia-Pacific market for VR gaming is expected to grow at a rate of roughly 25% each year, and China will be a central driver of that growth. Hundreds of teams across the country are developing VR hardware, and the Chinese VR market, estimated to be around $60 million for 2016, is projected to potentially surge into the billions. The world’s first major VR eSports tournament took place last in China last New Year’s Eve, with a prize pool of over $15,000. Given that mobile VR devices appear to be highly popular in China, mobile platforms will likely be the first major site of China’s VR growth.

By immersing users in virtual environments, VR will only increase the appeal of visual, interactive experiences. Yttro users currently explore a virtual world on their phones. With the rise of VR, they’ll soon be able to explore it in person.

Yttro Reaches Half a Million Downloads

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Here at Yttro, we believe having fun shouldn’t be a chore.

It’s fun to play mobile games. But to find those games, it’s not fun to endlessly scroll through list after list of apps. Scrolling is boring. So why scroll when you can explore?

Here at Yttro, we believe app discovery should be visual, intuitive, and fun. And we’re excited to announce that over half a million users have come to agree.

Yttro App has officially reached over 500,000 unique downloads. Yttro users have now logged 19 million views of great mobile games—great mobile games that would otherwise be buried beneath endless Top Lists and sponsored Featured Pages. By visually presenting users with a map of mobile games, Yttro enables people to explore games similar to their existing favorites and to discover new hidden gems they’ll love.

Of course, app discovery is about more than exploring apps—it’s about downloading them for entertainment. So we thought we’d dig a little deeper to find out how many downloads Yttro has driven to Google Play.

The answer? 2.5 million app downloads. Note that all of these organic installs are driven by independent exploration in Yttro. Whenever a user opens our app, they demonstrate strong interest and a genuine desire to try a new one.

That’s what sets Yttro apart. We match great games with users highly interested in playing them. Most importantly, we make that matching process fun.

A huge thanks to Yttro fans for their continued support! We promise to continue delivering a top-notch experience to our users across the world. We’re in the process of developing even more exciting features for our Android app and our HTML5 release.

To join the fun, download Yttro for Android, play HTML5 for iOS, and visit us at http://www.yttromobile.com.

 

Fixing inequality in the app stores

At YTTRO, we believe that all apps are created equal. Upon their debut in the app stores, all apps should be given equal consideration and opportunity for the spotlight, regardless of their developers’ pre-existing prominence. From there, apps that demonstrate excellence in creativity and quality should ascend to the top charts, assuming their hard-earned places in the upper echelons of mobile gaming.

Unfortunately, the app industry rarely adheres to this principle. Here’s what actually happens.

The present structure of the app stores creates an uneven playing field from the very outset by favoring marketing budgets over app quality. As a result, virtually the moment they are released, mobile games from indie developers immediately fade into the murky, unknown depths below the top charts, while mobile games from well-established firms receive unprecedented exposure alongside their large-scale marketing efforts. The consequence of this disparity in marketing opportunity is a disparity in profits. Compounded together in a never-ending spiral, these two make for some very interesting statistics. Let’s take a look.

First, it’s important to acknowledge the rapidly increasing size of the app industry that the top charts cannot accommodate. Games account for the bulk of Google Play’s earnings, and mobile has claimed the title of largest game segment in terms of revenue. The global mobile app marketplace will reach $25 billion this year, and by 2017, developers will have made over $77 billion from 268 billion downloads. Yet despite the industry’s overall positive outlook, a miniscule portion of the industry, comprising developer titans, will take in the lion’s share of this revenue. The remaining majority of independent developers will find the road to success to be more daunting than ever before, due to a steady influx of mobile games to compete against.

