Except for a few tweaks here and there, the Apple App Store hasn’t changed much since its original launch back in 2008. But that is all about to change. With the release of iOS 11, the App Store as we know it will be no more.
The App Store redesign was announced at the recent WWDC 2017 in San Jose, where Pedraum Pardehpoosh who runs Product for the App Store gave a rundown of some of the reasons behind the changes. A few of those reasons include highlighting the editorial curation, creating a clear focus within the store for both apps and games, and most importantly, giving customers a reason to come back every day.
Sensor Tower discussed some of the most important takeaways from the new design in its article, “Apple's App Store Redesign: The Most Important Changes and Unanswered Questions.”
Sensor Tower points out that the editorial curation has always been a point of interest for marketers because we can use this to generate an exponential increase in page traffic and downloads. However, with the redesign, the new front-and-center aspect of the editorial recommendations will become a game changer that will be even more important to app discovery. What will be interesting to see is how introducing an App of the Day compares to picking an App of the Week, for both games and non-games. This does have big potential for marketers to get their apps in front of an editorial team who will be promoting a new app daily.
As mentioned in the article, the editorial curation has always been a point of interest for marketers because we can use this to generate an exponential increase in page traffic and downloads. However, with the redesign, the new front-and-center aspect of the editorial recommendations will become a game changer that will be more important to app discovery. What will be interesting to see is how introducing an App of the Day compares to picking an App of the Week, for both games and non-games.
In addition to the App Store redesign, an app’s page content, along with in-app purchases related to a user’s search terms and autoplaying videos that might be on an app’s page, will be added into a user’s search results. With these changes, it is important that an app store’s page is not only compelling enough to drive downloads, but also to grab a user’s attention. What is still unclear is how these changes will impact ASO, if they have any impact at all.
Not only is the curation and app discovery getting a redesign, but the content available on each app page will be added into a user’s search results. The page content, along with search term related in-app purchases and any autoplaying videos on an app page, will all be seen in the search results. This means that an app store’s page must grab a user’s attention and be compelling enough to drive downloads. What is still unclear at this time is how these changes will impact ASO, if at all.
In regards to ASO, one major change to be aware of is the drop in title character count from a 50 to 30 character limit. While this year's decrease isn’t anything as drastic as last September's 256 to 50 character count limit, this is still a noticeable change. Luckily, Apple will also be introducing a new subtitle section with a maximum character count of 30 that will be visible on the product page and within the search results. We are not sure how the new subtitle will affect the App Store search algorithm, but we will be monitoring this closely after iOS 11 is released.
Another added feature that we would like to mention is the ability to reset an app’s rating with each version release. Previously, with each version release, an app was forced to reset its user rating, even if it was for a minor bug fix. With every reset, an app’s ASO could be affected drastically. Now that the developer has the power to control the user ratings reset, we are curious to see if user ratings will still be a factor in ASO.
While it seems that with iOS 11 still in beta, there remain a number of unanswered questions. As these are the biggest changes made to the Apple App Store since its launch in 2008, the Appyness team is excited to see what is to come and how these changes will improve user experience.