In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more

ASO Monthly #9- January 2017

In the ASO Monthly-series we want to shed a light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, insights in conversion rate optimization and tool updates.

Last month a lot happened in ASO, from tool updates, to algorithm changes & the news of the month that Apple is going to revamp the way reviews work, so let’s dive straight in.

App Store Optimization News from January 2017

January 3

Mobile Action launches ASO Report

Mobile Action launches ASO Report which includes a handy weekly keyword distribution chart that allows you to see how you’re ranking, as well as history graphs on a keyword level. Especially the handy history graphs stand out as a welcome addition:

keyword distribution

January 14

Potential Google Play Algorithm bug / change

Daniel Peris (The Tool) and Gabe Kwakyi (Incipia) where quick to discover a glitch in Google Play which seem to cause Google to return an incorrect number of results. Whilst it seems that that bug has indeed been fixed, it coincided with noticeable jumps in keyword rankings that have until this day not recovered yet.

keyword that suffered from the january 14 glitch- apptweak

A keyword that suffered from the January 14 glitch (but got back up on January 15) (Screenshot: AppTweak)

huge drops on january 14

We’ve seen several clients with keywords that had huge drops on January 14, but never found their way up again.

January 24

The App Store overhauls reviews in iOS 10.3

enjoying reviewtest rating
Calvin Chestnut shared a preview of what is coming in iOS 10.3, where users won’t have to leave the app anymore in iOS 10.3 to leave a rating.

By far the most important ASO news this month is Apple’s stab at fixing their broken Ratings & Reviews mechanism in iOS 10.3. We’ve reported earlier in our Black Hat ASO presentation that it currently takes up to 12 steps to leave a review behind.

There are a couple of things you should know about the changes:

  1. As of 10.3, you can ask users to rate your app from within the app. This reduces the friction of leaving a review behind extremely, and will likely increase the number of reviews a lot — we expect all apps but especially games to profit from this.
  2. You can only fire the dialog 3 times per year per user.
  3. You can only prompt users who didn’t opt-out on system level. This is more great news for both users who just hate being asked to leave a rating behind, as well as for the developers that don’t want to lose these users with their so-called nag-screens.
  4. Finally: developers will be able to respond to reviews similar to Google Play. As soon as iOS 10.3 ships, developers can respond to customer reviews. Everyone will be able to see your response. It’s unclear yet how this will look like for users and / or how developers can reply. in-app ratings and reviews

Users can opt-out for the in-app rating prompt. It remains to be seen if developers can still nag them with a traditional prompt.

Tune publishes report on what app store elements influence conversion

Based on a survey of 3,005 smartphone owners, John Koetsier from Tune publishes a report on how users make their app install decisions on Google Play and the App Store. The report is definitely worth checking out and hosts a lot of insights, such as that women disproportionately care about ratings and reviews.

women vs men factors that drive installs

Predictions on ASO in 2017

Also on January 24, the interview with Gabriel Machuret, Laurie Galazzo, Steve P. Young, Gabe Kwakyi, Aykut Karaalioglu, Ian Sefferman and myself is published on Business of Apps. In the interview we share some ASO predictions for 2017. Check it out on (and see also Gabriel’s response post why we indeed might all be wrong).

January 31

Further Tool updates

Silke Glauninger from App Radar announces “App Radar Publisher” — a tool that promises to help you with all the facets of App Store Management. Knowing what a hassle it can be to manage several apps, up to 30 different localizations, and hundreds of screenshots, we’re excited to see App Radar expanding in this space.appradar my apps

Eugeny Krouglov from ASO tool Appfollow announces a major update too, with Appsflyer integration and allowing you to view to Google Play reviews via Telegram.

App Store algorithm changes in January?

Gabe Kwakyi and other people around the web, point out a potential App Store keyword algorithm change early January.

Possible App Store Keyword Ranking Algorithm Update January 2017 | Incipia

If you’ve seen your iOS app’s rank change significantly in early-to-mid January 2017, you’re not alone. While anecdotal…

We’re seeing similar changes in early-mid January, as well as one a bit later in January, which is confirmed by Tune’s Sonar:

mobiledevhq sonar report

MobileDevHQ’s Sonar reports indeed two moments of increase change activity Early-Mid January, and one at the end.

Last but not least, this is also worth checking out:

Thanks, that’s it from us for January!

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Let’s discuss in the comments, and like always: if you have noticed anything related to ASO, please let me know on Twitter or reach out to [email protected].

Other ASO Monthly editions:

  1. May 2016: App Store broken + 5 localized store listing experiments…
  2. June 2016: Announcement search ads…
  3. July 2016: Google Play Store testing with 2nd ad…
  4. August 2016: Simplified screenshot submission… (by Peter)
  5. September 2016: 50 character title-rule… (by Gabe)
  6. October 2016: Apple launches Search Ads… (by Maximilian)
  7. November 2016: Google Play adds conversion rate benchmarks…
  8. December 2016: Priori Data launches Keyword Tool …
  9. January 2017: In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more
  10. February 2017: Play Store starts using retention for keyword rankings