Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Refer others to AppBrain and make money

The AppBrain app promotion system is one of the best ways to promote your Android app or make money with your app as a publisher. Recently we’ve been thinking about ways to let even more developers experience the efficiency and power of this system. As there are a lot of successful advertisers and publishers on the the AppBrain app promotion system already, we’d like to reward them for spreading the word to fellow app developers.
Starting today, if you’re on the AppBrain dashboard you can get a personal affiliate link through which you can refer others. When another developer signs up with AppBrain through your link, we’ll pay you 50% of whatever that developer spends or earns on our system during his first 30 days.

Screenshot of the affiliate page in the AppBrain Dashboard
So let’s take an example: you know somebody who’s just about to launch her new Android game and wants to promote her app around the launch for $1,000. If you’re the one who refers her to AppBrain, you will get $500 added to your earnings payout at the beginning of the next month.
Similarly, suppose you refer a friend who has created a couple of apps and you’re telling him about the AppBrain AppLift interstitials and banners. When he signs up through your affiliate link, and he earns $500 in his first month, you will get $250 too.

Note that the affiliate program has no impact on the costs or earnings of the people you refer, all the extra money comes fully out of AppBrain’s pocket!

If you're signed up at our dashboard already, you can find your personal affiliate link at the following page: https://developers.appbrain.com/dev_dashboard#DevPagePlace:page=affiliate
If you want to learn more about the AppBrain services for developers go to http://www.appbrain.com/info/advertise or http://www.appbrain.com/info/monetize.

Happy holidays,


AppBrain Team

Friday, July 25, 2014

Send messages with AppBrain Cloud Alerts

Being able to quickly and easily send a message to your users helps to create a dynamic app experience.


To optimize the app experience for your users, we've just launched a new feature in the AppBrain AppLift SDK: AppBrain Cloud Alerts.

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A cloud alert is a message that you configure on the AppBrain Developer dashboard and that will then be sent through the cloud to your app's users. They will receive it the next time they open your app.

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With cloud alerts, you can easily send a message to all users of your app in 4 different formats: a dialog popup, a full screen interstitial, a subtle slide-in bar or a taskbar notification. Because the message only gets shown upon opening your app, there’s no annoying push notifications and no impact on battery use.


We’ve successfully used these notifications to
  • Notify users of our “Word Hunt” app that we’ve launched a new, similar game called “Word Snake” with a high conversion rate.
  • Ask users in a subtle way (using the slide in bar) to give us a rating and leave a comment on Google Play.
  • Give an explanation of a new feature that was added in the latest app update.
Of course there are many other possibilities.

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You can choose to add an action to your cloud alert. If there's no action, the alert will have just one button for the user to dismiss it. With a configured action, there will be a cancel button to dismiss and an ok button to perform the action. The action can be opening a link in the browser or forwarding the user to an app in the play store. 

The developer dashboard shows you a preview of your alert while you’re configuring it.


Try it now
If you’re a user of AppBrain AppLift already, you can directly configure your alerts on the AppBrain developer dashboard.
If you’re not using our SDK yet, you can get started on our info page.

To use cloud alerts, you need to initialize the AppBrain AppLift SDK in the onCreate() of your activity with “AppBrain.init(this);”.
Cloud alerts are available if your app has AppBrain SDK version 10.1 or later.

How would you use AppBrain cloud alerts?


Mathijs for the AppBrain team.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

AppBrain reports the monthly top downloaded Android apps


Which Android apps got the most downloads last month? Which apps got the best ratings?

We are happy to announce a new section to the AppBrain stats pages: The AppBrain monthly top apps.

This new page gives you a monthly overview of interesting things happening in the Android ecosystem. New apps and existing apps are ranked by download numbers during the given month. Additionally, we reveal the apps that gathered the best and worst Google Play ratings in the given period. You can change the selection of the data by changing filters at the top of the page. You can filter on application category (all apps vs. games vs. non-games) or on language (all apps vs. apps with English description only).


These monthly summary pages help you find the interesting movements and events around the world of Android. They are available starting from April 2014 until now, and a new list will be added on the first day of every month.


Let’s look at some insights from top apps in the last months (April, May, and June 2014):


  • Google’s dominance: Google dominates the ‘most downloaded overall’, as well as the ‘most downloaded developers’ lists. Moreover, two apps recently launched by Google made it into the corresponding ‘most downloaded new apps’ lists: Google camera (April 2014) and Email (June 2014). These observations underline the market power of Google at the time of writing.


