The Apple App Store is not impervious to errors. A newly discovered bug in iOS 13.5 is preventing users from accessing certain apps. Developers should be aware and keep an eye on their apps, as the bug could have a negative impact on their App Store Optimization.
Users across social media and the App Store have begun reporting iOS errors when attempting to open apps. When they tap the app on their iPhone, it notifies them:
“This app is no longer shared with you. To use it, you must buy it from the App Store.”
App sharing is enabled through iCloud Family Sharing, but it is impacting users regardless of their app sharing settings. Users are reporting that they are receiving this error even if they’re the ones in charge of the sharing settings or are using apps no other family members have.
This appears to be an error on Apple’s side that prevents iOS from verifying users have purchased an app. While some users have stated that offloading or uninstalling the app then re-installing it fixes the issue, it is not a guaranteed solution.
How This Can Impact ASO
If users are unable to access an app, it can impact your optimization in several ways.
The decreased user activity will affect usage metrics
Users may assume the app is at fault and leave negative reviews
Users may become frustrated enough to delete the app entirely
Each of these can have a negative effect on your rankings in the App Store.
Active users and deletion rates are key App Store metrics that can influence keyword rankings. If there’s a mass deletion or sudden decrease in active users, this could be reflected in your positioning.
User reviews can have an impact on both ranking and conversions. Too many negative reviews can decrease your keyword rankings, while users who see an app has a low overall score are less likely to convert.
Even if the error is on Apple’s end, users may not be aware and could assume it’s on your end. In these cases, it’s important to quickly reply and explain the issue before it causes any further damage.
Technical errors can and do occur, especially after the launch of a new OS update. When they do, it’s important to be aware of the issues and understand how to address them.
In this case, developers can inform users reporting the error of the cause and possible solutions. Developers must constantly monitor the App Store to identify changes or issues that arise. Doing so will help them address it quickly, while failing to keep an eye out can result in their apps losing users.
From Apple’s Fitness+ update, Google providing insight into real users versus bots, and Play Store Changelogs potentially being phased out, this ASO Weekly analyzes the different developments you should be aware of as 2023 kicks off.
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