App Store Personalization

App Store personalization is Apple’s process in surfacing the most relevant apps to individual users at the most relevant time.

What is App Store Personalization

App Store personalization is Apple’s process in surfacing the most relevant apps to individual users at the most relevant time, which came with the arrival at the end of 2018 with Apple’s iOS 12. Apple started to show lists that were personalized in different areas in the App Store. For example, they introduced an additional list at the bottom of each App Store page that offers suggestions of games and apps users might like and is personalized at the user level.

These suggestions depend on many factors including install history and which terms (keywords) have been used to search in the past, making lists varied and unique for each user. Apple is looking to show a user apps that they would most likely want to install.

As Apple articulates: “Where available, you can discover new content with recommendations just for you—inspired by your downloads, purchases, and other activities.”

Why App Store Personalization is Important

If ‘app personalization’ is the process of making an app meet the needs of specific audiences, App Store personalization is the process of making the App Store meet the needs of specific audiences. 

It’s important because it’s another avenue to be aware of to improve an app / game’s discoverability. Getting on those recommended lists isn’t the equivalent to being ‘featured’ (which you can read about in this glossary term) as an app or game isn’t visible to 100% of users, but it’s certainly something to be aware of when looking for ways to expose users to an app. As personalization works at a user level, It’s not possible to track; there isn’t one tool that tracks all the instances where an app / game is featured on a list.

Apple’s personalization offerings show the App Store’s adaptability and reactivity to a landscape that offers more scope for personalization (Google Play had been personalizing content on its main page via the ‘For You’ tab much earlier.) Apple is building momentum with personalization tools so it will be important to keep an eye out on how they bring this forward in the future.

App Store Personalization and ASO

This personalization term has been more of a discussion than outlining clear steps on how to get an app on a personalized list. It’s important for ASO, as a process and industry, to be on the frontline and to keep track of how Apple is developing and changing the App Store to surface apps to users, whether that’s via an App Store page or in instances where an app or game appears elsewhere in the App Store. This will allow ASO teams to better understand the audience reaching their app/game product page and optimize it accordingly.

Related Terms

  • App Store App Referral
    App Store app referral is a traffic source that includes visitors that come to an app store listing via apps (not from the web).
  • App Store Search
    App Store Search is an organic traffic source that includes all users who find an app after searching for a query or keyword in the search tab in the App Store.
  • App Store Browse
    App Store Browse is an organic traffic source which includes all visitors that arrived to an app while browsing Top Charts, Category Charts, the Today tab or Featuring placements.