Apple launched a website to prove the App Store isn’t a monopoly

Apple launched a new website this week that says its App Store platform, the only way for most people to install apps on an iPhone, welcomes competition.

Apple recently lost a Supreme Court case involving competition on the App Store. One subsection on the page is titled “A store that welcomes competition.” The page highlights apps that compete with Apple’s built-in software and services, including Spotify.

App developers who make tools for controlling device addiction and family screen time recently said that they believed Apple was targeting its apps for removal from the store because they compete with Screen Time, a feature recently introduced to iPhones. Apple faces an EU antitrust complaint stemming from that episode.

Apple said in a statement at the time that the removals were related to privacy and security, and said the developers were misusing Apple software intended for other uses.

“All developers have the opportunity to have a rejection reviewed by the App Review Board. And the App Review team makes about 1,000 calls a week to developers to help them diagnose and resolve any issues that led to rejection — so they can get their app onto the App Store,” Apple said on its website.

App developers have also complained about the 15%-30% fees Apple charges for payments processed through the App Store.

“Like any fair marketplace, developers decide what they want to charge from a set of price tiers. We only collect a commission from developers when a digital good or service is delivered through an app,” Apple said on its website.

The site says 40% of apps are rejected per week through Apple’s approval process that relies on human reviewers, mostly due to software bugs and privacy concerns.

The site also lists a series of apps available in the App Store that Apple says competes with its own apps like Music, Notes and FaceTime.

The page was posted in the week before Apple hosts thousands of developers for its annual conference in San Jose. Apple said that over the past year, developers have made $120 billion on Apple’s platform.

I want to be an ASO specialist … what will my salary be?

Job: App Store optimization (ASO) specialist

The role: Similar to a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, only confined to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store environments, ASO specialists are responsible for landing their clients as close to the top of the results page in relevant searches as possible.

A relatively new discipline within the mobile marketing industry, ASO specialists can increase an app’s search ranking by adjusting the description, icon, video and image previews as well as other elements when presented in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

“It’s a lot of data analysis; you’re comparing the app with its peers,” explained Gary Yentin, chief executive and founder of Toronto-based mobile marketing agency App Promo. “If you’re an application in the calendar space, you’re going to be mapping yourself against competitors in the calendar space, seeing what their keywords are, seeing how they rank, seeing what they wrote in their description, each of which is a data point you can use to evaluate your own application and hopefully increase its ranking.”

While there are some Canadian firms that specialize in ASO services, the majority of the industry operates within larger mobile or digital marketing agencies.

Gary Yentin, the CEO and founder of Toronto-based mobile marketing agency App Promo, says career opportunities will increase as ASO services become a necessity in the industry.

HANDOUT/HANDOUT

Salary: As a specialty within the mobile marketing industry, ASO specialists typically command a higher than average salary. “It would probably start around $50,000 [a year] and it can go up to $150,000, but it’s based on what you bring to the table,” said Mr. Yentin, explaining that an employee’s results are very easy to measure. “It’s driven by success, because you can show what you’ve achieved based on your campaigns. If they can show positive results they can [command a] higher salary.”

Education: The Apple App Store and Google Play Store are themselves hardly older than 10 years, and ASO has only really become a stand-alone profession in the past three or four, Mr. Yentin said , meaning there are few formal standards and educational programs.

Instead, the industry typically requires practitioners to have a university-level education in either computer science or marketing, and some experience in either SEO or mobile marketing more generally. “The best training in this field is hands-on training,” Mr. Yentin said.

Job prospects: While there are few companies that only offer ASO services, many larger mobile marketing firms have incorporated the service in recent years.

“There’s a lot of technology, app development, app marketing companies in Canada, but the reality is to have a successful business you need to be global. There just isn’t enough business in ASO in Canada to sustain a company of three to five people,” Mr. Yentin said.

Mr. Yentin does, however, believe that career opportunities will only increase as practitioners further establish their services as a competitive necessity within the wider mobile marketing industry.

