We spoke to Sarim Aziz, head of developer relations Asia Pacific at BlackBerry to find out what his thoughts are with regards to the multiple challenges developers face, and how BlackBerry is helping them get through it.
What are some of the creative ways that you have seen Southeast Asian developers market their apps that allows them to reach a large number of their target audience with their limited resources/marketing budget?
We see an increasing trend of developers taking ownership of their own marketing and promotion by implementing their own campaigns to attract existing and new users. This is exciting for us and as we are always willing to promote such offers and campaigns on the BlackBerry World storefront to further help amplify their message and reach new target segments for our developers. These are sometimes as simple as a social media campaigns on Facebook or twitter to challenges and offers within the app itself. We also see some developers partnering with local brands to create and co-market their apps via contests, brand advertising within the app itself.
From a technology perspective, BlackBerry 10 actually offers easy out of the box mechanism that developers have leveraged. For example, developers don’t need to worry about integrating into every single social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even NFC! The built-in Invocation and Sharing framework on BlackBerry 10 makes it easy for developers to share app data and connect with any social networks or application without the need to hardcode and connect to every sharing channel! The user is seamlessly able to see share to any application with just one click.
Developers are also leveraging the virality of BBM features that are baked into the BlackBerry 10 platform. This allows applications to virally promote and engage the users’ trusted circle of personal BBM contacts. We recently took the power of BBM to the next level by with BBM Channels which was announced at BlackBerry Live. With over 60 million active BBM users globally, and the BBM social network coming to iOS and Android, BBM Channels promises to be an exciting marketing platform for any brand or product.
We are always open to showcase Built for BlackBerry applications that offer a value-add, a great experience or are locally relevant. If you think your app scores on these parameters feel free to drop in a line to our BlackBerry World Marketing team who would then evaluate your apps for a feature placement on BlackBerry World. Your app may also be considered for topical promotions that are run periodically. If you are doing your own campaign, tell us about it. The BlackBerry World Marketing team also works with developers to identify any quick fixes that may be required in the feature images, screenshots, descriptions etc to further boost your sales and downloads. To reach the BlackBerry World Marketing team email them at BlackBerryworldmarketingAPAC@blackberry.com or talk to your local evangelist.
In BlackBerry’s opinion, what are the Top 3 support requirements from developers in Southeast Asia and how are major players like BlackBerry, among other, helping to support their needs in order to enable more high quality apps to be created here?
We usually hear one of three concerns when we talk to developers considering BlackBerry in addition to iOS or Android:
We also hear developers tell us that one of the reasons they prefer to build for us is because they enjoy the benefits of our developer program. There are no barriers to entry or fees to get started. They feel valued and it’s easy to get in touch with BlackBerry experts in any local market to get first hand support or help.
What are some of the key limitations to mobile payments in Southeast Asia that is limiting developers from monetizing from their applications? How is BlackBerry working with alternative mobile payment solutions like carrier billing, MOL and KasPay to help provide different channels for developers to accept payments?
BlackBerry is continuously working with ecosystem players and especially carrier partners to offer additional monetization mechanisms for app product and in-app payments. We believe that our carrier billing offering unlocks a whole new opportunity for our developers and startups especially in the largely prepaid markets in South East Asia. For example, in Indonesia, we now support carrier billing across XL, Telkomsel as well as Indosat. Developers, who already leverage our in-app payment SDK, don’t need any additional effort to take advantage of this critical feature and there is no additional cost to the consumer or developer to leverage this feature.
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