Apple accelerated its evolution on discoverability of App Store

We all know App Store is a success for Apple. Thousands of developers have developed excellent businesses there. However, with over 500,000 applications on offer in the App Store, it is really difficult to stand out from the competition. And on the App Store, there are few ways to promote the apps. “New and Noteworthly” is really important for every new app but only a few can have a chance to be selected by App Store, let alone hit top spot on “Top Charts”. For a long time, “New and Noteworthly” seems the only way for new apps to became famous on the App Store. And Apple has found itself facing a growing problem of how to help users discover new app, too.



And go back to ranking system on the App Store, the accuracy of app rankings  have been a main issue for Apple for long. As we know, App Store rankings are based on an algorithm which Apple has developed and controlled. The algorithm is believed to include elements of an app’s download figures, news articles about a respective program, user ratings and whether it has been featured by Apple. The apps that make it into that top lists usually generate far more revenue, and usually help companies to become real businesses. Angry Birds developer Rovio is a huge business today partly because of its ability to find its way to the Top 25 list.(Note: As we know, Angry Birds has captured No.1 spot for many times)

[Source: TheAppEra]

Every company dream to be the next Rovio. But there are few of ways for developers to promote their apps on the App Store, indeed. They need more promotion outside the App Store like the days when they don’t have a so-called App Store. Therefore,  lots of developers have been hiring third-parties like Flurry or TapJoy to push their apps’ ranking, which companies are solely specialized on improving an application’s ranking in the App Store. However,  there are some developers attempting to cheat the system by adding fake user reviews.

No doubt, Apple has warned developers against using advertising services that guarantee a ranking on the App Store’s charts recently.

Adhering to Guidelines on Third-Party Marketing Services
Feb 6, 2012

Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership. Get helpful tips and resources on marketing your apps the right way from the App Store Resource Center.

[Soure: Macrumor]

So, how to change the situation?

As we can see, since 2012, Apple has made great improvements to address the problem of app ranking on the App Store.

On February 23rd, Apple acquired Chomp, an app search engine for iPhone, iPad and Android. (Note: In April,  Chomp was no longer available for Android.) It’s reported that Apple has  been using Chomp’s technology and experience to revamp App Store search and recommendations.

On May 25th, Apple added feature pages like Editor’s Choice to improve the discoverability of apps on iOS App Store. The newly-released “Facebook Camera” app was one of the apps given the title on the App Store.

Besides, Apple also  initiated a new promotion titled App of the Week. As the official App Store Twitter account posted earlier today, Cut the Rope: Experiments is their “App of the Week”.

So, as we can see, Apple is accelerating  its evolution on the discoverability of App Store now. And it’s clear that Apple will improve more to secure its dominance on mobile app market. Because Google Play just hits 500,000 for number of apps 2 month after App Store. Will App Store keep its leadership in the future? Time will tell!

Update for June 12th :

WWDC 2012 brings new Retina Macs , OS X and iOS 6 this time.  I think this will a real treat to Google. Because now Apple is doing everything to diminish the importance of search and web in its iOS ecosystem:

Apple is getting into local search with its own map app.
Apple is adding more search abilities  to its search engine Siri.
Apple’s Passbook has the potential to replace Google Wallet.
Apple is trying to make the web irrelevant.
Apple is collaborating with Facebook, Google’s biggest enemy.

On the other side, for developers , they will be happy for new iOS 6. Just see the data from WWDC 2012:

Over 400 million accounts
The largest number of accounts with credit cards on the Internet
Over 650,000 apps
140 million iMessage users
30 billion app downloads
5 billion US dollars paid to developers

For App Store promotion, there are signs that Apple is redesigning App Store. Here is a screenshot for the new design of App Store.

On iPhone,  it looks like this:

Here is iOS 6 App Store  hands-on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXCrM1rzLZY

Apple said redesigned App Store will more “fluid and better promote the app.” And as part of its integration of Facebook features into the iOS 6, people can now “Like” apps both in the mobile App Store and the desktop App Store. And developers can also integrate features allowing users to update status to Facebook from within the apps, such as messages about achievements or about their favorite games. For  Game Center, Apple said it will soon allow users to send “challenges” to their friends with iOS 6. Players will find their Facebook friends on Game Center soon.

Update for June 25th:

 Chomp May Already Be Powering Search In The iTunes App Store

Update for June 3rd:

App Store Adding New “Food & Drink” Category

 

Update for August 1st:

2/3 of Apple’s iOS App Store populated by ‘zombie’ apps…

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One Response to Apple accelerated its evolution on discoverability of App Store

  1. The whole app discoverability issue seems to be of genuine interest. Particularly with today’s announcement regarding iOS 6 and Facebook integration. With users now easily able to “like” apps it should improve discoverability.

    At AppMyWorld (http://www.appmyworld.com) we throw our hat into the app discoverability ring by aggregating professional iOS and Mac app reviews and scores from around the web into what we call an AppScore. We think it provides that human element / judgement that a lot of these algorithms can’t. It’s also an approach that works in other areas, movies for example.

    What do others think? Is the idea of curating apps based on professional reviews valuable?

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