Moataz Soliman and Omar Gabr of Instabug

Currently in Public Beta, Instabug is a seed-funded startup from Giza, providing developers with a common-sense way to guard against negative app-store ratings. Requiring fewer taps than leaving a 1-star review, Instabug’s (currently free) software lets your users provide you with private app feedback, leaving you with targeted bug-fix requests, rather than a pile of permanent, public, negative reviews.

We recently got the chance to chat with Moataz Soliman (left above, pictured with fellow Co-Founder Omar Gabr), of Instabug – he’s a brilliant entrepreneur, and we know his insight can help developers everywhere.

UI Palette: What did they use to build the app/software? Is it native, Javascript?

Moataz Soliman: We were determined to build it as a native SDK, which is the hardest, most time consuming option in order not to affect the apps’ performance. We wanted to build the SDK to have a very small memory and processing footprint so that developers won’t even feel that it exists.

"This is the core of our culture #instabug #instafun"

UIP: Without getting super-technical, how did you decide to build this?

MS: When we first started, we were experimenting with the available technologies, and built a lot of interesting features. We thought that maybe we can build a crowdsourcing platform where you can find testers to test your app using your own criteria. You can think of it like uTest but with more average users not experienced ones. Then we had to build the way for these testers to report bugs, so we built Instabug, which was called A Star Apps at that time. But then we had many issues building the testers network, so we had some of our friends who saw the bug reporting tool asking for it away from the crowdsourcing platform. So we wrapped it in a way to work independently and gave it to them.

The feedback we got was really good so we decided to pursue this and focus on it, and eventually expand more vertically than horizontally.

UIP: How are you monetizing?

MS: Right now it’s all for free, we’re developers and we want to make the tool available for each and every app developer out there to make use of it. We charge big corporates a fee for customizing the design, white labeling the SDK and other bug tracking tools integrations away from the ones offered for free. We’ll be also releasing more features soon that will be paid ones.

Follow Moataz on Quora

UIP: What is your opinion about the “competition” in your space? Any challenges or concerns there?

MS: There’s definitely competition in that space, though it’s a huge market. Each and every brand or company is now working on a mobile app that needs testing and getting feedback. We’re betting on our seamless easy experience, that our users love, to be able to excel in that space.

UIP: Any tools you can recommend for other devs? What are, say, 5 more tools developers can use?

MS: There are many tools for developers right now, and I have to say that most of them are really good actually. I’d categorize them into, backend (Parse), FileDiff (Kaleidoscope), development(RevealApp), beta deployment(TestFlight/Hockeyapp). Also for push notification, you can check PushBots, they’re doing a really good job with it.

UIP: How do you go after enterprise clients?
MS: We offer them our tool to use it internally as a start, and the interesting thing is that most of them are actually reporting bugs manually with emails and other ways of doing it, which makes it relatively easy for us to sell it.

Instabug Promo from Instabug on Vimeo.

Instabug is currently in Public Beta, and not available in the app store just yet. Check out their website to get involved with the Beta round.

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