Google Play Changes Ranking Criteria

Post By Hannah Downing

Google recently announced a change to their app store, Google Play, but it is of a different nature than Apple's App Store revamp—Google is changing the way they rank apps in the app store. As ExchangeWire reports, "...the [Google] store is favoring apps that are used by consumers regularly and over time, not just those that were downloaded frequently."

In other words, exclusively having your app downloaded many times will not guarantee it a top spot in the Google Play store anymore. Instead, the store will be ranking the apps based on how often users return to them and how engaged their users are overall. This change seems to be coming in an effort to help users be more informed about the apps they are downloading by showing them which apps have continued working well for other users.

This change makes sense and it begs the question if Apple will make this change to the App Store, too. The change makes sense because very few people download an app with the intention of using it only once or twice, especially when you consider people who have less storage on their devices, which forces them to consider every download they make. Instead, with this new ranking system, Google is helping users compare similar apps more easily and, therefore, make a more educated decision on what they're downloading (and sometimes buying). This is much more helpful than ranking apps by their popularity because an app's total downloads can climb to great numbers, but that does not always mean the users' expectations are being met. This new way of ranking apps will show which apps not only have met, but continue to meet, users' expectations.

ExchangeWire writes about how this change in the Google Play store means app marketers will have to focus more on quality than they may have in the past. However, this does not mean they should ignore quantity. ExchangeWire writes, "Without promoting an app and hitting some critical mass, none of the other metrics matter. Even if you have years-long retention and hourly engagement, it won't matter if your app is only installed on a hundred devices." Rather, marketers will have to keep an eye on both, making sure they are targeting quality downloads and that a significant quantity of those downloads occur.

This change means that mobile app marketing companies, like Oplytic, will have to continue to work with marketers and publishers to identify the best sources for quality downloads and find ways to track users' actions efficiently after the app is downloaded. As ExchangeWire writes, following the post-install data can help both marketers and product managers understand more about their app and users' experiences with the app. With this, user experience can be improved to keep users engaged, resulting in a high ranking in the Google Play store.

Where in the world should you be marketing?

Post By Hannah Downing

It may be time to start considering other countries for mobile marketing. As can be seen from many mobile marketing reports, such as this one from Smart Insights, there are certain countries that mobile marketers are more focused on than others. The countries tend to be the United States, Canada, and multiple countries in Europe, such as France and Italy.

While data and reports have warranted focusing on some countries more than others, recent data suggests that mobile markets across the globe are changing and mobile marketers need to be aware so that they do not miss any opportunities. The most recent data regarding app and mobile usage comes from multiple different sources, from App Developer Magazine to Recode.

According to App Developer Magazine, there are multiple geographical markets that need not be overlooked by mobile app marketers. The first of these is the Asia-Pacific market (APAC). App Developer Magazine writes that, for APAC, "The install-to-registration rate...is 12.4 percent, nearly three times higher than North America"and this number is similar to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa's, which is 10.4 percent. APAC's potential for mobile app marketing becomes even more clear when you consider its 8.6 percent install-to-purchase rate, according to App Developer Magazine, which falls behind only one country--the U.S. Needless to say, APAC has a growing market that is coming up to speed with the other countries that mobile marketers tend to target.

When it comes to Latin America (LATAM), it gets a little trickier. App Developer Magazine writes that LATAM users are more likely to register than anyone else, with an install-to-registration rate of 13.78 percent. However, App Developer Magazine further reports that just because LATAM users register, does not mean they will go on to make purchases. LATAM users are 95.5 percent less likely to make a purchase than North American users, according to App Developer Magazine. However, this article also suggests that the lack of purchases made may be due to a less developed and less trusted mobile app and e-commerce market in Latin America, which brings us to our next point: mobile broadband subscriptions.

Recode recently wrote an article about the projected rise in mobile broadband subscriptions over the next five years. This article states that, by 2022, mobile broadband subscriptions in both Latin America and the Asia-Pacific markets are projected to grow significantly, with APAC mobile subscriptions projected to move to 55% LTE and 10% 5G and LATAM projected to move to 65% LTE, as Recode reports.

An increase in mobile subscriptions and better network coverage will make using mobile apps even easier and more reliable, not to mention increasing the number of users to market to (Recode also reports that mobile broadband subscriptions are projected to climb to 8.3 billion in 2022 from Q1 2017’s 4.6 billion). To keep up with this trend, mobile marketers will have to continue considering where their apps and products can fit into each country’s growing mobile markets, and mobile app marketing companies like Oplytic can help them do just that.

Playable Ads: Benefits of an Interactive Ad Format

Post By Hannah Downing

If you've ever played a mobile app game, then it is more likely than not that you have encountered a playable ad. In a recent article on Venture Beat, Oren Cohen writes about a few of the benefits of using playable ads. The first, as Cohen puts it, is the "try before you buy" perk, where mobile users gain exposure to a new app without having to install it. This makes a huge difference for mobile users because it is seen as a no-risk, entertaining situation that may result in the user downloading a game they already know they will enjoy.

Cohen writes why he thinks this ad format is so successful: "Like the Super Bowl ads viewers look forward to watching, playable ads are an ad format users actually want to encounter." Instead of the more traditional ad that mobile users must passively watch or view, playable ads allow a space for users to appreciate and interact with the app.

This interaction ends up leading to more quality downloads and higher retention rates, Cohen reports, which, together, culminate another benefit of playable ads. This is no small feat, as an October 2016 Forbes article cites Quettra when writing that after just three days, apps tend to lose 77% of their users and, after a month, this becomes 90%. While there is a chance that some people will opt out of downloading the app, those that opt in are more reliable than other types of user downloads because they tested out the app ahead of time and have a higher chance of retention.

However, one of the most important aspects to consider when creating and improving a playable ad is how accurate of a representation the ad is of the actual app they would download. While Cohen lists multiple characteristics to consider when designing playable ads, this aspect is one of the most important because user loyalty is often built on trust.

If users enjoy a playable ad enough to download the actual app, only to find out that the app is different than what was initially presented to them, there seems to be no quicker way to lose a user's trust and, therefore, the user overall. Just as important is how users write reviews on the app stores. If a user feels cheated or disappointed, they are likely going to let other users know. And this may spell trouble for the app in question.

As playable ads become more popular, mobile marketing companies will likely use this to their benefit. Instead of simple static ads being placed for mobile users to see, mobile marketing companies like Oplytic will work with publishers to see how they can incorporate and take advantage of this emerging ad format.