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Today, over 3.17 million apps vie for the attention of increasingly selective consumers. Amid this intense competition, the eventual top chart contenders are winnowed down to a mere top 200, or 0.012% of all apps. Of these 200, many belong to titans who cement their positions in the charts with the help of their sheer size and marketing power. So ironically, the very lists that most users refer exclusively to for new content are often static and unchanging. Additionally, many games in the top charts are simply replicas of other successful games – part of a new “science” in which developers mimic Clash of Clans or Candy Crush in a desperate attempt to piggyback off of those games’ successes. So users who consult the top charts get an inaccurate picture of all the options available in the app stores and overlook a large portion of indie games. Consequently, many indie developers face substantial hurdles in garnering app exposure.

This crowding out phenomenon can be neatly summarized in one ratio, 80:20. While 20% of developers dominate an astounding 80% of the App Store, the remaining 80% of developers are relegated to the obscure realm below the top charts and left with the remaining 20% of revenue to fight over. As a result, a quarter of developers make nothing at all, and another quarter generate less than $100 a month per app. In total, over half of developers earn below the poverty line of $500 per month. Moreover, the top 3% of developers cash in over $100,000 a month, or more than 20,000% of what the bottom 57% collectively earn. And if we pit one top grossing app firm against one indie developer, the firm’s app can earn an astounding 40,000x what the indie developer earns.

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To combat the super-saturated app marketplace, indie developers must rely on intense marketing efforts – but with revenue trickling in at a sluggish pace, marketing opportunities are becoming more costly and out of reach.

To put the necessity of marketing into perspective, the average development cost for an independent mobile app rounds out at slightly less than $6500 while marketing costs can reach as high as $30,000. Though $30,000 sounds like a substantial amount to invest in marketing just one app, it’s nothing for game titans who can easily outperform an indie developer with a marketing budget over 15,000x larger. What’s more, someone who does put $30,000 forward in marketing might still remain in the 68% majority of developers that make less than $5000 from their most successful app. That translates to an ROI of 18% and a net loss of 82% in expenditures. So success isn’t guaranteed by a long shot.

The exorbitant marketing costs stem from the issue that we’ve previously brought up: the oversaturated app market. With millions of apps pushing and shoving for the spotlight, it’s only natural that the CPI has steadily increased by 7% each year. Coupled with the usual spike in CPI during the holiday season and an increased focus on acquiring a loyal user base, the rising CPI has caused the Cost Per Loyal User index to recently hit an all-time high, 61% higher than the year before. This means that, on top of everything else, indie developers must wait a couple months after release before they can break even with their initial marketing costs – but keeping users engaged for that long requires additional marketing that developers might not have funding for.

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And given that 80% of revenue is already reserved for the lucky 20%, the other 80% of developers have little funding that they can dedicate to marketing, let alone running a business. If we exclude the top earners from the 20% minority, then only 8% of independent developers have generated sufficient revenue to run a stand-alone business. And through 2018, less than 0.01% of apps will ever be labeled a financial success by their developers.

Overall, what we have is a ruthless chicken-and-egg cycle of extreme disparities in revenue compounded with inadequate funding for marketing. But before indie developers decide to give up their pursuits and join Glu or Gameloft, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

That light is the emergence of alternatives to the traditional, rankings-driven lists. Recently, the App Store unveiled curated lists of apps that are handpicked by the editors. It’s a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t completely close the gap in opportunities for the spotlight.

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Enter YTTRO. As another alternative to the experience of scrolling through monotonous lists, YTTRO is already ahead of the curated content trend. By displaying mobile games available in a visually appealing, intuitive interface, YTTRO places the power of discovering any game in the hands of the end user. No longer do the App Store’s lists have to filter out potentially promising games before users can explore for themselves; now, users have complete access to every single game in existence.

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For developers, this means that they now have a venue to get their work noticed and downloaded, regardless of their marketing budget or previous successes. By eliminating these external factors that have no influence over the merits of the game itself, YTTRO is shifting the focus to creativity and quality – the truly important elements essential for a game’s success. At YTTRO, our mission is to distance the mobile app industry from 80:20 and bring it closer to the principle that all apps really are created equal.

3 reasons why developers love YTTRO + Meet our newest update!

