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Rumor: Google To Offer App Developers A/B Testing For Play Store Listings

May 5, 2015 - Written By John Anon

While the eternal battle between Android manufacturers and Apple continues to be prevalent, with each looking to see who can manufacture a better device, who copies the other and who can sell the most. Another more subtle battle is continuing between the two platforms. This is the battle of the app stores. While it is understood (and continually reinforced with each new monthly and quarterly report) that Apple’s App Store continues to dominate in terms of revenue generated from app downloads, it is also as equally understood that Google’s Play Store is dominant in terms of number of downloads. While Google cannot yet offer the same amount of revenue as Apple’s App Store does, it certainly can ensure a greater level of downloads and customer hands-on with developer’s apps.

What’s more, it seems Google have further plans to see and help developers obtain even more downloads in the near future. A new report from The Information (source link below) states that Google is likely to introduce an A/B testing option for developers and for their apps on the Play Store. For those unfamiliar with A/B testing, the basic idea is that developers have the option to switch up elements of their app listing while the app is live and available to downloads. In short, this could mean that developers could instantly change the price, the icon, coloring and other details. All with a view to seeing and testing whether one change results in more downloads than the other. For instance, the A/B testing will allow developers to change the price of the app and compare the results to see which price is ‘considered’ (defined as number of downloads) to be more appropriate by the public. In fact, A/B testing could result, in overall complete different app store listings. One page being the initial and standard ‘control’ page, which is known as ‘A’ and the other being completely different in all respects and providing the ‘experimental’ comparative page, aka the ‘B’ page.

The actual implementation is unlikely to affect the end-user in any great detail, but will provide a greater level of insight for developers in how to more effectively price structure or display their apps, to obtain a greater level of app download returns. Not to mention, as A/B testing is not currently offered by Apple or Google, this will see Google being the first major app store to offer the testing and further might encourage app developers to list their apps on the Play Store. Of course, at the moment this is still unconfirmed, but the source report does also suggest Google are planning to unveil the A/B testing option at their I/O event at the end of this month.