  • App removal: Music downloading apps are extremely popular - there are such apps in all three most-downloaded-new lists. However these apps are frequently no longer available on Google Play, presumably due to copyright issues. Also, many apps from the April’s least loved new apps list are no longer available on Google Play now, because either the developer or Google removed it from the market.


  • App quality: The least-loved category is not reserved to novice developers. Once in a while we encounter an app by a well-respected organization there, such as QuizToWin by Microsoft (May 2014), Going Abroad by the European Commission (June 2014), or Air Canada (Beta) by Air Canada (April 2014, non-games, English).


  • External events: The April list nicely showcases how an external event such as the heartbleed bug can affect what apps are getting popular on Google Play. Also, the two soccer related apps in the June 2014 most downloaded list might indicate a relation to the FIFA World Cup 2014 (carried out in June and July 2014). Moreover, note how the Google I/O 2014 app made it into the most loved apps list in June 2014.


  • Rating outliers: Selecting the top rated apps over a month sometimes leads to somewhat puzzling results. For instance the best rated app for June, a Chinese Casino app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.new777.android has 50,000 - 100,000 downloads, but also more than 50,000 ratings, which are all 5 stars! It’s hard to imagine how this is possible apart from methods that are not allowed by Google Play (like incentivizing your users to rate, or using bots). Apparently Google doesn’t detect or take action against gaming of ratings in all cases.


We’d be glad to read how you interpret this data, and hope you can gain valuable insights from this new feature on our stats pages!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AppBrain SDK for advertisers

Today AppBrain launches a new SDK for Android apps: the AppBrain Advertiser SDK.
This is an SDK that provides analytics and conversion tracking for Android apps.


Over 30,000 apps currently use the AppBrain AppLift SDK for monetization to great success. Apart from powerful monetization, the AppBrain AppLift SDK also provides compelling analytics. These include new and returning users, app versions in use, countries and languages of visitors and more.
Today we're making these powerful analytics available for advertisers too. The AppBrain Advertiser SDK includes all the analytics of the AppBrain AppLift SDK, but leaves out the monetization functionality so your app stays as small as possible. A new addition to both SDKs is the conversion tracking service.


The primary focus of advertising is generating installs for your Android app. Yet, generating installs is usually not the actual goal, it's usually something that the user does within your app. With conversion event tracking, you can know exactly when a user completes an important action in your app. This can for instance be an in-app payment, signing up for a user account on your service, or sharing a piece of content within your app.
The AppBrain developer dashboard reports the level of engagement of your users, measured by your conversion events. Soon we will attach the campaign source (referrer tracking) to this data as well, so you can see which sources of traffic deliver the highest quality users.
For those of you who are already using the AppBrain promoted app system to promote your app, using conversion events has even more benefits. Our targeting systems will use the conversion data from your app to optimize the type of users your app is promoted to. In this way the quality of your promoted installs will increase.


More information on the AppBrain Advertiser SDK and how to integrate the conversion tracking is available on our SDK info page.



Happy conversion tracking,

Mathijs for the AppBrain team.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More ad mediation options with the AppBrain AppLift SDK



Low fill rates are often a problem in banner advertising in mobile apps. To make sure that your ad space is filled with ads, you can use a mediation solution. This is a piece of code in your app that automatically connects with a number of ad networks. In this way, when one ad network doesn't have an ad available for a particular user, an ad from a different network can still be shown instead. Most mediation solutions also allow you to dynamically adjust the order in which networks are used, and in that way you can make sure the most profitable network gets the most of your ad inventory.


Admob mediation is a widely used mediation solution, and since last July we provide an adapter that makes it easy to put AppLift banners into an ad slot mediated by Admob. Today we're adding support for mediating interstitials as well. In addition, we're from now on providing adapters that allow you to integrate both AppLift banners and interstitials into MoPub’s popular mediation platform.


To implement this in your app, download the latest AppLift SDK from our github page, together with either the Admob or MoPub mediation jar. Detailed instructions how to set up the mediation are available on our website: for Admob and for MoPub.


We hope this addition will make it easier for developers to monetize their app using the highly successful AppBrain AppLift banner and interstitial.


Mathijs for the AppBrain team.

