Distimo finds that translating apps into native languages has only a small impact on downloads, though Japan shows largest improvement in downloads
Although this story has already appeared elsewhere on the web I thought it important enough to share…
Distimo, an app store analytics company headquartered in The Netherlands has released a study that looks at the effect of creating apps in native languages – as opposed to simply launching them in one such as English.
What the company found was that the impact of translating your apps into different languages may be minimal, though there are exceptions.
The introduction of the native languages has had a very small impact on download volumes or revenue on the iPad. These applications saw no significant growth in downloads during one week after the introduction. Furthermore, the native language boosted revenue with only five percent in this period for iPad applications. Here, Japan showed the largest improvement in downloads and applications in the French Apple App Store for iPad gained the most revenue after adding the home languages.
According to Distimo, apps were able to increase downloads by 128 percent during the week following the launch of a new app in a native language, but revenue increased only 26 percent. However, consumers in China, Japan and South Korea responded more enthusiastically to apps translated into their native languages.
Of course, the study looked at apps, in general. Publishers would know that their digital publications are less likely reach an international audience if not in the language of the local country. English performs best worldwide for publishers, as it does all app makers, but publications that can offer built-in translations are kind of the holy grail for international publishers.