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Mar 2 2023
Despite its small size, Singapore is the world's third most densely populated country and the second-highest GDP per capita. Singapore has become a hub for digital and mobile technology innovation, as well as an open door to Southeast Asian countries, thanks to favorable market conditions. Companies from all over the world have used Singapore as a gateway to global expansion.
We've compiled all of the information and tips you'll need to successfully localize your app/game in the Singaporean app market.
You'll dive into the following topics:
According to a study, Android occupies more than 79% of the mobile operating systems market in Singapore (December 2022), while iOS occupies only 20% of this market - a situation that was reversed 10 years ago. The fact that Android powers the vast majority of entry-level smartphones and that mobile market leaders like Huawei and OPPO have entered the Singaporean market in the interim has contributed to such a shift.
Non-local publishers are more popular when it comes to top apps and games in Singapore. Nonetheless, several Singaporean publishers stand out, including COGNOSPHERE PTE. LTD., the author of the popular Asian live streaming platform Bigo Live and Carousell, a mobile and web-based Singaporean marketplace. Other prominent mobile publishers in Singapore are frequently based in East Asia, particularly China (Tik Tok Pte. Ltd., Moonton), as well as in Western countries (King, Meta).
Finance, Communication, and Tools are the most popular categories on the Singaporean Play Store. Despite driving slightly fewer downloads, the Social, Productivity, and Video Players app categories generate the most in-app revenue. Tik Tok and CapCut (video players), Instagram and Facebook (social) are frequently featured in Singapore's top ten free app charts.
In Singapore, the Social and Video Players categories generate the most in-app revenue.
In Singapore, mobile games are extremely popular: more than two-thirds of Singaporeans play mobile games, and the city-state hosts numerous international e-sports events. The most profitable game categories are role-playing and strategy, but action and casual games also generate a lot of revenue and downloads. Two-thirds of the games in the top ten free and grossing game charts fall into one of these four categories.
Singapore has a long history with many different languages and cultures. Singapore, which was originally inhabited by the Malays, an Austronesian ethnic group, acknowledges this cultural heritage and recognizes Malay as its national language in its Constitution.
Nonetheless, due to British colonization, English is the primary language of Singapore, with Malay spoken by approximately 9% of the population at home (Singapore Department of Statistics). English, on the other hand, is spoken at home by approximately 48% of Singaporeans and is widely used in administration, education, and, most importantly, business. Singlish, a creole language that combines English with several Southeast Asian languages and dialects, is also growing in popularity and is spoken by the vast majority of Singaporeans.
Singapore has also developed a relatively large Chinese community over the centuries, with about 30% of the population now speaking Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is the only oral form of Chinese taught in Singaporean schools, as a result of a political decision made in 1979 for the sake of unification and simplicity. Simplified Chinese is the standard for writing and is prominently used on Singaporean Google Play.
Because English and Simplified Chinese are the default locales on the Singaporean Google Play Store (and the most commonly spoken languages in Singapore), our analysis will concentrate on these two locales.
On average, Simplified Chinese takes up 30% less space than English, allowing you to target more keywords in your app page metadata. However, due to the complexity of Chinese characters, we recommend using a larger text font in your app text.
We distinguish between store listings in English and those in Simplified Chinese in Singapore. The most common store listings are in English. It is common practice to include generic keywords in the title for these. These additional keywords are intended to increase the app's visibility as well as to explain its function. App titles in the Tools category are a good example of how they help store visitors understand the function of the app and thus facilitate their search.
The Simplified Chinese store listings are not necessarily localized. Indeed, the majority of them only have a brief description in Simplified Chinese. This is the result of Google's auto-translation system, not of app developers' efforts. We recommend disabling this option because the auto-translation system has flaws.
Those few apps and games in Singapore that translate their store listings into Simplified Chinese take different approaches. Some, such as Disney+ and Tik Tok, have translated their short and long descriptions but left their brand name alone, which is a common practice in Singapore because English brand names are well-received. Others who leave their brand name alone include generic Chinese keywords in the title to increase their chances of appearing in Chinese searches on the Play Store.
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Another option is to completely translate your store listing into Chinese. Coin Master and Rise of Kingdom are two popular examples, but the latter includes the abbreviation of its Latin title "RoK" to ensure brand recognition.
For the Chinese store listing, we recommend translating both the short and long descriptions. It's more than just a question of comprehension; it's also a way to show respect and interest in your store's visitors. If you already have a localized app page on the Chinese Play Store, you can save time by simply updating a few keywords based on the search volume on the Singaporean Play Store. If you want to go a step further, consider replacing the features displayed with those that are most popular in Singapore.
On the Singaporean Play Store, both Chinese and English keywords frequently have a high search volume. Going beyond simple translation and establishing a coordinated keyword optimization strategy between your two locales will maximize your visibility.
QR codes are used frequently in Singaporeans' daily lives, such as accessing the gym, shopping at the supermarket, or making mobile payments. Singapore is the first country to use a unified payment QR code called Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) to make life easier for customers and merchants alike, as well as to accelerate the transition to a cashless economy.
As a result of the widespread use of QR codes, apps in the Tools category that scan QR codes are among the most downloaded apps in the Tools category on the Singaporean Play Store.
Anime, a global cultural phenomenon, is also popular in Singapore. Many games based on popular anime franchises can be found in the top charts of various game categories on the Google Play Store. Consider collaborating with anime, perhaps as part of an in-app event, to capitalize on their popularity.
Singapore is a culturally diverse country, with many of its residents hailing from East and Southeast Asia. Dating apps recognize this fact and, in order to capitalize on it, many of them are tailored to a specific ethnicity. On the Singaporean Play Store, there are dating apps for Tamils, Chinese, Filipinos, Thais, and Vietnamese, among others.
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Competition in the Tools category on the Singaporean Play Store is fierce. Therefore, these apps do their best to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Some of them have adopted the practice of including a banner indicating the year in which we are - a way to clearly indicate that the app is regularly updated while others may not be.
Shopping apps in Singapore also change their icon to commemorate various Asian events that are now associated with sales. Shopping apps can use this to indicate that they, too, participate in events in order to attract more visitors.
Related reading: * How To Utilize App Localization Enlarging Your App Market?
Singapore, despite its small size, has a high GDP per capita and serves as a gateway to other Southeast Asian countries. Here are some helpful hints for successfully localizing your app or game for the Singaporean market:
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