Google today announced it’s making several changes to the Google Play Store that will impact Android apps’ discoverability, how developers can market their apps to consumers and various trust and safety concerns. Most importantly, Google is now advising developers that the Play Store will begin to prioritize apps that deliver on both technical and in-app quality by promoting them in more places across the Play Store where they can be discovered by consumers.

The Play Store isn’t going quite that far, however. Instead, Google says it will now begin to steer consumers away from lower-quality apps by changing how it determines which apps will be made more visible on the platform.

Specifically, it’s implementing new quality thresholds that will exclude apps that exceed certain crash rates and “app not responsive” (ANR) rates, both on an overall and per-phone model basis. Google says the apps that don’t meet these thresholds will be excluded from some areas of the Play Store, including recommendations, while others may even include a warning on their store listing to set appropriate user expectations.

Image Credits: Google

In addition, the company will roll out to developers new promotional content formats and a new type of Custom Store Listing designed to help place apps in front of more users.

Image Credits: Google

Google notes that developers using LiveOps have seen a 3.6% increase in revenue and 5.1% increase in 28-day daily active users versus similar titles that don’t take advantage of the offering. Now, it will rename LiveOps to “Promotional Content” to reflect longer-term plans to expand the feature to support new content types — including those which will see the promotional units appearing more deeply integrated within the Play Store across users’ homepages, in search and discovery areas, in title listings and directly in apps via deeplinks.

Developers will also soon be able to create a new type of listing that will allow them to specifically target churned users (people who tried the app or game, then abandoned it). This “Churned-user Custom Store Listings” format, which will roll out closer to year-end, will be able to display a specific message designed to re-acquire prior users.

Two other changes are focused on app safety and protecting developers — and the consumers downloading their apps — from coordinated attacks.


Google Play revamp to highlight higher-quality apps, offer new promotional capabilities by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch