App Store rankings fluctuate wildly after iOS 6 release
Application rankings in Apple's App Store experienced radical upheaval in the hours after the launch of the company's new iOS 6 operating system update, suggesting dramatic algorithmic changes across the storefront, analyst firm BTIG Research reports.
"While the iOS app store ranking methodology has never been fully disclosed by Apple, we believe it has been heavily influenced by the velocity of downloads, not overall popularity/installed base," BTIG states. "In iOS 6, the layout of the App Store has changed with categories demoted as a sub-tab inside Charts with a Genius (recommended) apps replacing it on the main app store tool bar running along the bottom of the screen… These changes likely are already affecting the velocity of downloads for different apps. Nonetheless, from what we see now, the changes are quite profound and make us believe other factors beyond velocity of downloads are now heavily influencing the rankings algorithm ranging from social activity around the app, search activity and potentially the speed of upgrading of apps."
BTIG also credits the App Store volatility to a new iOS 6 update page recommending users download iBooks, iTunes U and Podcasts in the event those apps aren't already installed on their device, as well as a prompt directing users to apps that integrate with Apple's new Passbook virtual wallet. Blog