Updates to Google Play Policies

Upcoming Policy Changes 

News from the Google Play Store

Effective September 30, 2022
We’re adding new guidelines to our Ads policy to improve the in-app user experience and to prohibit unexpected interstitial ads, inspired by the Better Ads Standards – Mobile Apps Experiences guidelines.


Effective August 31, 2022
We’re updating health misinformation guidelines to state that we don’t allow apps containing misleading health claims that contradict existing medical consensus, or that can cause harm to users.We’re updating our Impersonation policy to clarify that the policy prohibits impersonation of other entities or organizations.  We’ve also added some new examples regarding app titles and icons.

Effective September 30, 2022
We’re updating our Subscriptions policy to state that users must be able to easily cancel their subscriptions from within the app.

Effective November 1, 2022
We’re updating our Families Self-Certified Ads SDK Program to require that self-certified ads SDK providers must submit new policy-compliant, self-certified versions and a test app to remain in the Families Self-Certified Ads SDK Program. Learn more about Families Self-Certified Ads SDKs.We’re updating our existing stalkerware guidance with a monitoring apps flag “IsMonitoringTool” for all legitimate monitoring applications. All apps that use this tool must also disclose monitoring or tracking functionality in their Google Play store description.

New examples and clarifications
Additionally, we’ve added new examples and clarifications to some of our existing policies. Because these policies aren’t new or updated, our enforcement standards and practices for these policies remain the same. 

We’re clarifying our Child Endangerment policy to reinforce that we prohibit the use of apps to endanger children, including the facilitation of child trafficking, grooming, and sextortion.We’re clarifying our Families Data Practices policy to state that apps that solely target children must not transmit Android advertising identifier (AAID), SIM Serial, Build Serial, BSSID, MAC, SSID, IMEI, and/or IMSI. Apps that target both children and older audiences must not transmit AAID, SIM Serial, Build Serial, BSSID, MAC, SSID, IMEI, and/or IMSI from children or users of unknown age.

We’re consolidating health and medical-related policies into an easy-to-navigate page.We’re clarifying our Ads policy to emphasize that ads and their associated offers served in your app must be consistent with your app’s content rating.

We’re clarifying our Ads policy to state that the Ad ID may no longer be connected to a persistent identifier or personally-identifiable information for any purpose including analytics purposes.We’re clarifying the Made For Ads guidelines under our Spam policy to prevent apps from displaying interstitial ads repeatedly to distract users from engaging with an app and performing in-app tasks.

We’re moving country-specific guidelines from our Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy page to a link on our Gambling Application Form for easier reference.We’re clarifying our sensitive events definition and examples under the Inappropriate Content policy to state that we don’t allow apps that capitalize on or are insensitive toward a sensitive event with significant social, cultural, or political impact (for example, civil emergencies, natural disasters, public health emergencies, conflicts, deaths, or other tragic events).

We’re clarifying Privacy Policy guidelines under our User Data policy to state that all apps must post a privacy policy link in the designated field within Play Console and a privacy policy link or text within the app itself.

We’re also specifying that privacy policies must be publicly accessible and non-geofenced. Learn more about adding a privacy policy.

Unity Mobile Insights 2022: Growth and Monetization

Important Report for all business owners of mobile applications: Unity Mobile Insights 2022: Growth and Monetization. Enclosed are some of the main points that resonate with today’s app owners:-

Soft Launch

  • Canada is the preferred location for a soft launch
  • January is the preferred month for a soft launch
  • On average, a soft launch takes six and a half weeks to complete

Spend your Budget Wisely

  • Advertising in hypercasual games has 38% higher CTR than other genres
  • Games that are advertised in games of the same genre generally perform better with cannibalization not being a concern
  • D7 retention is much higher for games targeted at casual audiences for word, board, and puzzle games, than hardcore gamers for racing, role-playing, and simulation games

