This month’s ASO Monthly edition outlines the most relevant February developments. Here, we shed light on trends in App Store Optimization, algorithm changes, insights into conversion rate optimization, and tool updates.


February 15

Apple introduces dedicated placement for IAE featuring on the Today Tab

Apple has been providing dedicated placements to In-App Events on the Today Tab since January, but a new addition, “Today’s Biggest Events”, now resembles the format of “App of the Day” and “Game of the Day,” offering a full-page spotlight on the featured event. This enhancement opens up opportunities for more apps to gain higher visibility and engagement by hosting timely and high-quality In-App events.

For ASO practitioners, keeping users engaged and informed through In-App events is now more crucial than ever. If you’re planning a high-quality time-sensitive event soon, don’t forget to reach out to your Apple representatives or the App Store editorial team (via a featuring request form) to increase your chances of getting your event featured.


February 19

AI-generated Highlights on Play Store coming soon?

Following a series of AI-focused changes on the Play Store, another change from Google might be the introduction of AI-generated Highlights on an app’s store listing on the Play Store. According to a report by AssembleDebug on X (formerly Twitter), these highlights succinctly summarize the features and benefits of the app in a dedicated section, accessible by tapping a prompt above the screenshots.

This development may lead to fewer users reading your app details, such as long descriptions, and instead relying on the AI-generated summary of the app’s offerings. It remains to be seen which metadata factors are considered when generating these summaries.


February 22

Apple launches Apple Sports

On February 22nd, 2024, Apple unveiled its latest sports app, aptly named “Apple Sports,” which promptly moved to the top spot in the sports category. Offering real-time scores, stats, and other features, the app has garnered a 3.9-star rating and amassed 4.3K total ratings in the App Store in the USA.

For ASO practitioners operating sports apps with similar functionalities, this launch signals heightened competition within the category. With the introduction of a free app backed by Apple’s brand recognition and user base, there may be a shift in user preferences, potentially drawing more users towards Apple Sports and posing challenges for competing apps in the market.


February 26

Google widely rolls out a new category switcher to view screenshots and reviews for other form factors

As reported by 9to5Google, Google seems to be widely deploying a new category switcher feature, allowing users to conveniently view screenshots and ratings of apps across different form factors. This feature, which appears below the install button for apps not yet installed, streamlines access to screenshots and reviews for various device types.

For ASO practitioners whose apps are accessible on multiple form factors, maintaining consistent creative practices across different devices is essential. This consistency can aid users in deciding to download the app on multiple devices, thereby enhancing app visibility and user engagement across different platforms.


February 23

Apple Search Ads expands to nine more countries


In an exciting development announced on the Apple Search Ads News blog, Apple Search Ads is set to expand its reach to nine additional countries, including Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Paraguay.

This opens up new opportunities to protect your app’s branded traffic, discover new keywords, and match user expectations by leveraging relevant custom product pages.


February 27

AppTweak tool reports an algorithm change in Play Store – again

(source: AppTweak)

In recent months, the Play Store has undergone multiple algorithmic changes. On February 27th, AppTweak’s algorithm monitoring tool flagged another significant change in the Play Store, registering an anomaly score of 3.541. Notably, while several countries experienced significant impacts with high anomaly scores, the USA recorded the highest score.

For ASO practitioners, constant algorithm changes signal the need for constant measurement, analysis, and observation of key performance indicators (KPIs) related to your app’s visibility and conversion on the app stores. It’s crucial to closely monitor any shifts or alterations that may have occurred and assess their implications on your app’s performance.


Tool updates

AppsFlyer | The impact of Apple’s EU DMA changes: which path is worth taking?
AppTweak | How to scale Apple Search Ads Management with Automation


Interesting reads / listens / watches

The complete guide to mobile app KPIs for 2024 | AppFollow
Alternative App Stores and why they are worth exploring | AppSamurai
Leveraging the App Stores as a True Marketing Channel | AppTweak
Top 10 Dating Apps on the USA App Store by User Acquisition Performance | MobileAction


Before you go

There are growing indications that the Google Play Store might be rolling out a dedicated Search Tab soon. This feature would empower users to effortlessly discover apps through popular keywords, category exploration, direct searches, and potentially sponsored placements. Such a development would open up additional opportunities for users to come across your app while browsing.

Capitalize on the introduction of the new dedicated tab by leveraging ASO best practices, and maximize discoverability. Ensuring your app is optimized for relevant keywords, categories, and search terms will be key to enhancing its visibility and engagement in the ever-evolving Play Store.