Last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a sweeping redesign to the App Store, their nine-year-old platform that counts 500 million people as weekly active users.
We dug through the dozens of changes to pull out the 6 changes that will matter most for performance advertisers who rely on app installs as a mobile growth channel.
An important concept discussed at WWDC was the new App Store's commitment to discovery. Apple revealed a “Today” tab, a new home for Apple's editors to feature apps.
The new feature could be seen as a move towards a more curated, editorial angle on app store discovery. It will only underscore the importance of the developer and Apple relationship.
Getting an app featured will also create a temporary sizable increase in downloads. A study by App Annie looked at the bump in downloads from a daily feature on the current App Store. It's likely a feature in the future will become even more valuable, given the increased emphasis of the featured content.
For the entirety of the store’s existence, revenue has been a core way Apple has measured app performance. Showing up on the "Top Grossing" chart has been an aim of companies around the world. This may be changing, however, as many beta testers are noting that the Top Grossing chart is nowhere to be found in iOS11.
"The static nature of the top grossing chart means it’s not a useful discovery mechanic; and with initiatives such as Search Ads and iOS 11’s new curation UX, that’s something Apple’s working hard to improve," PocketGamer wrote in an article.
Apps that relied on a boost from appearing in the Top Grossing charts may need to pay more attention to their placement on other charts now.
Now, when scrolling through an App Page, a video will automatically begin to play. This move brings Apple's video behavior more in-line with that of Facebook who has auto-played videos for years.
This change will heighten the importance of video creatives in the app store. App Store Optimization firm StoreMaven has found that users who watch a video are up to 3x more likely to install.
The new IOS 11 comes equipped with a feature to uninstall unused apps. Although this feature is not on by default, more advanced users may turn it on.
Apple continues to reward apps that reengage users. This will place pressure on developers to create engaging app experiences. Additionally, app uninstalls and reinstalls will likely be a metric discussed more often in the year ahead.
In-App purchases and subscriptions can now be purchased directly from the app listing page.
With new real estate of 20 listing spots for in-app purchases, marketers will likely spend more time considering how their in-app purchases are named, their price points, and what percent are bought via the app store versus within the app itself.
Apple claims searching the new App Store will be simpler. To aid in that process, apps will be able to segment their text descriptions in more rigid ways. Specifically:
The new text structure will force marketers to update their app store descriptions, and to think critically about each and every word.
With a public iOS11 release set for Fall 2017, savvy marketers are already plotting their moves to make sure their app store presence will be strong from Day 1 of the iOS11 era.