Why the recent changes on Google Play are great for user acquisition

Some time back, Google Play started recommending apps which are +1d by your friends (inferred from G+ circles).

Now, with the latest update to Play Store Android app (version 4.5.10, that was rolled out to Nexus devices with the 4.2.2 update), things have become even better, for app publishers as well as for end users.

What exactly has changed
If you visit any app page on Play store now, you’d see that the top most reviews are from your friends (followed by other reviews sorted in the order of helpfulness as ranked by Google’s algorithms). Earlier there was no personalization of this kind and the results would appear same for everyone.

What it means for users
For obvious reasons, you can trust reviews from your friends much more than those from strangers which will definitely help making a decision whether or not to install an app. Heck, on looking at the reviews of an app as a user, I could never be sure whether these are genuine reviews or someone is gaming with the Play Store.

What it means for app publishers
If you’re actually building something good and not something malicious, I believe this change will really help a lot. Earlier since the ranking of reviews used to be same for everyone, it wasn’t easy for to decide whether this app is good enough or not. Now, assuming that the app is great and there are a great number of good positive reviews it will help a lot. Main problem earlier was that even after having a huge number of positive reviews, some 1 star reviews, for some reason decided by Google to be “most helpful” end up appearing on top which just kills it. Being a bootstrapped startup, you’re on tight budget, you somehow get users to discover your app, and thanks to these “most helpful” reviews your user acquisition efforts go waste. Heck, you don’t even know whether those reviews are even genuine or not! With the new change, expect things to improve.

So what should app devs do?
Request users to +1 your app, and to review your app (Be careful and not be over intrusive, too much of everything is bad right?)

By rating apps, users can now directly help their friends and family make better decision when downloading apps. Wouldn’t you want your friends to know that you already use the app which they just discovered and you love it!?

Love/Hate the changes? Would like to share your opinion? Drop it below.

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