Moburst’s Monthly Mobile Marketing Roundup #5

Sarai Oppenheimer
Sarai Oppenheimer 27 July 2023
Moburst’s Monthly Mobile Marketing Roundup #5

Welcome back to our monthly mobile marketing news roundup, where we give you insights into the latest ASO (App Store Optimization), developers, and MMPs (Mobile Measurement Partners) news & updates for the current month.

In this edition, we’ll dive into Google’s updated privacy policy, Apple’s PPO changes, the exciting news about Meta’s SKAN 4.0 support, and much more. 

Mobile News & Updates

ChatGPT App Now Available on Google Play Store

OpenAI has now launched the ChatGPT Android App, which can now be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. The app is specifically designed to offer users instant answers, personalized advice, creative inspiration, and professional input. 

Android ChatGPT App

Notable app features include user history synchronization across multiple devices and incorporating the latest model improvements. 

Apple Tests Generative AI Tools to Rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT

Apple is reportedly developing its own artificial intelligence (AI) offerings, including a chatbot similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. The company has created its own framework called “Ajax” to build large language models (LLMs) and is currently testing a chatbot referred to as “Apple GPT.” 

Apple Logo

This news has resulted in a surge in Apple’s shares, with prices reaching a record high. According to Reuters, Apple plans to make a significant AI-related announcement next year. 

Meta Pilots Direct App Downloads From Ads

Meta is launching a pilot program that offers EU users the ability to download apps directly from Facebook ads, posing direct competition for Google and Apple’s app stores. This pilot will undergo testing with selected Android app developers as part of the program.

The company’s decision stemmed from the recent changes to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union (EU). The DMA designates Apple and Google as “gatekeepers” and mandates platforms to allow alternative app download methods.

By the end of August 2023, beneficiary and payer information will be accessible in the Ad Library and Ad Library API for all ads created on or after June 22, 2023. These ads must also deliver an impression to the EU or associated territories. Meta will provide additional details such as the creative content, the Page the ad originated from, the dates the ad ran, delivery information, and targeting choices made by advertisers.

Meta’s plan is to host Android apps and enable direct downloads on Facebook, leading to increased conversion rates for app install ads, all without claiming a share of in-app revenue.

Furthermore, Microsoft has revealed its own plans to introduce an alternative app store for games on iOS and Android in Europe next year.

Google Play Store Updates & Features

Privacy Policy Updates – July 2023

The Google Play Store is set to roll out some significant updates to its privacy policy, which will impact app developers and marketers. 

Let’s break down the most significant changes:

New Device and Network Abuse Policy Guidelines

Google Play’s recent privacy policy updates introduce new Device and Network Abuse Policy guidelines. From January 31, 2024, certain policy restrictions will apply to the use of foreground services (FGS) in apps targeting Android 14 and above.

These updates require apps to declare foreground services (FGS) appropriately and specify valid foreground service types. A new JobScheduler API will also be introduced, aiming to simplify and make user-initiated data transfers more transparent. 

New Blockchain-Based Experiences in Google Play

Google is introducing fresh methods for transacting blockchain-based digital content on Google Play. Their latest policy update will be enforced from December 7, 2023, and focuses on safeguarding users and encouraging innovation by necessitating transparent disclosures of tokenized digital assets, as well as creating and preserving user confidence.

Developers will be prohibited from promoting or glorifying potential earnings from playing or trading activities. This results from Google’s recognition of the growing significance of blockchain technology and its potential to transform digital content transactions, opening up avenues for innovation and engagement within the app and gaming ecosystem.

Google Play Privacy Changes
Source: Android Developers Blog

However, the company also emphasizes the importance of transparency and responsible promotion to protect users from deceptive practices.

Apps that fail to comply with the policy, including those violating the Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests guidelines, will be prohibited from accepting payment for chances to win prizes, including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Google is piloting this new policy with a select group of developers before implementing it widely on Google Play later this year.

Deceptive Behavior Policy Changes

The last significant privacy policy change introduced this month relates to Google Play Store’s policy on Deceptive Behavior. Effective August 1, 2023, Google will add new guidelines to explicitly prohibit apps that try to deceive users or facilitate dishonest behavior. This includes (but is not limited to) apps that are deemed to be functionally impossible. 

To ensure transparency, apps must provide accurate disclosures, descriptions, and visual media showcasing their functionalities in all metadata sections. Furthermore, apps must refrain from emulating functionalities or mimicking warnings from the operating system or other apps. Any modifications to device settings should be carried out with the user’s knowledge, consent and be easily reversible at the user’s discretion.

Google Play Console Updates: New Custom Store Listing for Targeting Inactive Users 

As we mentioned in our comprehensive Google Play Console Guide, Google has recently introduced a new feature that allows you to display a different store listing for inactive users. This includes users who downloaded your app more than 28 days ago but haven’t used it within the last 28 days or have uninstalled it from their devices.

Google Play Console Custom Store Listings

The feature is still being rolled out, and the ASO community has begun testing it. We will keep you updated on our findings as we reach more conclusions. 

App Store Updates & Features 

Today Tab Ads Format Update Goes Live on the App Store

Apple first introduced the Today tab ad format in October last year, expanding its Search Ads to the main page of the app store and custom product pages. However, due to concerns raised by developers regarding the reputation impact of gambling ads on their products, Apple decided to block these types of ads from appearing on product pages.

Last month, we mentioned Apple is planning to update Today tab ads. This update aimed to enhance the user experience by providing a compact, engaging, and user-friendly layout to the App Store.

The new format and revamped design are now exclusively available on iOS 16.4 or later iPhone devices. Unfortunately, it isn’t currently accessible on iPad devices or earlier versions of iPhones. 

Product Page Optimization (PPO) Test Updates

PPO Tests Can Now Run Without Interruption 

Product page optimization offers valuable insights into user preferences for specific product pages.

Apple is now introducing a significant change that allows PPO tests to run until intentionally stopped, unaffected by new versions published via App Store Connect. Additionally, markets will be able to monitor ongoing tests while pushing necessary app updates.

Product page optimization - App Store

This update is particularly significant as it addresses the challenge marketers faced in achieving sufficient statistical significance due to the short release cycles of the apps they worked with. It is also worth noting that Apple has emphasized that marketers can actively monitor their test data, making it easier to review the live trend of a given experiment.

It is important to remember that a PPO test aims to compare changes against a control, so any modifications to a product page with a new version may impact the results of an ongoing test.

PPO Tests Creatives Size Changes

Previously, setting up a PPO test required multiple assets of different sizes (5.5, 6.5, and 6.7 inches). However, Apple has recently made the 6.7-inch requirement optional.

PPO Tests Creatives Sizes

Consequently, if no 6.7-inch asset is included, the 6.5-inch asset will be scaled to fit and automatically adjusted to the device. 

New Invocations & Size Limit For App Clips

App Clips, which were introduced in iOS 14, are a lightweight version of an app that offers users a taste of its functionality at the right time and place. It is a specific portion (a clip) of an app that customers can access through invitations like NFC tags, QR codes, or website banners –  without downloading the full App. 

This unique experience allows users seamless and firsthand access to the chosen part of an App, providing immediate value.

With the upcoming release of iOS 17, Apple plans to enhance App Clips by allowing developers to create larger clips, up to 50 MB, compared to the previous limit of 15 MB in iOS 16.  

Additionally, Apple will introduce new ways to trigger App Clips, including using a URL for each clip. These improvements, along with updated documentation to help apps support the invocation of App Clips, are aimed at encouraging more developers to embrace this feature, especially in the gaming industry, and promote their games innovatively.

MMPs (Mobile Measurement Partners) & Developer Updates 

AppsFlyer Launches AppsFlyer for Games Hub

AppsFlyer recently announced the launch of AppsFlyer for Games, a new hub featuring a variety of tools and solutions for game developers. It offers a suite of measurement and analytics tools, including ROI Measurement and Predictive Analytics, to help developers understand and optimize their marketing efforts.

AppsFlyer for Games

The new hub also introduces solutions for customer engagement and fraud protection, with tools like CX & Deep Linking and Fraud Protection. Collaboration and privacy are also key features, with the Privacy Cloud and Data Clean Room facilitating secure collaboration.

By using the hub, developers can access a wealth of learning resources and gain insights into industry trends designed to help them drive growth, optimize marketing efforts, and increase revenue.

Meta Rolls Out SKAN 4.0 Support via Meta Ads Insights API

Exciting news for app developers! Meta has started supporting SKAN 4.0 via the Meta Ads Insights API. Despite its introduction nine months ago, industry adoption has been slow, with major players like Google yet to offer support. 

However, starting from July 17, 2023, Meta is rolling out SKAN 4.0 support, allowing advertisers to access SKAN data through the Insights API.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news or preparing to transition to SKAN 4 thus far, now is definitely the time to do so. Make sure to explore our comprehensive guide to SKAdNetwork 4.0, or contact us to get started!

As we eagerly await the adoption of SKAN 4.0 by Google and other industry leaders, it is worth noting that Google has recently announced its plans to integrate SKAN 4.0 later this year during its App Immersion 2023 event. Marketers and developers should keep up with these updates as more industry players join in to support the latest version.

Sarai Oppenheimer
Sarai Oppenheimer
Sarai is an ASO & CRO analyst at Moburst, specializing in optimizing visibility and enhancing performance to increase downloads, conversions, and engagement. When she's not working, you can find her outdoors exploring nature and capturing beautiful memories with her camera.
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