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Understand Impact of Being Featured in the App Store

Marie-Laure Cruyt by ,  CPO at AppTweak AppTweak Releases

We’re happy to present you to our new indicator: Story views. This KPI measures the visibility of a Story by estimating its total monthly views. Story views can help assess the impact of having your app featured in a particular Story.


How we calculate Story Views

The Story views indicator estimates the number of impressions a Story has received in the App Store. To compute this number, we take a series of elements into account:

If the Story was featured in the “Today” tab

The today tab is what users see when they open the App Store, therefore making it a very high traffic tab. Apple has been investing a lot in this tab, providing daily content for its users. When a story is published on the Today tab, it is given a huge visibility potential.

Check out where and when your app or competitors were featured in the Today Tab

The position of the Story in the “Today” tab

Of course, not all users that open the App Store actually browse through the Stories featured in Today. The higher the position of the Story in the “Today” tab, the higher its potential visibility. In our calculations, we also consider that users who have spent less than 1 second on “Today” haven’t even looked at the first Story, but probably jumped directly to another tab.

Comparing the no. of views a Story in the Today Tab receives per month in the US App Store on AppTweakThe number of views a Story in the “Today” tab receives per month in the US App Store depending on its position.

The number of keywords a Story ranks on

A Story isn’t only visible on the “Today” tab, but can also rank among keyword search results. When we compute the number of impressions of a Story, we also take into account the number of keywords that story has been ranking on over the last 30 days.

Comparing the number of views of Stories depending on the number of keywords they rank on AppTweak
Comparing the number of views of Stories depending on the number of keywords they rank on AppTweak.

These two stories were both featured in the 5th position of the “Today” tab of the US App Store on 7 July and 6 July respectively. The first also ranks on 4 keywords in the search results, while the second ranks on more than 100 keywords in search results, which leads to a higher number of monthly views.

The volume of Story keywords

When considering the keywords a Story ranks on, we also have to check the volume of each keyword. If the Story ranks on high-volume keywords, it will have much more views than a Story that ranks on keywords that are barely searched.

Discover the most popular keywords of 2019

The number of days a Story ranked on a word

To calculate the total views over the last 30 days, we only consider the days when a Story actually ranked on a keyword. We found that for certain keywords, Apple always ranks the same Story for several months, but for others, it alternates between several Stories and some only rank for a couple of days. As a result, not all Stories get the same level of visibility on a keyword.

Comparing the number of views of Stories depending on the keywords' volume and ranking history on AppTweakComparing the number of views of Stories depending on the keywords’ volume and ranking history on AppTweak.

These two Stories both appeared in 5th position of the “Today” tab in the US App Store (8 July and 6 July respectively). They also both rank for around 130 keywords. However, the first had 4.9 million views in the last 30 days because it ranks on higher volume keywords and for a longer time, whereas the second had 2.2 millon views since it ranks on lower volume keywords and for a shorter period.

The position of a Story on keywords

Just like keyword volume, the position of Story on a keyword also impacts the total views of that Story. The lower the Story ranks on a word, the lower its potential views from that word. Finally, since we calculate the Story views over the last 30 days, we also consider the number of days for which the Story was actually ranking on that word. Sometimes, a few Stories only rank for a very short period on a word, while others rank for several months.

AppTweak shows on which days a Story ranked on a keyword and in which position in the search resultsAppTweak shows on which days a Story ranked on a keyword and in which position in the search results.

Check out the keywords a Story ranks on with position, volume and ranking history.

Story Views across countries

Another major element that impacts the Story Views indicator is the country in which that Story appeared. Of course, the US App Store drives much more daily traffic than the Belgian App Store. The Story Views estimates the total views a Story received over the last 30 days in a given country. If you app was featured in a story that was published across several countries, you can compare the impact of each country using our Story Views KPI.

Comparing the impact on visibility of an app featured in different countries on AppTweakComparing the impact on visibility of an app featured in different countries on AppTweak.

This Story was featured in the App Store “Today” tab of many different countries. The impact in terms of visibility really depends on the country the Story was featured in.

Use our filters in Featured Apps to discover when and where your app was featured

How to integrate Story Views in your ASO

So now that you understand the data science behind the numbers, you’re probably wondering how to use this new indicator in your ASO work. Apple is giving more and more importance to featured content as opposed to usual app rankings. In fact, by adding a Story in the first or second position in the search results, Apple considerably reduces the visibility of the second app that ranks organically on that word. If you add an ad banner to the word, then even the first organic app result isn’t visible in the first screen. That’s precisely why we decided to revamp our Live Search to reproduce the real user experience of keyword search.

This suggests that in addition to focusing on getting your app in the top results for important keywords, you want to get your app featured in Stories that rank for those keywords too. For example, we looked at two Real Estate apps Realtor and Zillow and did a Live Search on their brand names. When we searched the word “zillow,” we found the app in the first position and a Story that features that app (and that app only) in second position.

When we searched for “realtor,” we found the app in the first position, but in the second position, there was a Story that featured several competitor app. This is something you really want to avoid.

Comparing the Stories that appear in the Search terms of two competing brands and the apps they feature on AppTweak ASO ToolComparing the Stories that appear in the search terms of two competing brands and the apps they feature.

Don’t let Apple give visibility to competitor apps on your branded terms. Make sure you app gets featured in as many Stories as possible (ideally alone), especially in those that rank on relevant keywords for your app.

That said, the Story Views indicator will help you assess the visibility a Story your app is featured in (or a competitor) is getting. You’ll be able to compare Stories and identify those that have a high potential of leading extra traffic to your app.

5 tips to easily measure the ASO performance of your app

Stories as source of impressions

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand that Stories lead to extra impressions for your app. However, some Stories give an impression to your app without users having to click on them, whereas others only give your app an impression once the user has opened the story and viewed its content.

Examples of Stories that give an impression on view vs. Stories that give an impression on opening
Examples of Stories that give an impression on view vs. Stories that give an impression on opening.

In addition, depending on where the Story appears or was seen by the user, the impression will be considered from browse or search traffic. If the user saw your app in a Story in the “Today” tab, then that counts as a Browse impression. If the user saw your app in a Story that ranks on a keyword search, then that is counted as a search impression.

Monitor the number of downloads your app is getting from a specific keyword


We hope this article has enlightened you on the impact that a featuring can have on your app and how to benefit from it. You can start measuring the visibility your app is getting from Stories right now in AppTweak. The Story Views indicator is visible in all features that highlight Stories, including Featured Apps, the Featured Tab, and the Live Search.

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Marie-Laure Cruyt

by ,  CPO at AppTweak

Marie-Laure is CPO at AppTweak, she has always worked in digital companies that either have a product focused around an app or a SaaS. She’s a real (dark only) chocolate lover.