On September the 1st, Apple officially announced some major changes regarding the App Store. App names will now have a limit of 50 characters. Plus, obsolete and abandoned apps will be removed starting September 7, 2016. More info below.
Apple continues improving the App Store discoverability
Apple app discovery has always been controversial. With over 2 million of apps in the App Store, both app developers and app users’ experiences are often affected. Indeed, app publishers struggle to get their app found, while app users can sometimes be frustrated to find irrelevant or lousy apps while making a search.
Apple seems to be aware of the problems present in its App Store. This is not the easiest matter to deal with, especially given the abundance of apps and all the different factors taken into account to rank apps.
Apple is however struggling to improve app’s discoverability. Indeed, the company has recently taken several measures to improve app discovery such as the arrival of Search Ads or the changes made through the latest algorithm changes.
Plus, early August 2016, an impressive change in the App Store algorithm has been noticed. It seems to have affected EU countries and UEA, while USA seems to have been spared. Following this change, a lot of app rankings fell dramatically on some keywords.
If some apps recovered their initial rankings, a lot of changes stayed and proved that it wasn’t just a temporary test from Apple. Our researches showed that this might be related to the keyword’s position in the app title and/or the keyword field.
Yesterday (September 1, 2016) Apple officially announced new changes regarding the App Store. One of these changes is the new characters limit of the app title.
App Title: Limited to 50 characters!
iOS app names will from now on be limited to 50 characters only. This marks the end of app title keywords’ stuffing and, hopefully, the beginning of a better user experience in the App Store.
At the very beginning, Apple allowed up to 255 characters. This resulted in multiple abuses regarding keywords stuffing and a very bad user experience.
Then, app titles were limited to about 75 characters, without any official communication on the matter.
It seems that Apple is now getting closer to its forever rival Google, allowing only app titles from 30 characters.
“In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app.” says Apple. “These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value.”
With shorter app names, keywords present in the app title will have a bigger weight and influence on the algorithm. It is therefore more than ever time to make a proper keywords selection. Hopefully, tools like AppTweak provide insights and data on keywords to help choosing keywords.
Outdated or abandoned apps will be removed
The second major change announced by Apple is the removal of outdated, obsolete and abandoned apps on the App Store. Starting from September 7, Apple will remove all apps that no longer function neither follow the current review guidelines. Apps that did not follow compatibility updates will also be deleted.
If an issue is found with an app, Apple will directly contact the app publisher to make the necessary changes. However, apps that crash on launch will be removed with no further notice.
Finally, it is now mandatory to make an update at least every 30 days. This way, Apple makes sure to maintain the App Store fresh and up-to-date.
Apple’s total number of apps will certainly be massively reduced. Through these changes, the company has demonstrated its desire to favor quality over quantity. And that’s an awesome news!
Let’s wait and see what will happen next…
What do you think of these new changes?