Case from RetouchMe: what we got from localizing the application in 35 languages

Retouchme – A popular application in which professional designers will edit your photo in 10-15 minutes.

In the USA, it occupies 100-150 positions in the top chart of the App Store applications (the “Photos and Videos” category).

  • 17 million installations in 150 countries
  • Localization in 35 languages
  • 10-15 minutes – average photo editing time
  • Army of designers and moderators in different countries
  • In addition to the App Store and Google Play, available on Amazon AppStore and Samsung Galaxy Store

RetouchMe order localization in Alconost and translate updates in our online service Nitro.

The RetouchMe team shared with Nitro how localization helped them to get to the top in many countries, whether localization in 35 languages ​​paid off and how to release new features in a day or two without release.

How did the idea of ​​RetouchMe come about?

Ukrainian businessman Alexander Lozitsky, CEO and co-founder of Retouch Me, says:

“My team and I love taking pictures, but we could not find a single application with the possibility of professional retouching. Therefore, we created it ourselves. ”

The application was published in 2014. In 2013-2014 there were no analogues of RetouchMe – the market offered only applications with automatic photo processing. Now “copies” have also appeared with retouching from professional designers, but they all lag behind RetouchMe: they do not have such wide functionality, and they are weaker in localization: they are translated into the very minimum of popular languages.

At the beginning, RetouchMe had 30 options, only face and body treatments were offered. Now there are more than 100 options, including makeup, photo editing, pet editing and the addition of accessories.

Who are they RetouchMe customers?

The audience is mostly female, but in 2018 we launched a separate application for men – RetouchMen, we also transfer it to Nitro.

50% of the audience of both RetouchMe and RetouchMen are English-speaking users. Most often they order photo processing in order to post it on social networks. Sometimes they come with wedding photos so that we make them more beautiful. Our client can be any person who is unhappy with their photo on a smartphone or tablet and wants to change it.
We have a lot of possibilities for changing photos: from obvious ones like “make a flat stomach”, “remove wrinkles” to options for restoring photos, adding makeup and editing your pet.

At what point did you start localizing RetouchMe in other languages? What languages ​​were the first and why?

The first release of the application in 2014 included localization in English and Russian.
Further in 2016, we localized the application into Spanish and Simplified Chinese. Everything is simple here: these two languages ​​are the most spoken in the world.
And already in 2017, we decided to localize the application in all the languages ​​that the App Store supported at that time (that's another 19 languages).
The graphs show the dynamics of positions in the Top Countries in the App Store after localizing the application and its metadata (Germany, France, Brazil, Italy, Turkey):

Data for Germany, the period from January 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017.

Data for France, from January 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017.

Dynamics of positions in the top in Brazil, Italy and Turkey in the "Photo and Video" category, from January 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017.

What was the turning point for the growing popularity of the application?

It was October 2015, when we paid special attention to ASO (App Store Optimization). That is, the application name, keywords, description and screenshots were translated into other languages.
After we saw an excellent ASO result in English-speaking countries, we decided to localize the application and its metadata in all languages ​​that are in the AppStore.

Tell us why pay attention to the localization of metadata?

Localization of the application itself is necessary so that the user is comfortable and convenient to use it, and localization of metadata – so that the user can easily find the application in their language.
The graph shows a sharp rise in application positions in the tops (the Photo and Video category) immediately after the metadata is localized:

October 2015, countries on the chart: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA.

Which languages ​​turned out to be the most successful?

The success of localization can be estimated by the number of downloads and by profit. Not always high downloads mean significant profits. For example, we had a sharp jump in Google Play in India, but the nation itself is not very solvent. There were many downloads, but very few paying users. But a large number of downloads are brought to the top, this leads to additional organic traffic.

Positions on Google Play in India for the period from June 1 to August 1, 2017.

The graph shows the rise of the application in the top of Vietnam after ASO in this locale:

It happens the other way around: there are few downloads, but the profit is big. This suggests that in this locale is high ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).

Top solvent countries in the RetouchMe ranking: USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Mexico, Netherlands, Israel. This list is about the same on the App Store and Google Play.

Statistics of paying users in different countries

Has localization to such a large number of languages ​​paid off?

If we talk about indicators such as ARPU, then in the United States and Great Britain, of course, it will be much higher than in India, Vietnam and similar countries. But we came to this conclusion: if you have a good product and pay attention to ASO in all languages, localization almost always pays off!

