ASO Blog by Asodesk / App Marketing & Product Management / Article

8 mobile app marketing trends in 2022 according to experts

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
Published: 13.01.2022
16 min read

We spoke with experts in mobile app marketing from Phiture, App Growth Summit, REPLUG GmbH, Ada Health, Belka Games, Appbooster, and Diveo Media about what’s happening in the mobile market and what to expect in 2022. This article explores how privacy trends will evolve, how changes in the App Store and Google Play will affect the promotion of apps, and much more.

In 2021, we saw many significant changes in the industry: IDFA rules, custom app pages, events, and A/B testing in the App Store, as well as ratings divided by country on Google Play.

We conducted a survey among well-known experts and compiled the top 8 trends that mobile app marketing will see this year.

Top trends in 2022

1. Privacy policies in the App Store and Google Play will continue to develop
2. The App Store provides more capabilities for returning users to apps
3. Custom Product Pages in the App Store make app promotion much easier
4. The era of A/B tests in the App Store is upon us
5. Third-party payments in the App Store and Google Play will not affect developers that much
6. App Store Optimization will become a more significant channel for app publishers
7. Country-specific app ratings on Google Play offer both an opportunity and a limitation
8. AppGallery will actively develop
In short: what to expect from 2022 as a mobile marketer

1. Privacy policies in the App Store and Google Play will continue to develop

Since April 26, 2021, App Store developers have been obligated to request access to user ad IDs and permission to track their data through the AppTrackingTransparency platform. The app page should inform users what data the developer collects. 

Google followed Apple’s example, and from the second quarter of 2022, information about collected data will also need to be indicated on Google Play app pages. 

The experts explained how the issue of privacy will evolve in the App Store and Google Play.

Mateusz Wrzeszcz, ASO Consultant at Phiture

It’s clear that both stores have shifted their focus to user privacy and offer an additional incentive for users to choose a storefront (and OS) by creating a sense of security.

Last year both companies showed they want to force developers to put a bigger focus on privacy, but the real question is if the changes really are fuelled by Apple and Google’s concerned users, or a drive to find additional ways of earning more money from apps, by tightening the stores’ ecosystem.

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

The introduction of restrictions on IDFAs had a good effect on Apple’s business: Apple’s advertising network tripled in six months. This will affect developers disproportionately. In my opinion, privacy is a cover for Apple and Google, and all these activities are aimed solely at “collecting” the money that goes past the app stores to other companies.

Alexander Tarasov, CMO at Belka Games

Privacy policies are evolving in Google Play and the App Store. Because of this, performance marketing loses its effectiveness, and advertisers are forced to add more branded campaigns that are not targeted to the audience so well. Everyone is moving in this direction, with an increasing number of collaborations and videos on YouTube. However, performance marketing will continue to evolve along with other traffic acquisition channels, including branded ones.

Louis Tanguay, Managing Director & Founder of App Growth Summit

I strongly believe Apple is on its way to creating an “Apple Audience Network” kind of platform. They will be able to target Apple users as effectively as ATT-opt-ins would, but since Apple has different acceptance settings for their ads vs third-party ads, they’ll be able to target more iPhone users and reach those users more effectively. 

This move will give Apple Billions in extra revenue over the next couple years and far into the future. Developers will just have to adapt and shift their budgets to these new networks, walled gardens and platforms, and move away from some DSPs and Affiliate Networks which won’t produce the same results. But the industry will find a way to survive, adapt, and thrive.

Experts expect that Apple and Google will continue to develop privacy policies, which will negatively affect the app-development business. App publishers could lose revenue, and performance marketing could become more difficult.

2. The App Store provides more capabilities for returning users to apps

In-App Events in the App Store will help to return users to the app

In October 2021, the App Store introduced In-App Events, which allow you to tell users about temporary events in the app: challenges, premieres, and updates. In January 2022, detailed In-App Events analytics became available. From October 7, 2021, you can also track repeated app downloads in App Store Connect. 

