This year’s GDC was packed with exciting speaking events, new developments, and networking opportunities with game developers and companies from all around the world. We had a lot of wonderful people come to our booth to learn more about App Store Optimization, and how it can help them compete in an increasingly mobile world. A lot has changed since we last met, but we’re even more excited about what’s to come.
While we’re on the topic of new developments, let’s take a look at some of the biggest app store headlines in this week’s ASO Weekly.
Apple Restricts Search Ads in Russia
Following the developments in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Apple continues to announce additional product restrictions. Just two weeks ago, Apple halted all of its direct product sales in Russia – an action that resulted in third-party and secondhand Apple product prices to double and triple their original value.
Last week, Apple sent out an email to Russia-based developers informing them that their Search Ads and advertising campaign abilities will be put on hold indefinitely. This action terminates all current search ad campaigns and stops developers from creating new ones.
This leaves Russia-based developers and apps currently operating in Russia with a massive marketing disparity. These developers must now rely on organic and external marketing methods to increase visibility. Yet, Apple’s shift away from the Russian market may lead many people to question if the future of Apple has Russia in it.
Google Play Loosens Its Grip on Third-Party Billing In Spotify Deal
Could this be a harbinger of streamlined in-app payments? On March 24th, Google and Spotify enacted a deal that will allow Spotify to offer its own in-app billing option to its users. This is a massive break away from Google Play’s strict billing system which ensures them a cut of all in-app payments.
This development follows the Google Play and Epic Games case regarding outside payments and alleged antitrust practices. Spotify has long been vocal about Apple’s billing practices, and it seems as though Google Play is taking the steps to give developers and users more control over their billing options.
This would allow users more flexibility in purchasing decisions. It makes the consumer purchase decision process more simple, so users can buy in-app offers easily and conveniently. For developers, this is an exciting development that may change user purchasing behaviors in the future.
The App Store Finally Recovers After Its Longest Outage In History
A week ago, iOS users couldn’t access a number of Apple services like iCloud, Podcasts, Apple Music, and the App Store. In all, 30 Apple services were reported to have limited access, long buffering times, and crashes across the United States.
App developers weren’t spared the consequences either. During the outage, all users experiencing the outage couldn’t access or search for the apps they needed to download. This caused many developers to lose crucial opportunities to reach their users.
The cause of this outage wasn’t fully addressed at the beginning of the week. Three days ago, Apple stated that the outages were caused by a failure to connect an internet protocol (IP) address to the domain name system (DNS). While outages are out of a developer's control, it’s important to plan for them when they arise.
What can we learn from these developments? For one, there are developments taking place that may significantly impact the way in-app purchases may bring value to its users and developers.
Secondly, changes that occur in the mobile marketing and app store environment are often uncontrollable and difficult to plan for. In the case of App Store outages and Search Ad bans, there may be limited resources available to actively counter their effects.
All developers should have an action plan when such situations occur. When it comes to risk assessment, Murphy’s law says it best: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. When developers can’t rely on search ads or paid campaigns, it’s important to maintain organic performance to counter loss when possible. With the help of an ASO company, developers can create an organic strategy that doesn’t put all their eggs in one basket.
Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we'll help get your strategy started.