We constantly seek to improve YTTRO’s user experience by adding new features and refiningYTTRO’s performance. That’s why we are set to release Android v1.2 in just a few days. A new feature accompanying Android v1.2 is a daily game recommendation tailored to the user’s interest profile.pasted_image_at_2015_07_06_03_19_pm

What this means for the user? An even more personalized game discovery experience.

What about game developers? Even more opportunities to have their games put in the spotlight.

YTTRO doesn’t only provide end users with no-holds-barred access to quality content. It also gives game developers a stage to get their apps noticed and, ultimately, downloaded. Here are 3 reasons why developers are choosing YTTRO:

  1. A leveled playing field for game app exposure
  2. Meaningful user engagement through a non-intrusive interface
  3. Higher exposure at a lower cost

1. Developers get their games recognized for their quality and creativity, not for their marketing budget.

Leveling the playing field for all game developers, regardless of marketing budget and prior app store success, is the cornerstone of YTTRO’s mission. Mobile game distribution platforms have faced a recent bout of stagnation stemming from a “chicken-and-egg” impasse, in which game developer titans leverage their enormous marketing budgets to perpetually dominate the app store’s top charts and crowd out indie game developers. More and more, to ascend the top charts requires large marketing budgets as opposed to innovative, well-crafted games. However, acquiring such a marketing budget entails earning huge profits from successful games that have already achieved top chart status—hence, the chicken-and-egg barrier that hinders talented but little-known developers from gaining the recognition they deserve. As a result, developers unable to reach the top charts are effectively rendered nonexistent in the user’s eye. Unwilling to throw in the towel, some developers resort to producing as many games as possible to maximize exposure at the expense of quality; others stifle their creative freedom and deliver unoriginal content. Clearly, neither option is ideal.

Enter YTTRO, designed to optimize developers’ app exposure and user acquisition by exposing the long-tail distribution of quality games. By grouping mobile games in a gigantic map based on content relevance rather than commercial success, YTTRO enables users to discover games similar to their existing favorites that they would otherwise never notice in traditional third party app marketplaces. Tapping purely user intent promotes exploration of mobile games without regard to the factors of rankings and advertising power that obstruct developers’ chances for recognition. Therefore, YTTRO helps games ripe in originality and quality but lacking in purchasing power spread their presence to users who have corresponding preferences.

In short, YTTRO rights the mobile game industry by enabling talented and creative developers to acquire a user base without the prerequisites of advertising power and previous commercial success.

2. Developers leverage YTTRO’s non-intrusive interface to connect more effectively with users.

Due to the ubiquity of linear, rankings-driven lists on traditional mobile game distribution platforms, prioritizing top chart status over content relevance is common among users deciding whether to download an app. However, since top charts reflect a developer’s advertising budget more than they reflect a game’s merit, users have a high probability of abandoning the apps they download once they realize that those apps do not satisfy their interests. (The industry average for current retention rates hovers around 14%).

YTTRO reverses this issue by bringing the focus back to content relevance and app quality. Since YTTRO’s visual interface gives users the freedom to scroll to genres that resonate with their preferences and to tap on a specific game, a user’s decision to install reflects a clear intention to play that game. This seamless connection between game discovery and user intent ensures that all installs through the platform are valuable installs. And with the power of YTTRO’s machine-learning algorithm, the odds are that the user’s tastes match with the game – that the user will not only try the game but also enjoy it and continue playing it. The end result for the developer is a loyal user base that downloaded the game because of its relevance, not because of its place in the top charts of app distribution platforms.

3. YTTRO streamlines developers’ advertising budgets by minimizing the cost of app exposure.

The non-intrusive nature of app exposure isn’t only conducive for developer-user relationships. It also plays a critical role in helping developers further streamline their budgets. YTTRO displays all games available, giving developers an automatic boost in exposure without the need to spend extravagantly. Paying a lower CPI frees up funding that was previously being channeled to more expensive, less effective marketing efforts – funding that developers can now use in other endeavors.

As a non-intrusive promotion platform that maximizes the exposure of developers’ work at minimum cost, YTTRO is the ultimate hub for developers to showcase their games and establish a user base. Expect future updates that make YTTRO better than ever!