App Store vs. Google play

The App Store has the most solvent audience, but recently we have begun to grow rapidly in the tops of Google Play countries, including in terms of profit.
Although RetouchMe has the ability to edit photos for free, our application is still paid, so the number of paying users is important. And here an interesting situation arises: on Google Play we occupy the 20th place by profit (in the USA). We have a lower rating on the App Store than on Google Play, but Apple users bring in a lot more money.

App Store vs. Profit Ratio Google Play – about 88% and 12%.

What difficulties did you encounter during localization?

Difficulties were only with the UI in Arabic and Hebrew (with spelling from right to left) – these languages ​​required more time to test and fix UI errors.
The localization bottleneck is long words in languages ​​such as German, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian. How do we solve this? We ask translators at Nitro (through "commentary for the translator"): "maximum 13-15 characters, please." Sometimes it can be difficult, but the translators are great, they select the translation according to our requests.
Also, to avoid errors and difficulties in localizing string resources, we order linguistic testing in Alconost, and it helps a lot.

Are there any plans to expand the list of languages ​​further?

For us, the main point in choosing a localization is the languages ​​that are in the App Store. So, more recently, the 13th version of iOS began to support 2 new languages: Hebrew and Arabic. We immediately contacted Alconost, and these languages ​​are already implemented in our applications.
Of course, we also localize the application in other stores: Google Play, Amazon App Store, Samsung Galaxy Store.
In the future, we plan to expand the functionality and make a web version of the application, and then we will localize our site, which is currently a business card site.

Fancy RetouchMe Features

There are clients who ask to add new editing options, which we do immediately.
How long can I add a new feature to the application?

You can even a day. An option is added, an icon is ordered from designers, examples of using the option are created. Then we translate the option name into Nitro.
If the option is more complicated, it requires the addition of several screens – then a little longer.

In this regard, it is very convenient that we receive all translations within a day, and adding a new option can be implemented in a couple of days, because for this we do not need a release.
Customers asked – we promptly did. So we got the following features:

  • Options for processing pets (eye color, coat color, increase / decrease the animal, lengthen / shorten the tail, etc.)
  • Humor (face replacement in ready-made templates)
  • Iron the clothes
  • Restoration of old photos (to make a color photograph from a black and white photo, “finish” a torn photo)

The Nitro team tried some of the features of RetouchMe on themselves (and on their kote). Here's how to make it more fluffy and big-eyed out of a thin Maine:

If the soul asks for travel, and the vacation is still far away, you can please yourself by taking a photo on a picturesque background. In RetouchMe, you can upload the desired picture or select one of the solid collection of application backgrounds. Here, designers retouched their faces and added a beautiful location:

Why did you choose translations through Nitro for the RetouchMe updates, and not through the Alconost manager?

When localizing the application in a new language, we use Alconost services with subsequent linguistic testing. But in the course of continuous development and improvement of our product, we are faced with the need small transfers. It can be marketing texts, the same ASO optimizations, adding new editing options, and we want them to be ready as quickly as possible.

It happens that at the beginning of the working day we sent the text to Nitro for translation into 32 languages, and by the end of the day all the translations have already been completed, and we are ready to add the option to the applications without release.
It is also convenient for us that you do not have a minimum order, i.e. even 1 word can be sent for translation.

In case of a problem – instant support of the manager in the chat.
There were slight delays on the occasion of the holidays in China, but in general there is one positive thing connected with Nitro, your service really helps!

A year ago, the interface in Nitro was completely different, now it has become much more convenient: an icon for copying a translation, arrows for viewing translations, the ability to leave a comment for a translator. Recently, it became possible to upload images and add terms to the glossary, we will use it.

Icon for copy text translation

We thank the RetouchMe team for sharing their experience and demonstrating how localization can affect the visibility in stores, the number of installations and the profitability of the application. You guys are cool 🙂

about the author

Article written in Alconost.

Nitro is a professional online translation service for 35 languages. Created by Alconost.
Native translators, order from 1 word, online chat with customer support.
50% of orders are ready within 2 hours, 96% – in less than 24 hours.

P.S: Nitro is well suited for translating small texts. If you need to localize or translate a project more seriously, welcome to Alconost.

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