Coming back to mobile app and games development.. The horror!

Due to some personal stuff needing focus, I've kind of left this mobile development scene over the past year.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd come back into this and rock the world. But boy, was I in for a shock.

Missing Charts?

You see, a long time ago, in a planet you're on, Google had launched their Play Store. It was so long ago, I kind of forgot what it was called back then (market or something).

Anyway, there was this chart on the market app back then called the "Just-In Chart". This chart listed apps and games that were just published or updated within the past day or so. It gave developers a very good chance to get some initial downloads as every app got into this chart for a while. And if your app was good or popular, you'll then go up the top new charts.

Of course Google needed this to help it's eco-system grow beautifully. It was a match made in Saturn for Google and us, developers.

Google removed this, understandably, as some developers were abusing this chart. Yes, yes! Me included. Hey I was a newcomer OK? Chill!

Old App Marketing

So, we developers with little to no marketing budget had to settle to find ways into the "Top New Charts" before we could get any exposure or downloads. This was still OK if you already had some apps that were getting constant downloads. My favorite method of cross promotion still worked well for this.

There was of course other ways to go up the charts, like unique or low competition keywords, having a popular website review your game, ads, getting family and friends to help you out.

Let's just summarize it that, if your app was visible, was somewhere to be seen, you could get downloads.

App Marketing Has Changed

Now though, even the Top New Charts is missing! Arrgh! There goes my strategy.

How are hobbyist, small, solo, no-budget developers going to get their apps going?

I guess I will need to work out a new marketing strategy. My initial boosts will likely have to come from somewhere out of Google Play.

Here are a few ways that could still work:

1 - YouTube

Make videos of gameplay or related subjects and publish them. Remember to link to the app store for downloads. Also note I said "videos". With an 's'.

2 - Twitter

Reach out to potential players. These could be fellow developers who are interested in your game development, or fans of something. When I was trying to promote my football / soccer games during Copa America, writing messages about a country beating an opponent did get quite a bunch of retweets and likes.

3 - Twitter Ads

I've noticed some countries will give you some downloads for very cheap if you can spend there . Try the LATAM market. Still cheap there, and a huge market.

4 - Publishers

This might be a very good time to polish your work a little more and try to be attractive to publishers. They can help market your app pretty well provided they really are an established party. And remember, when one publisher says " No"... You say "Next".

5 - Make tutorials

No seriously. This might be a very profitable option. Some sites will pay you to write solid tutorials. And you could link to your app from the tutorial itself.

6 - Amazon app market

Amazon app market often surprises me. Yes, I know this won't affect your apps on Google Play, but every now and then there seems to be a boost in downloads on their market. And their users don't really mind paying premium for apps. There is also that underground thing if you're into that.

7 - Blog

Not gonna elaborate on this one, you know it well enough already.

Please note, I haven't tried most of these, just sharing some ideas here.

What's your take on the charting changes on Google Play? How are you planning to get some downloads going?

Also, if you've been a long time reader of this blog... I Missed You!!! :D

Signing out,
Chartless Bill!


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