Sharpen your Ad Creatives

  • Ad creatives that showed actual gameplay performed better than any other ad content
  • Voice-over performs better than on-screen text for instructions
  • Showing gameplay of the player losing or failing at the game is effective

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2022

Call to code #WWDC2022 – Join developers worldwide from June 6 to 10 for an inspiring week of technology and community. Get a first look at Apple’s latest platforms and technologies in sessions, explore the newest tools and tips, and connect with Apple experts in labs and digital lounges

Create additional versions of your App Store product page

Custom product pages

Create additional versions of your App Store product page, each of which highlights a feature or specific content, then share a page’s unique URL in your corresponding marketing efforts.

Overview

You can create additional versions of your App Store product page on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 or later to showcase different features or content within your app — such as a particular sport, character, show, or gameplay feature — and share them with different audiences through unique URLs. You can also use these pages to showcase seasonal or culturally relevant content. Each custom product page can include screenshots, promotional text, and app previews that are different from those on your default product page.

Configuring in App Store Connect

When creating a custom product page in App Store Connect, you can choose to start with a copy of your default product page or a blank page. You can then customize screenshots, promotional text, and app previews for any of your page’s localizations. Any metadata you provide must be submitted for review, which you can do independent of an app update. You can have up to 35 custom product pages per app published on the App Store at a time. For a smooth review experience, make sure your screenshots and app previews follow the specifications and that all metadata follows the App Store Review Guidelines.

Marketing custom product pages

Once you’ve created a custom product page, you can use its unique URL to share it through your marketing efforts, such as social media advertising or promotional communications. For example, you can promote a sports team in an email campaign and link to the custom product page that highlights that team. The unique URL adds a new product page ID parameter to the default product page URL. For example: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mountain-climber/id12345678?ppid=45812c9b-c296-43d3-c6a0-c5a02f74bf6e

Advertising networks can also use custom product pages in StoreKit-rendered advertisements. They’ll use the custom product page ID as the customProductPageIdentifier when using SKOverlay, or as the SKStoreProductParameterCustomProductPageIdentifier when using SKStoreProductViewController.

Early next year, you’ll be able to use custom product pages to create ad variations with Apple Search Ads. Custom product pages will be available to select right from your Apple Search Ads account, letting you create more relevant ads for different audiences.

Learn more about Apple Search Ads

Custom product pages don’t appear when someone searches for your app or game on the App Store, but may appear in editorially curated selections on the Today, Games, and Apps tabs.

Measuring success

Once your custom product pages are live, you can measure their performance in App Analytics in App Store Connect. Under the Acquisition tab, you’ll see product page impressions, downloads, redownloads, and conversion rates to understand how effective each page is at encouraging app downloads. You can also view retention data and average proceeds per paying user for each custom product page. Additionally, you can compare the performance of your custom product pages against your default product page, and see whether people who downloaded your app from a custom product page stay engaged longer or spend more on in-app purchases.

App Store Fees Fall Again!

App Store Fees Fall Again! Check out the recent article from the Developers Appliance

https://www.developersalliance.org/news/app-store-fees-fall-again

It’s awesome to see more price decreases … before the government dismantles our industry.

Kudos to our app store partners for another round of price cuts! While most devs are less fixated on app store fee formulas and more on the services and tools they offer, falling fees are always a welcome surprise. Apple and Google are now taking turns sweetening their deals and fine-tuning what and how apps are treated based on evolving app monetization schemes. We’ll leave it to Google to give the details – see their blog post for more – but this is another clear sign that platforms recognize that developer success is their success too.

For years, app store competition has focused on the “supply-side”; trying to build the best tools, offer the best community experience, engage better or address store mechanics and add new features. More importantly, the underlying platforms are competing for consumers, and that means a growing demand for new features and the apps that capitalize on them. This was exactly what devs needed in a growing industry. Fees have been less of a focus – mostly because those developers most impacted are highly lucrative and successful franchises themselves. This latest round of fee cuts opens up many new monetization strategies and makes it easier for those on the cusp of success to breakthrough. Nothing but good news there!