Artiom Tkachuk, ASO Expert at Asodesk

It seems the App Store is moving towards improving and developing tools for returning users. Statistics on reinstalls, In-App Events, and A/B tests confirm this.

Ryan Kelley, Freelance Consultant

In-App Events are yet another way for Apple to get people browsing the store and reading editorials. 

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

Thanks to In-App Events, it will be easier to attract users who have deleted an app: the app icon on the App Store will now be followed by an event card, which will take up more space in the search results.

Nika Grigorieva, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, ASO and Search at Ada Health

UA’s privacy policy has become a big problem in the App Store, and In-App Events may help bring old users back.

We can see that in 2022 it will be easier for developers to return users to the app thanks to the new features of the App Store.

3. Custom Product Pages in the App Store make app promotion much easier

Custom Product Pages (CPP) is a new App Store feature that allows you to create up to 35 pages of a published app with different screenshots, videos, and promo text. Each page has its own unique URL.

Lorenzo Rossi, Co-founder of REPLUG GmbH

That’s probably the biggest and most exciting change for 2022. This new feature will allow advertisers to create specific landing pages for our advertising campaigns and it might also help us track results more efficiently. In any case, this goes together with what was mentioned before about the holistic approach: with these new App Store features the importance of cooperation between ASO, Paid UA and Retention is now even clearer. 

Ryan Kelley, Freelance Consultant

Customer Product Pages will become critical in channeling the right users to the store. Apple is in big trouble because visits to the store are on a steep decline. CCP is there to help bring people back to the App Store. 

Mateusz Wrzeszcz, ASO Consultant at Phiture

Custom Product Pages are probably the most impactful change out of the three main features introduced by Apple in 2021. They have great potential to influence how we conduct app promotions, with benefits for both major parties — the users and the developers. This is a game-changer — especially for developers who base their acquisition activities on referral traffic (which, by the way, is very common nowadays).

Again, there’s a clear dependency between app and web marketing, as Custom Product Pages are essentially landing pages, which currently are a critical element of a modern, well-optimized acquisition campaign, making the user experience far more consistent and seamless.

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

Paid channels will also develop for the better, as with the introduction of custom pages it will be easier to target the desired audience and lead them to a specific app page.

Anastasia Lichnaia, Lead ASO Manager at Belka Games

Now we have the opportunity to distribute audience flows: we can lead users to a specific page that corresponds with their needs. Custom URL allows you to increase the Install Rate and achieve more effective promotion.

Apple’s new features will also create more work for professionals — you may need to expand your team in the future to work on all projects effectively and at the right pace.

Alexander Tarasov, CMO at Belka Games

An important factor is the custom URLs that were recently introduced to the App Store – you can now create a separate page for each type of traffic. This will significantly expand the possibilities of customization and will increase conversion.

Louis Tanguay, Managing Director & Founder of App Growth Summit

Customer Product Pages, Product Page Optimization & In-app Events will be a major coup to “old school” marketing strategists, as app growth marketers can finally utilize effective strategies — similar to what has worked in web-based marketing for decades. 

Most specialists we surveyed see CPP as one of Apple’s major updates of the year and expect these pages to help developers increase installs and improve conversion.

4. The era of A/B tests in the App Store is upon us

Product Page Optimization give oppotunity to test several veriants of icons, screenshots and app previews.

In December 2021, Product Page Optimization (PPO) was introduced, which allows you to A/B test three options for app pages.

Altai Zeynalov, ASO Community Activist, founder and head of Diveo Media

The era of A/B testing in the App Store is upon us. But here it will be more difficult than on Google Play since icons for tests need to be included in the file of the published app. What’s more, the App Store must approve the screenshots you want to test.

Nika Grigorieva, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, ASO and Search at Ada Health

Product Page Optimization is the only native A/B testing feature in the App Store so far, and I think many apps will take advantage of it in 2022.

