App Discoverability – Your Job Has Just Become More Difficult

Mar 29, 2018
By: Marissa Camilli

Privacy has always been a concern for many smartphone users. Just how much information they are willing to share with developers and marketers who target their devices with third-party apps will depend entirely on their attitude to how much they value their privacy. This will range in value from non-existent to borderline paranoia (in some cases this may actually be justified). However, the recent headlines concerning Facebook and the data mining scandal at Cambridge Analytica will undoubtedly have focused peoples’ opinions on the subject even more and it may have changed their minds about how they engage with certain apps on their smartphones.

Prior to the scandal there were largely four different types of app users when it came to concerns regarding privacy.

  1. Ignorance is bliss: These are the users who didn’t know or didn’t care about the issue and would download anything and everything, regardless of privacy or security concerns. While you may not think of yourself in this category, there is a good chance someone in your family who has access to your devices might be. Does your six-year-old child study privacy policies before downloading new games onto your smartphone or tablet? I didn’t think so.
  2. I’ve got nothing to hide: If you’re not doing anything wrong or illegal, you’ve got nothing to worry about – right? So what if big business wants to manipulate my data and target me with adverts – I’ve got an ad-blocker. Really, what’s the worst that can happen? Be honest with yourself, if you download apps from the Play store on a regular basis, you’re probably in this group.
  3. If it doesn’t look right: These are the people who take a few moments to check the “permissions” an app asks for before being downloaded and if something doesn’t look right – they will walk away. These people will ask themselves why does this app need permission to connect to my microphone, camera or view my extensive list of friends. As a developer, you need to ask yourself if you really need to access so much personal information.
  4. I’m not having it: The app developers’ worst nightmare. These people are seriously concerned about protecting their privacy and as a result are highly unlikely to download your app.

Note: There is a fifth group. The people who just don’t download apps because they don’t know how to, have limited access to Wi-Fi or usable memory on their devices, or simply have no interest in doing anything with their smartphone beyond calls, texts and emails.

Changing Attitudes

Following the scandal, which has dominated global headlines since being broken by the UK’s Channel 4 News and Observer newspaper, you can bet many people’s attitudes towards how they engage with technology companies will have undoubtedly changed. It’s highly unlikely that this new attitude will be a more relaxed version of the one they previously held.

Make no mistake, your job as an app developer or marketer has just become more difficult.

Consider This: If users cannot trust one the most popular apps from one of the biggest companies in the world, why should they trust an app from an unknown developer they simply stumble across in an app store?

Preloading Reaches the Users App Stores Cannot

Preloaded apps (apps which, as the name suggests, come preloaded on specific devices or networks) offer additional peace-of-mind based on the fact they have passed a series of rigorous security and quality checks before they are presented to end-users.

While preloaded apps are often the product of independent organizations – many of the users who discover them at the moment of “unboxing” may simply assume they come as part of the package, automatically adding a degree of trust between the app and the end-user.

Consider This: At a time when smartphone users are becoming more concerned about the security of their devices and therefore more selective about the apps they download (if they download any at all), preloading your app may be your only opportunity to position your app in front of a large, targeted audience.

Digital Turbine works with app developers to ensure all the apps we present on behalf of our clients to device manufacturers (OEMs) and networks comply with the demands of organizations who understand that security, privacy and corporate reputation are all connected.

Further Reading: Preloaded Apps Deliver Credibility, Security, and Engagement

To learn more about how Digital Turbine can help you reach a new, security conscious audience, speak to one of our app experts today:

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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