Reach out to our Partnerships manager here.

Android v1.1 is live, and users love us!

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YTTRO recently launched on iOS 2 weeks ago.
And just yesterday, it released its Android v1.1 .

While that means that iOS and Android users can collectively look forward to an enhanced user experience (think: thousands of new games) to explore over the coming days, it also means it’s time for the team to glance back at our achievements over the past 9 weeks.

The numbers are encouraging. Since its first Android launch, YTTRO’s user base has grown to over 150k unique users in 9 weeks, has produced over 3.5 million game app views inside YTTRO, and has generated over 330k organic install referrals to Google Play.

The reviews are encouraging too. When we hit 100,000 users, we were glad to receive the following message over Twitter from Bjorn Wanbo, former manager of Product, Sales and BD at video advertising startup Vungle:

“…the conversion is pretty fantastic – kudos on the innovative way of doing app discovery.”

Getting solid numbers is good. Getting positive feedback on those numbers is great.

Of course, while numbers alone can measure results, they can’t measure passion. Which is why when it comes to engaging a passionate fanbase, the most important and useful measure of passion boils down to positive feedback.

The other day, we received this fan’s comment on Yttro’s social media pages:

“I [Googled] ‘game discovery app,’ and luckily found Yttro. Gave it a try and found it to be the best game discovery app since HeyZap! All it’s missing is a community, a way to connect with Facebook and invite others to join in on the games. A must have for every mobile device. Get a Tumblr pretty please!”

A developer was also generous with his praise:

“Totally dig this app! Been catching with some great games lately! How is each app discovered? I recently released a game on android and is slowly catching up. …Can I be put in touch with someone in yttro so that my game is discovered through yttro…”

Other quick comments included:

“Because here I can find almost all games worldwide”

“Your app idea intrigues me… unique way to map games for people to discover?”

“very good application to download you will not regret I loved it” 

We’re inspired by outreach from end users who are leveraging YTTRO’s interface for a vastly improved app discovery experience. These comments demonstrate that YTTRO delivers both scope and specificity, keeping its users not only stimulated by a wide range of novel content, but also deeply satisfied by the high relevance of their finds to their preferences.

The movers and shakers of the mobile app industry have also given us their vote of confidence. Appszoom describes YTTRO’s ‘visual expression‘ as ‘clearly well-thought and intuitive‘, helping end users ‘barely making (make) any efforts… explore the infinite map of similar applications‘. GoMoNews follows up with praise for ‘the team’, crediting YTTRO for ‘created (creating) a mobile platform that helps users intuitively explore and discover game apps‘.

What does this mean for developers? The influx of app views within YTTRO represents an important positive trend: YTTRO levels the playing field by not only exposing the quality content in the long-tail distribution, but also going one step further to make every single game equally accessible for discovery.

Check out what we mean by getting up close with YTTRO’s out-of-the-box approach to game app discovery.

Yttro reaches over 100,000 unique downloads and more than 2 Million game app views!

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We’re thrilled to announce that in just 6 weeks after release, Yttro: Free Game App Discovery has reached over 100,000 unique downloads and more than 2 million game apps viewed in Yttro! And more than 175,000 organic installs have been driven to Google Play.

With this milestone, Yttro’s user base has grown 100% in the last two weeks. Over 100,000 active users have now experienced Yttro, viewing over 2 million great mobile games—great mobile games that would otherwise be buried underneath “Top” app charts and “Featured” app pages. By visually presenting users with a gigantic map of mobile games, Yttro enables people to explore games similar to their existing favorites and to discover new hidden gems they’ll love.

As a direct result of exploration inside Yttro, users have discovered and installed over 175,000 great mobile games on Google Play. It’s important to note that these installs aren’t driven by advertising. All of these organic installs are driven by independent exploration in Yttro—meaning that a user demonstrates strong interest in similar games and a genuine desire to try a new one. In other words, what sets Yttro apart from other app discovery platforms is its natural ability to create a seamless exploratory experience that directly matches great games and users highly interested in playing them.