Developers will test screenshots and icons more often, since previously not every team could run tests in the App Store using third-party paid tools.

But here’s the thing: new app versions terminate active A/B tests. This will make it harder to run tests for frequently updated apps. You’ll have to decide when to give preference to A/B tests, and when to focus on updates.

Mateusz Wrzeszcz, ASO Consultant, Phiture

Product Page Optimization is a tool with great potential to help understand store visitors better (providing that you understand the variables and you know how to run tests properly). However, for now, its potential remains uncovered, as there are many issues that arose when the tool was officially released, putting the fundamental usability of the tool in doubt.

If Apple can cope with these initial issues and keep developing PPO, one day it can become an indispensable tool, helping not only in acquisition but also in the general understanding of user preferences. This can be seen with websites that utilize tools like VWO or Optimizely to gain a competitive advantage.

I’d be delighted if the App Store and Google Play would focus on improving A/B testing tools and leave more control in marketers’/developers’ hands, making it possible to play with test variables, such as its power, level of significance, or traffic segmentation.

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

In 2022, we will see an increase in the average benchmark conversion in the App Store, as developers now have the technical ability to test and optimize graphical elements.

With Product Page Optimization, developers will run more A/B tests, which may result in a better install conversion rate for apps.

5. Third-party payments in the App Store and Google Play will not affect developers that much

In 2021, lawsuits forced Apple and Google to end their monopoly on store payments, which the companies actively opposed. In September, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Apple must accept payments using third-party payment methods, but the decision was later suspended.

In connection with the new law, Google allowed South Korean developers to use third-party payment systems but reduced their commission by only 4%.

Altai Zeynalov, ASO Community Activist, founder and head of Diveo Media

I think the vast majority of developers will not use third-party payment systems. They’d need to set up payments on the site and drive traffic there. So many developers will continue using app store payments. Moreover, the commission for a big share of developers is 15% instead of 30%. (editor’s note: developers can reduce commission from 30% to 15% on their first $1 million of revenue per year).

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

Apple has postponed the introduction of third-party payments indefinitely, so this is still an ongoing saga with no end in sight. In September 2022 we might see some changes with the release of the new iOS.

On Google Play, a 4% commission drop in Korea won’t be a significant change for developers. In general, app stores are reluctant to let developers earn more.

Alexander Tarasov, CMO at Belka Games

If the App Store and Play Market begin to allow other payment systems, someone will, of course, take advantage of this. But it is too early to say how effective it will be. Using third-party systems for payments requires registration. If a user has to register in a pop-up window when paying, this might scare them away, which will affect the company’s revenue. Payment systems will evolve, but we don’t expect any extreme changes anytime soon.

According to experts, Apple and Google will keep fighting to maintain their commissions, while third-party payments will not be useful to most developers.

6. App Store Optimization will become a more significant channel for app publishers

App Store Optimization will become more important in 2022

New privacy policies are negatively affecting ad performance, which is why app publishers are starting to place greater emphasis on App Store Optimization.

Lorenzo Rossi, Co-founder of REPLUG GmbH

After a year of total uncertainty due to the official introduction of new Apple privacy rules, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first months of the year would continue on this trend, especially for paid UA. That’s why I believe we can expect an increasing shift of focus from Paid UA activities to App Store Optimization and Mobile CRM. 

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

With the new bans on personalized ads, it will be increasingly difficult for marketers to target users. Organic searches for apps will become more common, so ASO will become more significant in the UA funnel.

The App Store has a lot of new trends that make the process of working with ASO easier. Smart app developers will focus on ASO.

Altai Zeynalov, ASO Community Activist, founder and head of Diveo Media

Privacy restrictions can turn ads into a blind game. There will be no specific figures for the return on ad spend. This is bad because, in a situation like this, you will have to give up the purchase of ads and rely exclusively on ASO.

