HAVING a baby in February changed the life of Tang Tung Ai, technical director and founder of application software company Icon Mobi Solution.
“I became like my friends who were first-time parents. I found myself taking a lot of photos of my newborn baby,” he says.
Intrigued, he researched the habits of other new parents on social networks and found pictures of babies and food among the most popular.
That gave him the idea for InstaB for Baby, a mobile app that provides a one-click solution for parents to customise their baby photos or videos.
“Going through the same experience and seeing all the pictures of other new parents convinced me there is a market for this app. Parents like to customise and make their baby photos unique, and at the same time, they want to be able to keep track of small things like what the baby was doing at that particular time, age and mood.”
InstaB allows parents to automatically add the essential information of their child on the photos from age, gender, zodiac, date and the baby’s mood, and then share them on social networks.
“We are not trying to solve a problem here, but we are meeting a need. Many parents feel they need to organise or personalise their children’s pictures and videos,” he adds.
Tang, who has more than 12 years of industry experience in application software, only started developing mobile apps seriously around four years ago.
To hone his skills, he joined the Multimedia Development Corporation’s Integrated Content Development (Icon) programme and various mobile app development contests. Last year, Tang got together with two friends to set up Icon Mobi Solution.
InstaB was launched on the Apple App Store in May and on Android later this year.
The app got a big response from Malaysian and Singaporean users and has been downloaded more than 20,000 times, generating over 80,000 pieces of content.
To keep their users coming back for more, Tang is working on adding more features to the app, including a video feature.
“We want to create more useful features because we believe the extra features will help build InstaB users’ base. We also have to keep up with the rapid technology changes and the competitive app space. Every day, more apps are launched, and any one of them can take over your market niche,” he says.
Features like the video can give them opportunities to monetise the app, especially through video advertisements, he adds.
Marketing the app is also a challenge due to the big budget that it normally entails.
“Currently, we are using a low-cost marketing strategy such as SNS, holding photo contests and working closely with an online baby store,” he says.
Tang’s target is to have 100,000 users by the end of the year, which he admits will not be easy as Malaysian users do not like to pay for apps.
“But I do think this is one of the few app categories that users are willing to pay for,” he says.