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Apple App Store
Posted by: Craig PalliMarch 25, 2013
Last week, Apple announced that starting May 1, the App Store will no longer accept new apps or app updates that access UDIDs and that advertisers should use the Advertising Identifier instead. The announcement is concise and straightforward:
This is the final chapter in an ongoing transition away from UDIDs, and app marketers who have been following best-practice guidelines should be able to navigate the change without too much disruption.
The announcement by Apple wasn’t a complete surprise: during the iOS 5 Beta 6 in August 2011, they indicated that usage of the unique device identifier (UDID) for ad tracking wasn’t going to be around forever. Its replacement is the newer Advertising Identifier, which was introduced in iOS 6 and is often referred to as the Identifier for Advertisers or IDFA. Unlike UDIDs, it was designed for advertising use from the start. It gives users greater ability to control what publishers and advertisers know about their app use, and avoids many of the privacy concerns that hampered the UDID.
For some app developers and ad networks, the shift may create some short-term headaches as they scramble to hit the May 1st deadline. However, for most of the industry the announcement provides welcome clarity on App Store policy, eliminating confusion about which Apple ID to use for tracking advertising results.
In my view, this policy shift by Apple will pave the way for the industry to coalesce around the Advertising Identifier as the industry tracking standard for iOS. Given the strategic nature of the Apple App Store - 20 billion downloads in 2012 alone and over 800,000 apps - the shift to the Advertising Identifier is likely to occur rapidly.
Advertisers may also face inventory volume challenges as the transition takes place: until ad networks, publishers, and advertisers have all implemented support for the new system, some traffic won’t be accessible through the Advertising Identifier. It’s worth noting that digital fingerprinting provides a useful way to bridge this gap, if needed.
Get your updates in
Our recommendation for any developers using the UDID is to concentrate on getting a minimally viable update prepared and submitted for approval as soon as you can - one that includes as many tracking technologies as possible. You do not need to remove UDID support immediately -- Apple doesn’t say they’ll be removing apps that use it from the store, just that they won’t be approving any more.
At the bare minimum, your next app update should include both UDID and the Advertising Identifier, backed by a plan to incorporate additional technologies as soon as you can. In a perfect world you should incorporate all the major tracking options now, as well as make any needed updates to support the other part of Apple’s announcement: the requirement that all apps support the Retina display and the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5.
Getting this update in before the 5/1 deadline (preferably at least 2-3 weeks before) will buy you the time to make more comprehensive changes without a looming deadline, as well as maintaining your access to as many advertising opportunities as possible.
Fiksu offers the first and only platform in the industry that supports the Advertising Identifier, UDID, digital fingerprinting, HTML5 cookies, the Facebook Identifier, and MAC address tracking, along with the ability to turn any of those methods off remotely - without re-submitting to the App Store. This means that not only do we provide the traffic volume our clients demand and extremely accurate, in-depth tracking and reporting - we also let our clients stay on top of industry changes like this one.
Finally, Fiksu’s Glenn Kiladis, VP and GM of FreeMyApps, will be speaking on the state of ad tracking at GDC later this week. If you’re at the show, be sure to check out How Mobile Ad Tracking Impacts App Marketing Results at 12:30 on Wednesday, in room 302, South Hall.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaNovember 30, 2012
Following the iPhone 5 launch in September, October was a month of opportunity for mobile app marketers.
The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index was $1.06, down seven cents or 6 percent, from September’s $1.13. Significant increases in organic searches and app discovery – driven by the arrival of the iPhone 5 and users’ natural enthusiasm for downloading apps on new devices – pushed costs down and created a huge opportunity for mobile app marketers to very cost-efficiently acquire loyal users in October.
Meanwhile, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index soared to 5.40 million daily downloads in October, a 33 percent increase from September. The Index painted a similar picture following the availability of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, when traffic also surged by a proportional 29 percent, and continues the surge we saw developing at the end of September.
Organic searches soared during the month, as users eagerly explored the App Store, enthusiastically searching for new apps to download on their new iPhones. So while cost for conversions were equal or higher during this time, the heighted period of organic, natural discovery drove down the cost to acquire and engage loyal users. Many savvy marketers wisely chose to ride this “organic wave,” improving user acquisition rates without substantially increasing their spending.
From the iPhone 5 launch, we noticed consumers appeared to be less frantic about updating their devices immediately, many choosing instead to wait several weeks to make the upgrade. Similarly, some seem to be taking more time to select and download new apps, instead of downloading many, all at once. This shift may lead to an even steadier, more sustained opportunity for mobile app marketers in the weeks – even months – following a major device launch.
With the 2012 holiday season underway, early data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday suggests that mobile commerce will have a giant impact on holiday sales – and that mobile apps will have a successful season overall. We’ll see how that plays out in our November Indexes.
