July 29, 2010

iPad Development Paying Off for Friendly App Creator

On Saturday, I highlighted the recent release of Friendly, an iPad-optimized application for Facebook that enhances the world's most popular social network to take advantage of the iPad's screen and touch interface. One of the co-founders on Friendly and Twazzup, its sister product, Cyril Moutran (@mocy), met with me for lunch today and discussed how developing for the iPad presents new opportunities to make a splash in a less-crowded field, and gain real revenue. He also said he believes the launch of more touch-centric interfaces could be as revolutionary as the mouse and hyperlink did with the first generation of the Web.

In a Week, Friendly Is Pulling in iPad/iTunes Dough

Since its launch late last week, it would be safe to say that Friendly is seeing initial success. Despite its $4.99 price, the Friendly app has bumped into the list of the top ten paid iPad applications on the iTunes store, and sits at the #13 position overall right now, and is the #15 most grossing application across all of iTunes' iPad apps, going up against Apple's office productivity apps, and even beating out MLB's At Bat application for the iPad, which is in the #25 position. Just yesterday, Moutran said the application was purchased in 60 different countries around the world. And yes, the app sits in the #1 spot for paid social networking apps for the iPad, as many of the apps are free.

Friendly Sits Atop iTunes for Paid iPad Social Apps

Moutran, who also counts time at Netscape, Schlumberger and Vignette on his resume, believes part of the reason for Friendly's success, as well as that from other iPad apps that have sold well, is their development of a unique experience that takes full advantage of the product's touch-based characteristics. Rather than expand a game to the full screen by doubling pixels, or hoping a more standard interface of small links and pixel-perfect clicks are going to be good enough, he suggests smart developers need to recreate their products for this new experience, and when there is a gap that needs to be filled, as there was with Facebook not having a dedicated iPad application yet, smart entrepreneurs will fill it.

I managed to get Moutran to do a quick interview, which is embedded below. Hope you listen.