Acquisition & Engagement

Is Apple Introducing Custom App Pages? The New Words with Friends Leads the Charge

Becky Doles

Edit: Thanks to a user on Twitter, we were recently made aware that this feature has been available to ‘elite’ users hand picked by Apple. Although this means this feature isn’t as new as we originally thought – it is still interesting to speculate on the possible impacts this had on rankings. Enjoy!

You’ll have trouble finding anyone who doesn’t think that both the Apple App Store and Google Play store need some drastic improvements. They aren’t terrible by any means, but there are definite upgrades that could be made.

tune blog picWe noticed today that Apple has taken a page out of Twitter and Facebook’s playbook by allowing developers to edit their app’s page with a custom background color and hero image.

We first saw this change when looking at the New Words With Friends app page on October 14th. However, it looks like the app was updated on the 9th, meaning this was likely when the page update took place.

After searching the app store for a while, New Words With Friends was the only app we could find that had this special app page. It is also only available on the mobile version of their app page; the web version has the same plain vanilla page as every other app.

As far as we can tell, nothing has changed within the iTunes Connect page to allow anyone else to perform similar updates – but it’s likely that this functionality won’t be far behind.

We also took a look at the Top Charts to see how the New Words With Friends app has performed since their update – and the results are impressive.

You can see that the day after their update, they were still ranked close to 100. Following a huge spike on that same day, they managed to work their way to the number two spot.

tune post 2A spike like that is no coincidence. They’ve made some major updates to their app, even changing the name to ‘New Words With Friends.’

However, you also have to wonder how and if the new app page played a factor in this spike. Although there were likely numerous other marketing promotions revolving around the new update, a fancy new app page could have a fairly significant impact on conversion. A Top Charts jump of this magnitude would take a significant increase in downloads, and even a small increase in conversion from visits to the app’s page to downloads can make a big difference.

For example, if they drove 50,000 visits to their page and normally have a 0.5% conversion rate, they would get 250 installs. If upgrading their page could bump the conversion rate to 3%, they would suddenly receive 1,500 installs.

This isn’t a groundbreaking change by any means. We’ve seen Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all make similar changes to their layouts. However, it’s a step in the right direction, and hopefully signifies that bigger changes will be coming in the future.


Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

One response to “Is Apple Introducing Custom App Pages? The New Words with Friends Leads the Charge”

  1. Iain Russell says:

    This happened in Newsstand a while back and is still there for The Guardian and The Telegraph I think, but Apple shot me down when I enquired about doing this for some key magazines and said “not something we are looking to roll our any time soon”. Hopefully that is going to change and it isn’t just for the ones that ‘they’ want to do it for…

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