Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Android Market May Rank App Stickiness

So this is an interesting post I just read from MyYearBook Did Android Market Change Its Ranking Algorithm? on Business Insider They have a few apps in the Android Market.

The post claims that the Android Market is now tracking and rewarding apps with high DAU/MAU (Daily Active Uniques/Monthly Active Uniques).  DAU/MAU is a common term used by Facebook and Facebook app makers to judge stickiness.  The blog post shows apps that have benefited from a high stickiness with their organic rank in the Market rising.

If this is the case, then it really means that getting users back to open your app every day matters a lot.  I do think some apps aren't going to open that often, like a calculator app, and I think they will get hit.  
Before developers would game the Market by putting keywords into their description, but now people are going to have to find ways to get people back more often to increase their DAUs.  The natural way would be start sending notifications to get users back.  BuzzBox, being a notification SDK company, thinks this is good but developers need to be careful too.

Trying to get users back to your app every day without them getting annoyed is hard thing. We have been focussing on this and we have some advice for developers.

1) Use a Standard Settings Menu -Users don't want a different settings menu to control notifications and to opt out.  If they find complexity or see you are hiding it, they will uninstall your app.  Make it simple and give control to the user.  The BuzzBox SDK comes with a standard Settings UI that developers can easily add to their app without any of the other modules.   Even if you don't use it, it is a good standardized way that we hope others adopt.

2) User Generated Is Better Than Company Generated - When available let the user create a notification they want.  Let them enter keywords alerts, follow topics & anything they want notifications on.  Do not force them to receive notifications on things they don't care about.  The more the you have the user input in about themselves, the better the notification will be received.

3) More Options are Better - Gives users more ways to control the notification.  Be sure to have a sleep at night so they don't get woken at night.  Let them control if it is a beep, vibrate or blink.  Give more controls, so they can find a reason to keep getting notifications.

Another item developers will now want to focus are is tracking and measuring notification success.  Some types of notifications may do better than others and in general you want to know quickly if you are sending too many or too little.  Both will now effect your rankings and the success of your app.  Again, the BuzzBox SDK has simple notification analytics you can use for for free.

Developers should really think about notifications more now.  I'd really like to hear what other people have to say about this.  Please email me at anu@buzzbox.com.

Anu, Roberto & Walter

PS: I wrote a post about Stylized Notification and Notification Feed & Smart Notification Engine that developers may want to think about.  The posts show where we think notification development is going.

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