A big thank you to all the publications for covering our October Indexes: AppNewser, BizReport, FierceMobileContent, Inside Mobile Apps, MediaPost, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, PocketGamer, TechCrunch, Telecom Lead, TUAW, VatorNews and VentureBeat.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 24, 2012
Coffee lovers, rejoice! Smartphone users can now pay for their cups of joe at Dunkin’ Donuts via a new mobile app. A new study reveals that tablet sales will balloon in the next four years, while other industry research suggests that mobile ads are viewed most favorably on iPhones. And, in advance of the fast-approaching Sept. 12 iPhone 5 announcement, Apple fans are voicing their “wish lists” for the new device.
While “America Runs on Dunkin’,” consumers can now run the brand’s new mobile app on their smartphones. The donut and coffee retailer debuted its app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices, allowing breakfast fans everywhere to connect and engage with the brand, pay for their coffee virtually, score promotions and interact with Dunkin’ social communities. In a MediaPost interview, John Costello, Dunkin’ Brands’ chief marketing and innovation officer, said Dunkin’ built the cross-functional app to develop deeper relationships with its customers. The free app is now available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.
In tablet news, annual sales are expected to surge to 450 million by 2016. While tablets may never completely replace personal desktop computers, they are supplementing larger-screen experiences, Business Insider reports. According to BI Intelligence, there are several drivers to this anticipated tablet explosion – average sales prices are dropping, increased penetration in existing markets, disruptive technologies, and multiple emerging markets ripe for the tablet opportunity. Tablet costs have dropped substantially in the past year – the iPad, for example, is down more than 11 percent from its 2011 price tag – making it more affordable for the masses. Tablets also provide myriads of apps and content such as music, movies, TV shows and magazines, allowing for greater media consumption.
Consumers are exposed to hundreds – maybe even thousands – of ads each day, and as advertisers struggle to optimize app visibility, they’re increasingly turning to Apple’s iPhone. According to a new survey from the Online Publishers Association, iPhone users are more favorable to mobile ads than those on Android. Industry experts, however, advise advertisers to take this research with a grain of salt, saying they shouldn’t be swayed to one platform or another. “This places Android and iOS as equal peers and, given these ads are typically delivered inside apps or through the Web, it is likely advertisers will treat both dominant platforms equally,” technology analyst Rob Enderle said to CIO.
And with the calendar quickly racing toward the rumored Sept. 12 iPhone 5 and iOS 6 reveal, Apple enthusiasts are voicing their desired “wish lists” of features. In particular, gaming enthusiasts are hoping for a bigger screen (the single most important way to enhance the gaming experience,) more gigabytes for more storage, haptic technology, improved graphics technology and support for an external controller, reports MODOJO.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJuly 26, 2012
After recently announcing the next version of Android, “Jelly Bean,” Google touted some impressive numbers surrounding the Google Play ecosystem. With 1.5 billion installs a month, 600,000 available apps and games and 20 billion app installs, Google is quickly closing the gap between Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
We’ve discussed the compelling opportunities the Android market offers and how it can benefit your app business in exceptional ways. To arm you with the information you need to improve Android app discovery, drive more installs and generate long-term, loyal usage, we've also developed a new eBook
In addition to discovering four “must-know” differences between Google Play and Apple’s App Store, our new eBook provides you with six valuable tips for Android marketing success, including:
1. Exploit the Marketing Attribution Capabilities of Google Play: Take full advantage of Google Play’s marketing attribution capabilities to conduct closed-loop analysis of your advertising, and base ongoing advertising decisions on known performance. As you acquire users, use this data to steer your marketing toward the sources that generate your most desired users, at the best cost.
2. Optimize Advertising in Real Time: With the insights gained from marketing attribution, optimize your advertising in real time toward traffic sources that are delivering the best results.
3. Optimize Your App for Search: In Google Play, search is the primary means of organic discovery. You can greatly influence search rank, and therefore app discovery, by identifying your most successful keyword and including it in the app title, and by using that keyword in the app description and promo text multiple times. Since updating your submission is quick and easy, consider experimenting with different keywords and combinations to see which yield better results.
4. Conduct Longer-Term Ad Campaigns with Multiple Networks: Google Play’s ranking algorithm rewards long-term user acquisition—apps that acquire and retain users are awarded with higher ranks. Therefore, ad campaigns should be sustained over several months, as opposed to short bursts of activity often seen in the iOS market.
5. Test Your App Presentation on Google Play: Take advantage of the fact that you can update your app immediately on Google Play. Test the way your app is presented. Try different app titles and meta tags. Test the app name in the logo. Explore new ways to describe your app, and look for new keywords.
6. Target Loyal Users—Not Just Installs: To build a thriving app business, you need installs by loyal users. It is loyal users who use your app repeatedly, make purchases, register, or take other actions that tie back to an ROI. An install, or even an app launch, does not mean that you have a loyal user. In fact, studies show that many users who install an app never even use it, or abandon it after a single use. It is loyal users on which you ultimately build your app business.