ASO Academy - Dot Release

May 12, 2022

ASO Academy - Dot Release

There’s a common misconception held among developers that app updates need to coincide with code and significant UX/UI changes. As the App Store Review Guidelines state:

“Apps must clearly describe new features and product changes in their “What’s New” text. Simple bug fixes, security updates, and performance improvements may rely on a generic description, but more significant changes must be listed in the notes.”

Of course, there are many instances where a full update release is necessary and in turn, must be disclosed. However, developers can make adjustments to their creatives and metadata without having it align with a code update.

Dot releases are an invaluable tool that lets developers avoid encroaching on the current iOS requirements. In the context of App Store Optimization, they’re fundamental to keeping your app in tip-top shape regardless of what changes they may be.

In this week’s ASO academy we’ll be exploring dot releases – what they are, why they’re important and how they can help you further improve your app store performance.

What Are Dot Releases?

A dot (also a point release) is a minor change or adjustment made to creative or metadata elements on the app store. By nature, these adjustments are not large or major structural changes made to any of your app elements (hence, the dot).

Developers don’t need to make large-scale coding changes to their UI/UX to initiate a dot release. The changes made can be as simple as updating the positioning and targeted keywords within your metadata or tweaking screenshot design.

Dot releases help developers improve visibility, account for factors including seasonality, or increase conversion in a way that saves time and resources.

Why Are Dot Releases Important?

Apart from the natural ease of releasing a dot release, they can help developers better maintain visibility, conversion and relevancy on the app stores. Dot releases are iterative by nature, but they are not massive overhauls or significant updates of any app store asset.

Dot releases can be leveraged to adjust for factors that require timely actions, like seasonal updates. In seasonality updates, app assets are adjusted to make sure they keep pace with user expectations, external forces and competitive factors.

To illustrate, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic many food delivery apps had to readjust some of their messaging and brand communications.

After the nationwide lockdowns, people were afraid to leave the house for food. Users were suddenly searching for contactless delivery options and sanitation-related terms among others.

What did the food delivery app developers do? They didn’t quite need a full release of new app updates immediately. Instead, the developers made adjustments to their metadata and creative assets to account for these changes. This included highlighting keyword phrases and relevant terms related to staying safe within the metadata and creative assets.

Dot releases, however, don’t have to be influenced just by external forces. If there are creative or metadata adjustments developers want to make to account for a search volume change or other reasons, they can do so fairly easily – no global pandemic required.

All changes, no matter how big or small, must have a data-driven thesis. Synthesizing a data-backed strategy for dot releases may seem quite difficult, but
ASO technology like DATACUBE and Splitcube help us better understand if the changes make sense.

Overall

Dot releases are a useful tool for all developers to have at their disposal. These timely releases can be an important part of building a holistic ASO strategy. They help you build relevance, visibility, and conversion with small yet conscious adjustments. As an ASO company, we understand how important dot releases are in maintaining growth in the app stores. If you want to learn more, Gummicube can help.