In an effort to stop developers from “gaming” the search system, Apple updated App Store guidelines to limit the length of an app’s name to 50 characters or less. Failure to adhere to this new restriction within 30 days will get an app booted from the App Store.
If an app you’ve downloaded doesn’t adhere to this new policy you’ll feel zero impact. Why, since you’ve already downloaded a booted app it’s still in your purchase history. Therefore you’re still able to download the application even if you’ve removed it from your iOS device. Once an app is booted from the App Store you won’t be able to search for it in the store. Instead you must find it by visiting the Purchased tab.
App Store Name Impact
How does this impact developers? It’s a pretty big change since they’ve used naming strategies to help their show up in more search results. Previously developers were able to place keywords in their titles to help them show up in more search results. In some cases, app names included words or names of other applications without any relevance to the word or application. It was a way to help get 15 minutes of app fame through search results.
A quick scan of the top 100 iOS apps reveals 13 of them don’t meet the new restriction. According to Sensor Tower, 27 percent of the top 1500 free apps will need to adjust their app names within 30 days to avoid getting removed from the App Store.
The previous name restriction capped names at 255 characters. This allowed developers to pitch their app to potential customers via a tagline or branding. An apps name holds the most weight in relation to Apple’s search algorithm, but it seems developers have abused this feature with spammy titles and they’re putting a stop to it. Effects of this change will be felt for big and small developers since this policy update is such a game changer.
More App Store Changes Coming?
Developers, especially indie studios, have demanded changes in the App Store for years now. One area needing greater functionality would be the review section. Currently developers are unable to respond to user reviews. Some reviews are direct complaints about a specific issue after an update rather than an overall snapshot of the application. Giving developers the ability to respond to user reviews would be a huge step in the right direction to show how responsive they are to much needed changes as well as helping keep customers happy with their download.
I believe the policy changes announced on September 1st are just a glimpse of what the App Store has in store for both users and developers. Any changes to foster a more positive experience for developers and their customers is a step in the right direction.
What are your thoughts on this policy change? Use the comments section below to let us and our readers hear what you think about this change.