Experts believe that ASO will play a bigger role in the user acquisition funnel in 2022.

7. Country-specific app ratings on Google Play offer both an opportunity and a limitation

In Google Play users see ratings specific to their registered country

Since November, users have seen app ratings for each specific country, rather than the overall rating for all countries. In early 2022, developers will also be able to see ratings for their device type. According to experts, this change can affect developers both positively and negatively.

Altai Zeynalov, ASO Community Activist, founder and head of Diveo Media

This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. For example, your app received many installs from India, where users often leave negative reviews for paid content. Statistics from India could spoil the average app rating. After these changes, the bad rating will remain only in India, while in wealthier countries, on the contrary, it will rise.

But you may also have a completely different experience. For example, the app doesn’t install well in France and the rating is low there, but with higher ratings from the rest of the world, the average rating for France was higher. Now the rating may drop and you will have to work on ratings in each country separately.

Valeriya Shalimova, ASO Team Lead at Appbooster

For a conscientious developer, this is a good change, since the ratings of different countries will no longer unfairly influence each other. For example, a bug in only one country won’t negatively affect the overall rating of the app. But developers who don’t strive to improve the app and fix their errors will most probably be unhappy with this change.

Artiom Tkachuk, ASO Expert at Asodesk

This creates more work for ASO specialists — now they’ll need to take into account the ratings in more countries and work on them individually. But on the other hand, this problem creates opportunities: improving ratings in a particular country will be cheaper.

Mateusz Wrzeszcz, ASO Consultant at Phiture

I’m a big supporter of getting more granular data, as this enables us to react precisely and quicker to the issues app users face. 

Developers should treat it as a great indicator of what’s right and wrong in apps they develop and a helpful measure of investigating potential issues on particular device types/in specific countries.

According to experts, this change can affect app developers both positively and negatively. In 2022, developers will need to work on the rating in each country individually.

8. AppGallery will actively develop

AppGallery will grow in 2022

In March 2021, AppGallery already had 530 million active users, which is 40 million more than in 2020.

Altai Zeynalov, ASO Community Activist, founder and head of Diveo Media

AppGallery recently updated the developer panel — and this is a good sign. Unlike the Amazon Store, AppGallery will last a long time, but it’s still a long way from Google Play. I think developers will be given more graphs and a better understanding of how the app works in their store. It would be great if they set up a native system for app ratings.

Anastasia Lichnaia, Lead ASO Manager at Belka Games

AppGallery will evolve rapidly. Many developers have already published their products there, and in the future, it will have more opportunities for analytics and optimization. ASO works well there, and there are limited capabilities for the analysis of campaign results. This is not a bad opportunity for those who have not tried their hand at AppGallery yet.

Lorenzo Rossi, Co-founder of REPLUG GmbH

AppGallery is, unfortunately, still quite an unexplored field. The majority of app developers ignore this additional Store, and the majority of consumers are not even aware that it exists. I guess the main reason for this is that the AppGallery is not curated very well compared to the Google Play Store, but I expect this to change since Huawei is growing quickly.

Experts noted that more and more opportunities for app promotion will appear in AppGallery in 2022.

In short: what to expect from 2022 as a mobile marketer

1. Paid promotion will become even more difficult due to possible new restrictions in App Store and Google Play privacy policies.

2. Thanks to In-App Events and new metrics in App Store Connect, it will be easier to return users to your app.

3. New features of Custom Product Pages and Product Pages Optimization will help improve conversion and promote your app more efficiently.

4. Mobile app marketing will see more web marketing tools being introduced.

5. Third-party payments will not affect the size of commissions for App Store and Google Play developers greatly.

6. App Store Optimization will become an even more important tool.

7. On Google Play ratings are now country-specific, so you will need to work on ratings individually.

8. AppGallery will introduce new metrics of promotion effectiveness.

We hope this article helps you prepare for the major trends of 2022. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest useful blog articles.

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Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
13.01.2022
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