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) updates for the current month.
In this edition, we’ll cover everything you need to know from Apple’s WWDC23, delve into some quality-of-life improvements to Google’s App Campaigns, and highlight exciting new features from leading industry players. Let’s dive in!
App Store Updates & Features
WWDC23 & Beyond: Changes to App Store Pricing, PPO Updates, Pre-orders, and More
App Store Pricing Changes
Apple’s App Store pricing update has been available for some time, offering app marketers promising new features to improve their pricing strategies. During the recent WWDC23 sessions, the company provided more details regarding the expansion of their pricing options from 800 to 900 points across 175 regions and 44 currencies, giving you greater flexibility in catering to various user demographics.
Along with this update, a new feature has been introduced that allows marketers to set a base region and price. This will aid in generating equivalent prices for other regions while considering exchange rates and taxes.
- You can also schedule future price changes and set temporary prices during specific time periods in the App Store Connect, giving you more control over the overall pricing strategy.
It’s worth noting that certain apps, such as free apps or those with in-app purchases and subscriptions, may not have access to this feature. In these cases, they would typically have to set their app’s price to “0” in App Store Connect.
App Store Pre-Orders Updates
During its annual WWDC, Apple also announced two significant updates to App Store pre-orders.
- The first update allows developers to control where and how they release their apps with regional pre-orders.
This flexibility enables developers to soft-launch their apps in specific regions and then offer their apps for pre-order in others, leading to strategic app releases tailored to different markets.
- The second update announced involved streamlining the pre-order setup process through the use of App Store Connect.
With this feature, marketers can set an expected release date for their app, which can be up to 365 days for already published apps and up to 180 days for new apps. You can also customize pre-order apps’ product pages, run optimization tests, and track performance metrics using App Analytics.
The company has also announced some improvements to pre-order management, allowing developers to update release dates, release pre-orders immediately, or remove pre-orders from the App Store for specific regions from a single location. These can be found under the Pricing and Availability page in App Store Connect.
Additionally, you can use localized badges on your website and marketing materials to direct visitors to the product page.
- Finally, pre-order apps are now more easily discoverable on the App Store, with the potential of being featured on the Today, Games, or Apps tabs. You can track your pre-order app campaign performance through App Analytics on App Store Connect.
These functionalities are supported by the App Store Connect API, enabling app developers to integrate these features into their own systems and workflows.
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Custom Product Page (CPP) and Product Page Optimizations (PPO) Now Available for Pre-Order Apps
Custom Product Pages (CPPs) and Product Page Optimizations (PPOs) are indispensable tools for iOS app marketers and developers. They offer valuable features like app A/B testing, allowing you to experiment with various creatives, metadata, and other app assets to discover the optimal strategies for your target audience.
Considering this, Apple’s announcement of CPPs and PPOs for pre-order apps at this year’s WWDC was particularly exciting for app marketers. The opportunity to optimize assets before launching an app can greatly enhance its chances of success in the App Store.
The visionOS software development kit (SDK) is now available for app developers, enabling them to create cutting-edge spatial computing apps for Apple Vision Pro. This kit, available with Xcode 15 beta 2, includes the visionOS SDK and Reality Composer Pro, a tool that simplifies 3D content preparation.
With the visionOS SDK, developers can leverage the unique capabilities of Vision Pro and visionOS to design unique app experiences across various categories, such as productivity, design, gaming, and more.
- The visionOS simulator will also allow you to interact with and explore the apps you create, experimenting with different room layouts, lighting conditions, and conducting tests.
App Store Connect Support for Vision Pro
Apple has already made notable progress in enabling developers to create apps for the Vision Pro AR/VR headset. As we’ve mentioned, the company recently released VisionOS SDK and visionOS beta 1.0 for developers.
In the recent WWDC, the company introduced support for native Vision Pro apps in App Store Connect. This update allows for seamless compatibility with iPhones and iPads, streamlining app management on xrOS. With these advancements, developers can start working on creating cutting-edge apps for xrOS, driving innovation in AR technology.
To address privacy concerns related to the Vision Pro, Apple has introduced additional Privacy Nutrition Labels that enable developers to disclose various types of data collection practices associated with the device.
Additionally, comprehensive analytics are available for Vision Pro on App Store Connect, making tracking downloads and user engagement easier. These updates offer exciting new opportunities for app developers to reach a wider audience and provide a secure and transparent user experience.