Challenges: There are two primary challenges that ASO specialists contend with, first and foremost being the gradual nature of the work. “People want to see instant results, and like SEO, ASO takes time,” Mr. Yentin said.

Another significant challenge, according to Mr. Yentin, is the ever-evolving arena in which ASO specialists work, as Apple and Google can make changes to their search algorithms at any time.

“You’re at their beck and call,” he said. “You really have to be up to date on what they’re doing … If you’re static in this environment, you’ll fail.”

Why they do it: ASO specialists typically have a passion for digital marketing and enjoy the added challenges that come with the confined space of the App Store and Play Store. “You can make small suggestions that have big results,” Mr. Yentin said. “It’s very rewarding to see how what you recommend produces results.”

Misconceptions: Mr. Yentin says many still confuse ASO and SEO, even within the digital marketing industry. Furthermore, he suggests many in the industry fail to appreciate how the practice differs from other roles that fall under the mobile marketing umbrella.

“It’s a specialty, you can’t just generalize it as mobile marketing, you need experience to do it,” Mr. Yentin said. “Saying any mobile marketer can do it is a misnomer; you need to earn your stripes by doing it on a regular basis.”

@AppPromo proud to make the list as a top #socialmedia #marketing agency in #NYC

Clutch Announces Top New York City Agencies & Developers of 2017

Ongoing research on leading B2B firms in New York identifies the top providers in the advertising, branding, public relations, social media management, SEO, pay-per-click, digital, mobile app development, and custom software development industries.

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Clutch announced the leading agencies and development firms of New York City in 2017. A B2B ratings and research firm, Clutch covers agencies and developers spanning multiple cities and countries, with a significant portion of companies hailing from New York. Clutch’s ongoing research features nine industries and identifies the leading organizations in each.

The leading firms by category are as follows:

Advertising agencies: Interplanetary, BrandTuitive, Fearless Media, Tronvig Group, Greater than One, milk*, The Miller Group, The O Group, The Byne Group, Piro, OpGen Media, Amp Agency, Your Majesty, Constructive, and Hungry.

Branding agencies: DMI (Digital Management, LLC.), Tenet Partners, BrandTuitive, GreyBox Creative, WANT Branding, Motto, Salt Branding, Tronvig Group, The O Group, IdeaWork Studios, Constructive, Interplanetary, Suits & Sandals, Ruckus, and Your Majesty.

Public relations firms: Bateman Group, Marketing Maven, Column Five, Right Angle PR, and The Byne Group.

Digital agencies: Blue Fountain Media, Momentum Design Lab, SEO Brand, R2integrated, Moburst, Greater Than One, York & Chapel, Blue Water, Socialfix Media, AMP Agency, HTML Pro, Digitalux, MultiVision Digital Production, Definition 6, and The Mechanism.

Social media marketing agencies: Social Diva Media, fishbat Media, App Promo, Boucher + Co, Fearless Media, Marketing Maven, Taktical, SEO Image, and The Miller Group.

SEO services firms: SEO Brand, SEO Image, Gvate, Clever Solution Inc., CommonMind, Liqui-Site, Trace Media Marketing, R2integrated, Digitalux, HTML Pro, AMP Agency, PBJ Marketing, 3Q Digital, Greater Than One, and Vector Media Group.

PPC (pay-per-click) management companies: CommonMind, R2integrated, Taktical, Vector Media Group, SEO Image, Search Marketing Group, PBJ Marketing, Clever Solution Inc., LiquiSite, Main Street ROI, SmartNet Solutions, Boucher + Co, Inovat, Trace Media Marketing, and E9 Digital.

Mobile app development companies: DMI, Dom & Tom, Five, Fueled, Majestyk, Fuzz, Tivix, Blue Label Labs, Prolific Interactive, Intrepid, Small Planet Digital, App Partner, MOBIKASA, Postlight, and InnoviMobile.

