Getting Featured on the App Store and Google Play

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7 min read
Apr 8, 2024
According to ironSource research, the majority of users (37%) find new mobile apps through the App Store and Google Play recommendations.
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Users find new games and apps in a variety of ways, from recommendations from friends and family to clicking on ads.
What is featuring
Featuring is a process of placing your app in one or several editor’s selections on an app store. For example, the “Today” tab or thematic collections on the App Store. The “Today” tab is the most visited page on the App Store, and getting your app featured there is as if the link to your website appeared on the Google homepage.

Such collections are only created and formed manually. Apple and Google editors pick applications and group them into lists and selections on their own. Some of these selections, for instance, “Game of the Day” or “App of the Day”, are regular; others are seasonal.
Why featuring is important
The key purpose of any application is generating revenue. Revenue comes from users who see the app on the store and install it. Featuring can boost your app’s visibility to regular app store visitors. This is the same as placing the product on the main storefront where customer traffic passes by.

On average, for example, featuring with a banner on Google Play doubles app downloads. The situation is pretty similar on the App Store. And it’s totally free. Who wouldn’t want to double their install count at once?
Featuring pitfalls
Any developer or company would like to see thousands of new users by featuring their app in editor’s selections. But featuring comes with benefits and downsides.

For one, placing in one or another thematic selection will definitely expose your app to a larger audience. But your product might be irrelevant to such users. Imagine that your app, which only targets professional skydivers, appears in the “Today” tab. It must receive dozens of thousands of installs… but how many customers will it get at the end of the day? And what ratings will it see after such featuring?

Secondly, your application will come under the spotlight. Users will examine it carefully and scrupulously. You have no room for UX or code error. Nor do you have any other chance to make a first impression. Every error will cost you hundreds and thousands of lost users. To ensure proper featuring, you must be fully prepared and have polished all your processes and procedures.

Thirdly, users who install your app after featuring it will disrupt your analytics. Product analytics, user engagement analytics, and store analytics will experience a real shock from the peaks. Featuring-driven data will skew your understanding of the product.
How to get an app featured on an app store
Apple and Google have, in their stores, special forms in which you can apply for featuring:

Think about your promos before you apply for featuring. If everything goes as planned, editors will ask you to provide banners and CTAs. You’d better have ready-to-use materials than design them quickly and dirty under time pressure. Create visually appealing creatives. To seek inspiration, look at the “Today” tab in the App Store and learn how featured apps in your category are promoted.
What should you mention in your featured app
Let’s go through the details you need to specify in your featuring application. We will take the application for the App Store as a sample.

  • Developer Information. You can do with just details including the name and email, or you can tell more about your team and its features. The more information you provide, the higher the chance of successful featuring. Fit in 1,000 characters.
  • Inclusion & Diversity. Here, you can provide information on the number of employees who are underrepresented in the industry.
  • App Details. The first point you’ll need to make in this box is the reason why you think your app should be included in the selection. Again, you have 1,000 characters.

Higher chances have the apps that are published for the first time or prepared an important update that transforms the user experience.
Major changes can be unnecessary if you, for instance, are going to hold an event in your app. In addition, you will have to specify the key features of the application, including whether children may use it and on which platform it will operate.
  • Links. Add links to presentations, promos, reviews on the media, you name it.
Practice suggests moderators pay the most attention to videos. Make sure your video reflects new functions, content, and usefulness, being quality-made and visually appealing. Your video should be up to 15 seconds long.
  • Business Model. Select the app distribution and monetization models. Indicate whether your app is free or not; if not, specify its cost; mention if there are in-app purchases or a subscription.
  • Marketing. Tell about your plans to promote the app. Optional, this field has no character limit.
  • Your Story (A brief essay explaining why your app is important and handy). In this step, much depends on your story’s style. Tell editors what your team went through, why you believe in the app, how featuring can benefit you, and why as many people as possible should give your app a try. Also, mention whether the current version of the app is an update to the previous one.

This field is required and has no character limit.
Specifics of getting featured on the App Store and Google Play
But only a few of them make it to collections. There are no go-to recommendations that work every time for any app. But we have some tips that may help:

  1. Classy, no mistakes. Make sure your app is free of bugs. It must be simple, good-looking, intuitive, and helpful. Store editors aren’t eager to promote an app that fails at launch. Before thinking about getting featured in a fancy collection, pull your socks up and fix all the errors in your product.
  2. Update your app regularly. Updates are an honest indicator of your care for users. Keep fixing bugs and introducing new features. Remember: Editors curate stores to offer visitors the best apps. They aren’t going to promote poor products that haven’t been updated for months.
  3. Promote new functions of platform owners. They like it when developers help promote their products. Check what majors are going to roll out, and be the first to introduce the new. For example, Apple presented an AR headset in 2022. Think about how you could use them in your app. Introducing functions inspired by innovations from Apple or Google is one of the safest ways to get featured.
  4. Design a quality app page for the store. You just have a few seconds to make a good first impression. Optimize the app page to boost downloads. Simply put, the more appealing the description, the better your chances of getting picked up by the App Store or Google Play. Pay attention to reviews and ratings. If not perfect, they should be good and show your product at its best. Otherwise, you aren’t going to be featured on the App Store or Google Play.
  5. Take part in Apple’s and Google’s contests and events. For example, Google holds an annual Indie Games Accelerator and Indie Games Festival for independent games, with winners getting featured on Google Play. During the WWDC, Apple organizes a design competition.

The last, but not the easiest, the tip is that you want to stay unique. People want apps that can surprise them. Focus on what helps your app stand out from the crowd. Tell Apple or Google your story and win their loyalty.
Featuring is just the beginning
Yes, featuring is absolutely great. Getting to the picks is incredibly hard, but the effort is totally worth it. Once you get into a selection, it’s likely that you’ll appear there over and over again.

But, in order to squeeze all the benefits out of featuring, you need to be armed and ready: both in terms of your product and your growth strategy.
Don’t just rely on featuring
Anyways, featuring is volatile. You should offer users more ways to find your app. LoveMobile can assist you in promoting your product. Stand above your competitors in the App Store and Google Play search by generating incentivized installs and implementing smart ASO.