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iTunes App Store Popularity Meter Changes (again)

05-27-2009, 05:37 PM
#1
Joined: May 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 199
iTunes App Store Popularity Meter Changes (again)

Some time in the last 36 hours, Apple has changed the popularity meter once again. The change affects applications that accumulated free sales and then switched to paid. These applications previously enjoyed an increased popularity score due to the fact that their sales, while free, were not discounted since they were now considered a paid app. With the new change, now only an application’s paid sales will significantly contribute to the app’s popularity meter. This mirrors the change made to the algorithm used to determine the top-100 lists. Now, it is no longer important whether an application is free or paid. Instead, it is important whether sales were made while the app was free or paid. Popularity of an app can be summarized (ignoring the weighting that favors more recent sales) as:

Popularity = (number of free downloads)*10% + (number of paid downloads)

Has anyone else noticed this change?

Developer at IMAK Creations, creator of ColorTilt and other lesser known apps, like That Ain't It!
Blog, twitter
05-27-2009, 06:04 PM
#2
Interesting find! I always assumed people just stick to the icon lists, and never go to the text searches, so news to me.

Now if they'd stop mixing the free reviews/star ratings with the paid, I'd be a happy camper.

05-28-2009, 06:50 AM
#3
Joined: May 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little White Bear Studios View Post
Interesting find! I always assumed people just stick to the icon lists, and never go to the text searches, so news to me.

Now if they'd stop mixing the free reviews/star ratings with the paid, I'd be a happy camper.
Given the recent lengthening of names to include search terms, I think searches are still deemed to be a good source of customers.

With these latest changes, there is no longer any reason to ever drop the price of your paid app to free. So, I don't think they will separate the free/paid ratings/reviews. To get rid of free ratings, it might be best to start fresh with a new 'version 2' app that is never free.

Developer at IMAK Creations, creator of ColorTilt and other lesser known apps, like That Ain't It!
Blog, twitter
05-28-2009, 12:10 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 188
How does this relate to viewing by "Most Popular" when in the app store.

For example "Durak" is the number 25 card game but is pages and pages deep when viewed by "Most Popular"

DURAK, the best card game, is available on the iPhone, iPad and now Mac!
05-28-2009, 02:38 PM
#5
Joined: May 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostToken View Post
How does this relate to viewing by "Most Popular" when in the app store.

For example "Durak" is the number 25 card game but is pages and pages deep when viewed by "Most Popular"
Don't worry about the "Most Popular" rank for now. You just want to stay in the top 25 of games-card for as long as you can. I haven't noticed a change in the algorithm used for popularity of the "Most Popular" pages. Notice that free apps are included here and they have a much higher ranking than they do when you search in iTunes. Don't expect this to last. Also, the top 25 list only contains apps that have games-card as one of their primary categories. The "Most Popular" also has entertainment apps, etc. and apps that have games as their secondary category. Over time, you will move up on the "Most Popular" list if you can keep in the top 25. It's probably also time for an update to give yourself some extra firepower to stay in the top 25.

Developer at IMAK Creations, creator of ColorTilt and other lesser known apps, like That Ain't It!
Blog, twitter
05-28-2009, 03:28 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 188
Yea, we are submitting an update to Apple in the next couple of days. Hopefully we can stay in the top 25 while the update gets approved.

DURAK, the best card game, is available on the iPhone, iPad and now Mac!
05-30-2009, 12:34 PM
#7
Joined: May 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 199
Does number of reviews impact popularity meter?

I'm seeing a difference in the popularity meter between two of our apps - both had a huge percentage of free vs paid downloads, yet one has a much higher popularity. Part of the higher popularity is possibly due to the larger number of free downloads. But that doesn't explain all of the increase. There are an abnormally large number of written reviews for the more popular application. So, my question is:

Does anyone have any supporting evidence that the number of written reviews impacts the popularity of an application?

For ref, compare Hold On! with Brain Blaze Divide:


Developer at IMAK Creations, creator of ColorTilt and other lesser known apps, like That Ain't It!
Blog, twitter