App Store Privacy Updates
From Apple’s Privacy Manifests to the new SDK signatures, there were plenty of App Store privacy updates announced during the WWDC23 sessions. To learn more about these updates, you can check out our coverage here.
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Changes to App Store Today Tab Ad Formatting
Starting in July, Apple will introduce a new format for the App Store’s “Today” tab ads to enhance the user experience with a more engaging and user-friendly design.
The revamped design will feature the app icon, name, and subtitle right from the App Store Connect, ensuring complete visibility to visitors upon arrival.
- This new format will be exclusive to iPhone devices operating on iOS 16.4 or later, meaning it will be unavailable on iPad devices and on iPhone devices operating on earlier versions.
In addition to the aesthetic makeover, Apple is simplifying the ad approval process. Ads will no longer require a review of the custom product page used as the tap destination, significantly reducing setup time.
However, Apple will still review the app’s icon, name, and subtitle to ensure compliance with Search Ads content guidelines and Advertising Policies. These updated guidelines prohibit using violent, offensive, sexually explicit, or inappropriate images in the app icon, name, or subtitle.
Promotional information like pricing, offers, rankings, and claims of app awards will also not be allowed, with phrases like “Game of the Day” and “App of the Day” being off-limits too.
- Existing campaigns will automatically switch to the new format in July without any action needed from the advertisers. Campaigns that were previously rejected will be re-reviewed under these revised guidelines. If approved, they can be reactivated from the Ads dashboard.
Campaigns created after the transition won’t need additional approval for the app icon, title, and subtitle if reviewed once for a Today tab campaign in the same country or region. However, changes to the app’s name, subtitle, or icon in App Store Connect will require a new review.
Google Play Store Updates & Features
Play Console Traffic Attribution Issue
If you’ve noticed a problem with Traffic Attribution in the Google Play Console recently, rest assured you’re not alone.
During June, an unexpected issue arose within the Google Play Console Traffic Attribution reports, specifically from June 11th to June 18th. Consequently, there was a significant decrease in store listing acquisitions, particularly from explore and third-party traffic, which could also affect search results. Numerous apps’ visibility and performance across various locations have been impacted by this issue.
The issue has already been resolved; however, it is important to mention that the Console’s retrospective data will still display partial store listing acquisitions from the dates we mentioned.
Quality-of-Life Improvements to App Campaigns
Google has recently made several updates to its App campaigns, which are designed to help you promote your apps across their largest platforms. These updates aim to improve ad reach, performance, and relevance.
Some of the key enhancements include:
- Expanding ad formats across various channels such as Search, Play, Discover, AdMob, and YouTube, as well as making it easier for users to download your app with an install overlay on YouTube Shorts. Additionally, Google plans to show relevant ads at the top of the search results page for app-specific queries on Google Play later this year.
- To enhance performance, Google has introduced ad group feed filtering, promotional assets, and seasonality adjustments. They will also improve deferred deep linking (DDL) and enable auto-install for pre-registered users. Additionally, the company has announced that a new creative testing tool is currently in beta and will be rolled out later this year.
- Finally, Google has made some adjustments to Dynamic Search Ads for better matching between queries and apps and has improved its Smart Asset Selection models on Google Play, dynamically surfacing the most relevant and best-performing assets for a given user or query.
MMPs (Mobile Measurement Partners) Updates
AppsFlyer Introduces New Audience Management Solution Powered by Android’s Privacy Sandbox
AppsFlyer has recently unveiled a comprehensive audience management solution. This new offering utilizes Google’s Protected Audience API on Android, which is part of the broader launch of the Privacy Sandbox.
The Protected Audience API allows for privacy-focused, on-device, ID-less remarketing on mobile. It enables the exchange of information between advertiser and publisher apps and their corresponding ad-tech platforms, facilitating on-device custom audience targeting.
AppsFlyer’s solution can help advertisers and ad platforms to leverage the Protected Audience API for tasks like custom audience segmentation, privacy-centric re-engagement, advanced bidding, and personalized creatives. This also includes measurement reporting, which offers insights into campaign effectiveness.
Marketers can manage audiences created by first-party data based on their own rules directly on the AppsFlyer platform. They can also collaborate with ad networks (DSPs) to manage audiences created by the DSPs on behalf of the advertisers.
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