A huge thanks to Yttro fans for their support! We promise to continue delivering a top-class experience to our users across the world. We’re in the process of developing even more exciting features for our Android app, and we’ll be releasing Yttro for iOS soon.

To join the fun, download Yttro Android and visit us http://www.yttromobile.com.

3 Reasons to Use Yttro

If you’re looking for great mobile games, you’ll need to use a platform to find them. The odds are good that you’ll be using either Google Play or the App Store.

Google Play and the App Store are valuable platforms that are filled with gems of mobile game. Today, many of these gems are going unseen and ignored, largely because they’re buried under a “Featured” page or “Top” list. That’s bad for developers, who lose out on visibility largely due to insufficient budgets. It’s bad for users, who lose out on great gaming. And it’s bad for Google Play and the App Store, who lose out on many potential downloads.

So what’s the alternative? Here at Yttro, our goal is to make it much easier for users to discover gems of mobile games. To do this, we’ve built an app discovery platform designed to fundamentally enhance and transform the traditional search experience. Here are three ways Yttro can work for you:

  1. Discover hidden gems in the world of mobile gaming.

Think about your favorite restaurant. Think about its food, its sounds, its smells. Then think about what a “Top 50 Restaurants” list looks like. Would your favorite restaurant show up on that list? You can try checking for yourself if you like.

Great restaurants can’t be neatly contained in a “Top 50” list, and neither can great mobile games. There are more than 50 great restaurants in America. Try over 500. Try over 5,000.

But if there are thousands of great games out there, who has the time to flip and sort through hundreds of pages of apps? We’ve created Yttro to do that work for you—to bring together thousands of mobile games, carefully organizing them so you can easily navigate to the games you’ll love.

  1. Upgrade from search to intuitive exploration.

Research suggests that people tend to use a single thumb on their smartphones almost 50% of the time, naturally preferring exploration over data input. In fact, observations have found that users interact with their phones without entering in any data over 40% of the time. Yttro is an exploration-driven experience designed to match the ways people use their smartphones. Entering in data is an option, not a requirement—meaning that more than anything else, the time you spend in Yttro will be time you spend to explore.

  1. Enjoy a fully visual interface.

Pictures speak louder than words. It’s no secret that most people prefer looking at images over reading through paragraphs. It’s also no secret that the brain processes visual information faster than it processes text—up to 60,000 times faster, according to 3M Corporation. Realizing that 90% of the information the brain receives is visual, we’ve designed Yttro to literally map out the world of mobile games, satisfying your visual side.

Interested in trying Yttro out? Check us out on Google Play. Or just click on the image below.

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Yttro reaches over 50,000 downloads and more than 1 million game app views!

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We’re excited to announce that within just one month after release, Yttro: Free Game App Discovery has reached over 50,000 downloads and more than 1 million game apps viewed in Yttro!  What’s more, around 90,000 organic installs have been referred to Google Play.

What does this mean?  It means that more than 50,000 users have experienced this disruptive, intuitive, and fun platform to look for game apps.  In the world of Yttro, mobile games are presented in communities, flanked by their closest relatives.  With one click, users can start browsing their all-time favorites or venturing in new grounds.  50,000 gamers worldwide experienced it and gave us a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Google Play, without any major advertising or marketing campaign from Yttro.  Thank you, Yttro fans and supporters!

In addition, the 50,000 downloads have already led to more than 1 million game app views in Yttro platform.  That is to say, 1 million games – MOST of which would otherwise be buried deep below the top chart of app stores and receive very poor exposure to end users EVEN THOUGH they are excellent games – now have been presented to and viewed by the gamers.  More importantly, the 90,000 organic install referrals to Google Play speak volume of the quality, utility and ultimately, the excitement of game-finding experience in Yttro.

We’ll keep delivering this top-class experience to our users globally.  More exciting features will become live on our Android version, and Yttro will be available for iOS soon.  To join the fun, visit http://www.yttromobile.com.