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APP-TENTION SEEKING: Trivial updates can boost downloads

  • Published Date: 23 March 2016

 Developers of mobile applications use trivial updates to bring more attention to their products. That is the main finding of research by Stefano Comino, Fabio Manenti and Franco Mariuzzo, to be presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference in Brighton in March 2016. Analysing data on the top 1,000 apps in iTunes and Google Play – where apps are updated on average every 59 and 28 days respectively – their study finds that developers use updates to increase the ‘buzz’ surrounding their apps and make them more visible.

But there are noticeable differences between the two platforms: iTunes apps are downloaded more frequently after being updated, but Google Play apps are not. The latter outcome may be because Google Play’s lack of quality control leads to apps being ‘over-updated’ to the point where users stop noticing.

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