Custom software development companies: Icreon, Stride, Swiss Commerce, BrightStarr, Gramercy Tech, App Partner, Sensiple, Sunflower Lab, Small Planet Digital, Nolte, Worry Free Labs, Venture Aviator, TeliApp Corporation, RustyBrick, and thoughtbot.

New York City is known for being a global hub for advertising, design, and innovation. For this reason, it can be incredibly difficult for agencies to stand out among their competitors,” said Jenna Seter, Business Analyst at Clutch. “All of the companies featured today have proven themselves as leaders in their industries due to their commitment to clients, passion for work, and ability to generate results.”

Clutch identified the best agencies and developers in New York based on a long-standing methodology that maps service providers’ industry expertise against their ability to deliver quality results for clients.

Companies featured on Clutch are evaluated on their market presence (services, clients, and past projects), and by their clients through interviews conducted by Clutch analysts and published as reviews on their company profiles.

Clutch’s research is ongoing, and firms interested in being featured are encouraged to apply. Upcoming press releases will highlight industry leaders in the UK and Canada.

The full research can be found at:

https://clutch.co/agencies/new-york/leaders-matrix
https://clutch.co/agencies/branding/new-york/leaders-matrix
https://clutch.co/pr-firms/new-york/leaders-matrix
https://clutch.co/agencies/digital/nyc/research
https://clutch.co/agencies/social-media-marketing/new-york/leaders-matrix
https://clutch.co/seo-firms/new-york/research
https://clutch.co/agencies/ppc/new-york/leaders-matrix
https://clutch.co/developers/new-york/leaders-matrix
https://clutch.co/app-developers/nyc/leaders-matrix

About Clutch

A B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch connects you with the agencies and software solutions that help you enhance your business and meet your goals. Our methodology maps agencies and software solutions based on consumer reviews, the types of services offered, and quality of work.

@AppPromo’s 3rd Annual Cyber Monday Sale.

@AppPromo is pleased to offer our clients new and old our 3rd Annual Cyber Monday Sale. Enjoy -15% of ASO (App Store Optimization), App Strategy, Monetization and App Preview Video services.  The sale is from now till the end of December so dont delay to claim your offer today!  cyber

Facebook App Center: 5 Common Questions Answered

A lot of our clients have been asking us about how to use Facebook App Center for app discovery, especially since Facebook officially rolled it out to all countries last week. We are big proponents of ensuring your app is everywhere it possibly can be in order to increase visibility and ultimately downloads and usage so adding Facebook’s App Center to the mix is definitely part of a winning strategy.

With every new store, however, comes new submission guidelines and review processes so we thought we would try to make it easier for you by answering the five most common questions about Facebook’s new app distribution center.

1. What is the Facebook App Center?

Facebook has rolled out a discovery area within their environment to promote web and mobile applications that utilize Facebook APIs. This is another great distribution center ala Amazon App Store for Android, GetJar etc. for developers to use to make sure they get their app noticed and downloaded. App Center is available for Facebook users both online and on mobile.

2. Why Should I Publish my App here?

Facebook is the world’s leading social network. They have integrated social sharing into the App Center which means that not only can people search and find your app in the Facebook environment but once a person finds you, your app will benefit from the social reach of their network and their network’s network similar to having a Facebook Page or running a Facebook ad. In essence, Facebook App Center gives you the tools you need to help your app go viral.

In addition, Facebook has integrated Send to Mobile technology which makes conversion to download extremely easy for the user which should help with converting users.

3. Can Any App be Added to the Facebook App Center Catalogue?

No. Your app must be using the Facebook Single Sign-on API for iOS or Android to be published.

4. What Do I Need to Submit my App?

Like the Apple or Android process, you will need some assets and an app that is ready to go (with Facebook APIs) to get started. Most of these items you are going to be able to leverage from your original submission to the App Store or Google Play making this process easier, but there are a few new assets you should make sure you have ready to partake in the benefits of being in the App Center such as the Cover Image and Banners.

