WWDC App Store overhaul: The ASO community reacts

Ben Heathcote

In App Marketing. June 8, 2017

Apple has this week announced a major redesign of its App Store at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), with the App Store Optimization (ASO) community now reacting to and analysing the impact of the new features.

Among the most important changes to the “beautifully redesigned” App Store for app marketers are:

Separate tabs for Games and Apps

Given that the Games category is the App Store’s most popular, Apple has decided to house apps and games in their own separate tabs. Both sections will feature recommendations of new releases and updates, as well as videos and hand-picked collections.


A new “Today” section with daily stories

Described as a daily destination all about games, apps and app culture, the App Store’s global team plan to fill this section with daily stories for the apps they select. The tab will feature exclusive premieres, new releases and a fresh look at all-time favourites, as well as recommended tips and how-to guides.

A rejigged app product page

The app product page will be completely redesigned, allowing developers to attract the attention of users with more engaging content including five screenshots and three video app previews.



Since Apple’s unveiling of the all-new App Store, the ASO community has been reacting to and reviewing the new features and analysing the impact that the overhaul is expected to have on ASO. For instance, reviews will now be given greater visibility and prominence but app names will be restricted to just 30 characters.

The video app preview feature in particular is one that seems to have excited the ASO community.

Co-founder of creative agency Apptamin and app marketing specialist Sylvain Gauchet said:

 

Lee Blyth, a director and consultant at App Roots, noted:

The unveiling of Apple’s redesigned App Store earlier this week (5 June) has also prompted the ASO community and app marketing specialists to summarise and analyse the most important changes and new features and, more importantly, discuss their effects.

According to a blog published by ASO Stack here, the all-new App Store is expected to have “a major impact” on app discovery. In the form of a slideshow presentation, the post also highlights the major changes for App Store Optimization.

TheTool, a new performance-based ASO tool which has been developed by digital marketers with more than ten years of experience in SEO and digital marketing, has also published a similar article aimed at app marketers to summarise “some of the most important things that affect iOS app listings in the App Store”.

Also joining in the discussion is mobile app development and marketing agency Incipia, which has provided a bullet point overview of every important update, particularly changes that are expected to have an impact on ASO. Among the most important points mentioned is that Apple is “asserting more influence over what apps people download” through a number of changes.

Meanwhile, app stats provider Prioridata  decided to focus on listing the changes that matter the most to app marketers. In their post, they said that Apple have decided to skew users towards their hand-picked choices by “flexing their editorial muscles”, adding that the App Store team will be “even more important than they already are because their selection of apps will largely replace the algorithm driven trending tab”.

They noted: “In this way, they are reinforcing recent moves by Facebook to introduce more of a human touch to their service. This helps distance their brand from the ongoing storm that surrounds dubious algorithms and hidden filters exerting an outsized influence on the general public.”

The new App Store will be included with iOS 11, which will be available as a free update for iPhone 5s and later in September 2017. Whether or not the App Store changes will be welcomed with approval and excitement remains to be seen, but they will have a major impact and wide-ranging implications on app developers, marketers and the wider industry.