Contact App Promo today on how we can save your money and make you more money this holiday season 🎄

Holiday App Marketing 2021

App Promo is here to help with your holiday app marketing needs. It’s time to run your holiday campaigns for the next 6 weeks to enjoy the returns of a captive audience that is is ready to spend money $$$$. If you have a budget small or large now is the time to get the returns you have been waiting for. Call us for your free holiday plans today!

Travel Apps Rebounded in H1 2021, Hitting 143 Million Downloads

Rising vaccination rates and decreasing infection rates across several European countries have helped the Travel app category hit strong year-over-year growth rates in Q2 2021, with downloads up 104 percent. Sensor Tower’s latest report, available now, reveals that downloads reached 143 million installs, up 14 percent versus H1 2020 on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, respectively.

Booking.com Dominates the Travel Aggregator Space

Booking.com Dominates the Travel Aggregator Space

Travel aggregator apps were significantly impacted by the emergence of COVID-19. However, by the summer of 2021, downloads of hotel booking apps and full-service travel aggregators were approaching pre-pandemic levels. Booking.com reached nearly 3 million downloads in Europe in July 2021, a new all-time high exceeding its peaks during the summer months before the pandemic. From January to August 2021, Booking.com saw an average of 1.7 million downloads per month compared to competitors TripadvisorTrivagoSkyscannerTutu.ru, and Aviasales, which collectively saw 267,000 average installs per month. With the United Kingdom and the United States expected to relax foreign travel restrictions in the coming months, travel aggregator apps have an opportunity to continue boosting user adoption rates.

Airbnb Downloads Surpass Those Recorded in the Summer of 2019

Vacation rental apps led the accommodation category recovery in the summer of 2021. Airbnb was the top accommodation app, surpassing 6 million installs between January to August 2021, with user adoption reaching its highest point during the year in July at 1.2 million downloads.

Airbnb Downloads Peaked at 1.2 million

Other accommodation apps such as HomeAwayHolidu, and HomeToGo registered consistent Y/Y increases in downloads with significantly higher user adoption levels compared to summer 2019.

Ryanair Downloads Took Off This Summer

In Europe, Ryanair was the leading airline app, with 720,000 average monthly downloads from June to August 2021 compared to an average of 240,000 monthly downloads for easyJetWizz Air, and S7 Airlines. Ryanair ranked No. 1 by downloads in 18 out of the 32 months between January 2019 and August 2021. Of the four top airline apps in Europe, Russia-based S7 Airlines saw the most Y/Y growth, with downloads well above pre-pandemic levels in the summer of 2021.

Ryanair Was the Leading Airline App in June to August 2021

ASO Tip #2 – An Icon is Worth a Thousand Words

App Store Optimization Tip #2 - Icon

Welcome Back to our App Store Optimization (ASO) series.

Last week we took a look at how to improve discoverablity of your app by using keywords in your app name. This week we will focus on another key branding element of your app, your icon.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The impact of your icon, being an image or picture, is extremely powerful. In many ways, your app icon is even more important than your name is as it is the first thing a user will notice in the list of applications and is often the element of your app branding that is most remembered by a potential downloader. This shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing how much real estate and prominence app icons get both in the store and on device.

Your app icon is like the packaging for your app. It is there to catch people’s attention and communicate in seconds what your app is all about. Its in those seconds that a potential user will make their decision as to whether or not they will want to download or pay for your application.

In our experience a potential user is factoring in the following when they look through a list of app icons to decide their next download:

Design: Is the icon overcomplicated or crowded? Is there text or an image that is hard to make out. Your app icon is pretty small so don’t try to fit the entire app in it. Avoid just using a screenshot and if you have a long title don’t even bother trying to squeeze that in. Work with a graphic designer to create an eye appealing icon that is easy to read and even more importantly recall.