Here is a quick list of the items you will need for submission:

  • Display Name – exact name of your app (no additional keywords)
  • Tagline – promo copy could include keywords
  • Short & Detailed Description – pitch your app and set expectations
  • Category & Subcategory – see all categories here
  • Icon – upload 128×128 icon
  • Cover Image – upload 800×150 cover image keep in mind placement of icon over this banner
  • Small & Large Banners – these will be used to drive traffic if your app is chosen to be highlighted by Facebook
  • Screenshots – demonstrate how your app is social (big emphasis on this in the guidelines)
  • Link to your live app on the App Store or Google Play

5. Is there a review process for Facebook App Center

Yes. Your app will be submitted and then reviewed by the Facebook team. This process seems similar to Apple App Store process and unlike the immediate publishing process of Google Play. There is a great review of common submission mistakes that every developer should review prior to pressing the submit button in the Facebook Guidelines: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/appcenter/guidelines/.

Click here to get started in creating your page and Good Luck!

Have your app in Facebook App Center? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!

Knowing When to Kill Your App

You’ve spent time and money developing your app, testing your app and promoting your app with the hopes that the market accepts it as a viable product to sustain a business but are continuing to come up against challenges which are causing you to spin your wheels and have second thoughts about getting into this space in the first place. The amount of time and effort that is being spent on this product is beginning to work against you but you are unwilling to give up the fight to succeed.

This scenario is common place for a lot of app publishers and often time never ends. But knowing when to stop the cycle and kill your app is an important part of the application lifecycle which will free you up not only from spending time and money which is not bringing in return but more importantly to allow you to focus on other ideas and projects which very well may be the winning ticket.

With any product comes a lifecycle – a beginning a middle and an end. Specifically for apps there are 4 common parts to the lifecycle:

  1. Pre-Launch: including concept, design, development, testing and marketing efforts that lead up to launch
  2. Launch: the introduction of your app to market
  3. Post-Launch or Maintenance: updates, continual marketing, support, revenue generation
  4. Decommission: decision to take down or no longer support the application

Decommissioning a product is not an easy decision and of course should not be made lightly. It is extremely important that you, as the business owner or app publisher, feel that you have done everything you could to set your app up for success. Often this means making small but significant investments in marketing and promotion to test the impact of increasing app discovery. It also often involves testing and tweaking your product features, quality and marketing strategy to see what is working and what is not. However, when you have reached the point when your efforts are not bringing in any return you need to start looking for the these tell-tale signs to start to consider moving on to the next big thing.

These are 3 key signs that after exhausting efforts, it may be time to move on to new opportunities.

1. Little, no or bad ratings and reviews

If your app has received less than 5 reviews, no reviews or an extremely low star rating in the app store this will have an impact on getting downloads. Today’s consumer is a social shopper and will look to download apps that have significant amount of reviews first and foremost. The more reviews you have the better. The second thing they will look at is the star rating attached the app. You want to make sure your app stays at a 3 star or better.

2. Revenue versus Cost to Support

If the amount of money you are making from your app continues to be insufficient for the support and marketing of the application whether this be through bug fixes, necessary platform upgrades or in the continual marketing any app requires to be successful, this is a definite warning sign that something is not working. An app is a business and a business needs to be at the very least profit neutral (if you have another job to support yourself that is) in order to continue.

3. Revenue versus Time to Support

Don’t forget to factor in your time. If your app is taking you away from revenue opportunities from your full-time gig or if this is your full-time gig then you need to ensure you are factoring in the time to manage and support your app. If the revenue your app has been generating is not covering all the operational costs including your time then you should take the time to re-evaulate your next steps.

From our own experience working with apps in app marketing and app strategy across platform and categories, the secret to a successful business is a great product, passion and persistence. We encourage you to do whatever it takes to find success with your product. We also encourage you to be realistic and pragmatic when it comes to the business of your app which is why we also feel the secret to success in the app business is knowing when to walk away.

 

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