Horizontal distribution, also known as horizontal scaling, refers to spreading out your content over multiple sources. It’s the opposite of vertical scaling, where you focus on a single source of content and work to make it better.

When it comes to apps, the general idea is to break down your huge, all-inclusive app into several smaller programs that are simpler and easier to navigate. Generally, the app is segmented according to function, or by its individual components.

Split It Up

This is a great tactic for growth hacking, for many reasons. First of all and easiest to see, splitting up the app means that there are more opportunities for people to find them when searching. You can also come up with more specific titles to target popular search terms. Instead of one app called “Celebrity News,” for example, you can create apps like “Hollywood Star News” and “Rap Star News,” etc.

This makes your apps competitive in several categories instead of just one. It also makes your apps lighter and easier to run on mobile devices, where computing resources are often precious.

Ankur Nagpal, creator of over 10,000 apps, credited horizontal distribution with his success. By breaking up his apps into separate titles with more specific keywords, he beat out his competitors:

“’Send Your Friends a Diwali Gift’ went viral in India the way ‘Free Gifts’ never did,” said Nagpal. “’Crazy Taxi’ went viral the way ‘Free Flash Games’ never did. ‘Seinfeld TV Quote Quiz’ went viral the way ‘TV Quotes Quiz’ never did.”

Use Content Distribution Networks

If you can afford it, a content delivery network (CDN) is an excellent way to distribute your data and increase availability to your apps for users and ensure that you’re always providing a high level of performance. These networks take on the job of caching content for apps, taking the load off of your servers.

To deliver content as fast as possible, CDNs use servers distributed around the world. When a user uses the app, the fastest, closest server takes on the job. Static content like images, css, and javascript are usually stored and delivered by CDNs.

Horizontal distribution is a proven method to get your app(s) into more hands, more quickly. By breaking up big apps and distributing their computing resources, you can create a number of keyword rich, fast-growing apps that perform superbly.

Hey! Break it up!