Color: Are the colors of the app appropriate for the genre or subject of the app? Do they stand out from the crowd? Are they too dark and bland? Choosing the right colors is just as important as the right design. You want to make sure that your app stands out from the crowd while not selecting colors that take your app too far out of the genre norm.

Quality: Is the icon fuzzy? Are the images pixelated? Are the colors faded? A poor quality app icon can make or break a decision against you and your competitors. Take the extra time to create high definition icons that are crystal clear and meet the specs of the devices that are out there. Keep this updated as screens improve. It will go a long way to selling your application.

Context: What is this app all about? Does this icon make sense to the user in context to the category they are in and in reference to the name that you have given it? Often times users make their decision right at the list view so you will not have the chance to explain yourself like you can when they hit the product description. You will want to make sure that your app icon relates to the core features of your app so that there is no confusion what this app is all about.

 

 

ASO Tip #1 – Use Keywords in Your App Name

App Store Optimization Tip 1 - App NameOne of the most popular services we provide at App Promo is ASO or App Store Optimization. Our App Store Optimization service includes a thorough review of how your app is positioned or will be positioned within the app store and recommendations on potential changes that would better serve your app within this environment to increase discovery and sales.

We have created a series of articles that break out 5 tips we have found to be most useful when it comes to optimizing your app within a storefront. This is the first post of the five. In this post, we will take a look at one of the critical marketing elements of your product in the app store – your App Name.

Your app name is at the core of your product brand. This along with your icon act like the cover of a book for your app. It is essential that your app name be creative, thoughtful, enticing and indicative of what your app does but often times app publishers forget that it is also critical that the name itself contains keywords which are core to your app.

The name of your app is one of the strongest areas search engines both within the store and outside the store online will use for search discovery. For this reason, it is important to think about what your user will search for when they are looking for your app and consider using some of these keywords in your name. If your app is an Apple Puzzle game that be sure to use Apple or Puzzle in your app name somewhere, for example.

In addition, as mobile app store users make most of their download decisions within the list of apps they scroll through on their device, it is essential to grab their attention with your name. Using keywords which accurately and succinctly describe what your app is all about will help users understand in the a small amount of time what your app is all about and will help increase downloads but more importantly qualified downloads of your app.

Here are some TIPS when selecting a name which is optimized to market your app using keywords:

  1. Select a name that has something to do with the core offerings of your app – don’t be afraid to state the obvious here
  2. Be creative but don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness (again a spade can be a spade)
  3. Identify keywords for your app by thinking like a user and figuring out what they would search for and include some of these keywords in your name
  4. Look to your direct competitors to understand the format and keywords used in their app titles to learn from those around you
  5. Utilize a two part name separated by a dash or a colon to free up room to use keywords e.g. Monkey Madness – Kids Puzzle Fun

Look for the next post in this App Store Optimization article series next week at www.app-promo.com.

Mobile commerce sales will double to $700+ billion by 2025: eMarketer

E-comm is so yesterday. 2021 is all about M. According to eMarketer, mobile commerce sales (aka m-comm, aka all the stuff we buy on our phones) increased by 41.4% in 2020 and will grow another 15.2% this year, hitting $359.3 billion. 

“Smartphones have historically been primarily consumption devices, but they’re becoming much better as transaction devices,” eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman told Retail Brew. 

  • M-comm is expected to almost double its share of annual US retail sales by 2025, to 10.4%—or $728+ billion. 

Tap and buy: We shouldn’t be surprised. At this point, e-commerce is just…commerce. Soon, the same will be true for m-comm. 

During the pandemic, 56% of American consumers used apps or mobile websites to order food (up from 36%) and 51% ordered products for pickup (up from 31%).

  • A 2021 Deloitte survey shows that 70% of 2,000+ US teens and adults will continue these habits post-Covid.

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