Zlango, a goofy but fun icon-based text messaging app, just hit one million U.S. users on the Android platform only four months after launching. Backed by Accel and Benchmark Capital, the app originally arrived in the U.S. market in October 2011, following the opening of its San Francisco-based offices. In total, Zlango now boasts over 5 million users worldwide, the company reports.
The fact that Zlango is achieving this level of popularity on Android in such a short timeframe, is indicative of the type of apps Android users still seem to prefer – apps that replace Android’s core components. In Zlango’s case, the app offers an admittedly silly take on the concept of text messaging, offering packs of icons that let you replace words with emoticons and pictograms. It clearly seems aimed at a younger audience, because, let’s face it – no self-respecting 30-year old is going to send out picture messages like this. But that fact, too, is interesting. Many of Android’s success stories to date have been ports of popular iPhone apps, general purposes apps (like Any.DO) or utilities – not those aimed at such a specific, younger demographic.
For comparison purposes, Any.DO reached half a million downloads in just 30 days. Meanwhile, Evernote’s Skitch app for Android, an arguably more well-known brand, saw 3.5 million downloads in just 3 and half months post-launch. So hitting a million in four months, while not quite on those levels, is still indicative of some relatively decent traction. Even more so given its limited appeal to older users.
Zlango now supports over 25 languages, is available in over 20 countries, and has delivered more than 9 billion Zlango icons worldwide. It’s currently seeing the most traction in Europe, Asia and the U.S. The app, which is also available for BlackBerry, Nokia and J2ME, is available here on the Android Market.