Monday, November 26, 2012

AppLift plugin for Unity


Unity 3D is one of the most popular development tools for cross platform mobile games. Some well known games that are made using Unity are Temple Run, Bad Piggies and Coin Dozer.

To help monetize Unity-based games on the Android platform, we have developed a plugin for Unity which makes it very easy to use the AppLift SDK from within Unity apps. Please follow this tutorial to integrate AppLift with Unity.

We have tested the Unity integration of the AppBrain interstitial with a number of partners in the field. One of them noted "Your plugin has got to be one of the easiest to use plugins I've ever used with Unity." You can see the plugin in action in the awesome GnarBike game:


Using the AppLift banner ad format from within your Unity app is also easy if you’re already using Admob banners. If your Android app has the AppLift SDK integrated as explained in the page above, you can add AppLift to your Admob mediation settings as detailed on http://www.appbrain.com/info/sdk-admob-mediation-applift.

We hope this plugin will bring AppLift’s user-friendly monetization to more apps on the Android platform, such that developers are provided with greater financial means to continue developing great apps and games.

The AppBrain team.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Apptimizer: AppBrain’s new tool to understand and improve your app


With over half a million apps in the Google Play Store, yours can easily be overlooked. While there is certainly some luck involved in getting popular on Google Play, there are also a lot of factors that you can directly influence as a developer, like making sure your app is technically excellent, is available to a large portion of all Android users, and is presented in an attractive way.

Today, AppBrain launches Apptimizer, an automated tool to help apps achieve their maximum reach. Apptimizer supports developers with useful tips on how to optimize an app so that it drives more downloads. Best of all, this service is completely free.

The AppBrain Apptimizer analyzes the following aspects of your app:
Technical
The raw technical details of your app can make a significant difference in how many downloads it generates. For example, we have noticed that larger apps get downloaded much less than smaller apps. This phenomenon might be related to data plans (people might not download 20MB APKs when their data plan imposes a 100MB monthly limit), download times (people might cancel a download that takes too long), and device storage limitations. Other examples of technical details that influence download numbers are whether your app supports all screen sizes and whether it can install to the SD card, just to name a few.

Monetization
There are a variety of ways to monetize your app. Simply selling it for a given price is the most obvious, but not necessarily the best choice. To give an example, a free app typically reaches a lot more people than a paid app. Once these people have had a positive experience with your app they might be more likely to decide to spend money on it, e.g. by means of in-app purchases. In the long term, such a monetization strategy can thus outperform the revenue generated by selling your app.

User Feedback
The feedback you receive in the Google Play Store is important for generating many downloads. A low rating and bad comments often point to problems in the app that limit the user experience. Fixing these problems and making sure that your app has at least a 4 star rating will increase your long term download numbers.

Presentation
The description of the app in the Play Store is important not only because people look at it, but also because it’s the main source of keywords that Google uses to answer search queries. Just like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be used to optimize your ranking on search engines, the new field of ASO (Appstore optimization) does the same for your placement in the Google Play Store. Apptimizer provides a quick overview of interesting search keywords and how these stack up against keywords in descriptions of similar apps. It also looks whether your app is updated too often or too seldomly, and whether you have uploaded a feature graphic in the Google Play store.

Privacy
The permissions screen can be a real hurdle to getting massive download numbers. If your app is not connected to a trusted brand name, people are unlikely to grant access to certain private information, such as their contacts or their text messages. The inclusion of aggressive ad networks (push ads, ringtone ads, desktop icon ads) may also harm your popularity, as people will uninstall your app very quickly after noticing what they just downloaded. In its last section, Apptimizer thus scores your app on the presence of invasive permissions or aggressive ad networks.


Writing a successful app is mainly about having a good idea. While Apptimizer will not provide you with such an idea, it can help you to get the most out of your app by looking into the many details required to reach the masses.


If you just want to get started exploring some apps in the Apptimizer, here are some examples:
Some example apps that can be diagnosed are for instance
Facebook: http://www.appbrain.com/apptimizer/facebook/com.facebook.katana
(Apptimizer score 68)
Youtube: http://www.appbrain.com/apptimizer/youtube/com.google.android.youtube
(Apptimizer score 81)
Draw something:
http://www.appbrain.com/apptimizer/draw-something-free/com.omgpop.dstfree
(Apptimizer score 86)


Happy apptimizing!

Michael for the AppBrain team.