Apple today is unveiling an overhaul to its App Store developer website, a resource available to the 11 million registered developers worldwide who have helped grow the App Store to now more than 1.5 million applications. The updated site will include new articles and videos aimed at helping developers better understand how to grow their businesses and engage users. For example, some of the topics will include things like getting an app discovered on the App Store, using freemium business models (meaning, free with optional upgrades to a paid tier) and how to engage users via app updates.
These articles and guides are arriving at a time when it’s become increasingly more difficult for App Store developers to get their new applications noticed amid a sea of competitors, and when industry insiders suspect we may have reached a point of “app fatigue.”
Apple is clearly aware of the problem, as Bloomberg last week reported the company has been quietly exploring ways to revamp the App Store, and was even considering features that would allow developers to pay to have their app promoted in search — a model similar to Google’s.
Of course, there’s no doubt the App Store economy has had an impact over the years — Apple says it has paid $40 billion to developers since the store opened, and the App Store is responsible for some 1.9 million U.S. jobs.
But the App Store’s middle class has been shrinking, some say.
That’s why it makes sense that Apple is now rolling out more educational resources to its developer site to help address these concerns.
The content on the new site will include a mix of more straightforward how-to’s and explanations — like the “Discovery on the App Store” article which details how editorial collections work and how Apple selects apps to feature — while others will be more of an article-format case study. For example, in the “Releasing App Updates” article, Slack, Smule and BuzzFeed share how they plan their roadmaps and release their updates to re-engage existing users and attract new ones.
Other topics will include “Choosing a Business Model,” “User Acquisition Marketing with App Analytics” and “Choosing a Category.” Combined, they offer guides to running a real app business aimed at generating revenue. Developers will also be able to submit apps for feature consideration through the new site.
In addition to the articles, the App Store site will now include a case study video series called “Developer Insights,” which will involve having some of the more successful developers sharing their knowledge on various topics.
For example, one video from a company called Seriously, whose first game “Best Fiends” surpassed 1.5 million daily users and gained a million social media followers in its first year, will focus on using social media to build a brand and community.
Another video from Evernote will highlight the approach the productivity software maker took to localize its app for Japan.
Localization, obviously, is a key topic today’s App Store developers should understand, especially given the opportunity to reach non-U.S. users in the No. 2 and No. 3 countries for iOS App Store revenue, China and Japan.
The new developer resources are being rolled out now, but the collection will be expanded in the future.