Understand these 5 app trends and stay ahead

Understand these 5 app trends and stay ahead

Smartphone subscribers were expected to comprise 46% of the global population by the end of 2016 according to Forrester. The market opportunities will decrease quickly, but those who understand the trends will stay ahead.

2017 is not so much about new as it is about the increasing intimacy of our relationships with smartphones. This will only continue as mobile payments, wearables and AR/VR technology become more accessible and adopted.

But it’s not the trends that are important, it’s the core truth they are grounded in. The question to ask is, what do the trends tell you about how users are engaging with their phones and what they expect from it? Now on to the trends…

Trend 1: App stores will remain the hub of app discovery but…

Google is beginning to roll out Instant Apps to a limited number of users, opening an additional channel for app discovery. Instant Apps are the sample toothbrushes that you get from the dentist of the app world.

You don’t have to install the app to use it and when close it, the app is gone. Consequently, none of the device’s storage has to be sacrificed to test an app or for one that won’t be used often, e.g. booking app.

How will this bode for the future of app development, especially the small- and mid-cap apps built to drive income? On one hand, Android users will be able to find suggested apps to go with their Google search.

On the other hand, you will be investing a lot of resources in creating an app that isn’t truly able to be monetized just for the opportunity to entice the user to download the full version while still running the risk of losing them within 90 days.

Trend 2: Aggregation apps will become increasingly popular

How many blog posts do you think are produced each day? If you guessed around 2 million, you’d be right. That’s just blog posts and doesn’t take into account other forms of content such as infographics, videos and social media.

With brands entering the content fray and technology providing users the means to efficiently create all forms of content, user eyeballs will become evermore saturated with content. The solution? Aggregator apps.

These apps satisfy the two requirements of apps: to make users’ lives easier and to entertain them. And they are getting better at what is fast becoming a third requirement: other- and self-personalization.

Get these three requirements right and you might just provide enough incentive for the user to download and keep your app. How do you accomplish the third? Use data for the former and provide tools and features for users to accomplish the latter.

Trend 3: Churn baby churn

Churn will continue to be a problem for app developers as 80% of users continue to leave apps within the first 90 days. The margin for error is even tighter considering that the majority of in-app time is spent within a small number of apps.

How can app developers/publishers beat the average? The Localytics research referenced above indicates that rich push notifications and in-app messaging are essential to encouraging engagement…and they must be personalized.

See those couples and groups of friends physically occupying the same space but with their noses firmly placed in-screen? The digital world will not only enhance the real, but it will replace many aspects of it.

But users are still humans with human needs…we will expect the same from the digital world. In this case, we will expect that our devices and apps know us to such a degree that they will even be able to predict our wants and desires.

Trend 4: Your app is only as good as your data and segmentation

Enter data: 2.5 quintillion bytes of it are created. Daily. How many zeroes are in a quintillion? 18. Simply put: that’s a lot of data. Money may make the world go ‘round but data makes the money go ‘round.

Luckily for you, your app is the perfect data-capture solution: users willingly hand over data for access to your app. This provides you a unique opportunity to personalize the in-app experience.

The trick for you will be collecting data in a non-threatening way. Specifically, the permissions you request need to be relevant to the in-app experience. It’ll be the difference between your user feeling taken care of or interrogated…

…no one likes to feel interrogated. Back to the data; you’re getting a lot of it and you will need to segment it to make any sense of it. Only through effective segmentation will you be able to realistically provide a personalized experience.

Trend 5: Be one with the platform and use discretion

Remember those rich push notifications we covered in Trend 3; why are they more likely to encourage engagement than a textual notification? The technology. The technology we use shapes our expectations.

After all, if your users were accessing your app through a feature-phone, their expectations would be different. Let’s consider how to work with the current technology while drawing from what worked in the past.

The record-breaking pre-registration numbers for the Nokia 3310 are not just the result of nostalgia, they are the result of something else: design. Its elegance lies in its purpose-built simplicity, complexity produced anxiety.

Hint: it’s not complexity that users expect. Ask why rich push notifications engage users? Answer this and you’ll get to the core truth of the technology; then you can ask how you can implement it into other app facets?

So, what core truth are these app trends grounded in?

There’s no question that you have your work cut out for you; you face greater competition and other external pressures in capturing and maintaining users for your app. Luckily, the opportunities have never been greater.

Be aware of what is happening, yes; but dig deeper to understand where each year’s trends are grounded in. In fact, review the trends of the past few years and you’ll see that they are all grounded in one core truth.

So, what is the core truth of these 5 trends? The smartphone is a dynamic device that is more an executive assistant than phone. They become our extensions due to their knowledge of us and how they use that knowledge…to give us what we want before we even know it.


Sound off, let the community members know where you see the app trends pointing and start a discussion!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

The butterfly that flapped: the Amazon crash

The butterfly that flapped: the Amazon crash

254 minutes: that’s how long the internet was thrown into chaos. Crashed websites and apps, broken links and images were all strewn across the globe because of one server. In this interconnected world we find ourselves in today, that’s all it takes…a delicate world indeed. 

One butterfly, one server: the Amazon crash

A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane slams into a coast on the other side of the world…if a butterfly can do this, surely one of the largest servers in the Amazon Web Services roster can…and boy did the S3 server flap its wings. It sent multiple hurricanes to every corner of the world wide web. 

While we weren’t directly affected, the S3 server hosts 1 percent of the world’s top 1 million sites and the world in which it inhabits is a web after all. Consequently, our publishers and advertisers whose websites and assets were hosted on S3 were. Below is a brief overview of how the Amazon crash affected Adcash.

  • Publisher websites went down, resulting in supply disruption
  • Advertiser landing pages went down, resulting in campaign disruption
  • 3rd-party tracking services went down, resulting in reporting disruption

In short, a lot of things went down. But today’s a new day: the S3 section of the web is repaired and everything in the world wide web is right again. Thank you for hanging tough and keeping a cool head, now let’s get back to what we’re here for: making money. Until the next crash…


Sound off; let the community know how the Amazon cloud meltdown impacted you and add to the discussion!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Combat ad fatigue and save your app

Combat ad fatigue and save your app

By 2020, Ad Fatigue (ad lassitudinem) is expected to cost digital publishers $27 billion. Although the in-app environment has been largely immune to Ad Fatigue, this will change as mobile ad budgets continue their migration to apps. Additionally, app users are active on other platforms.

Therefore, they are either symptomatic or already susceptible to Ad Fatigue. Only by taking measures to ensure a good user experience can publishers prevent Ad Fatigue from developing within their user base and extending to the greater digital environment.

What is ad fatigue and what causes it?

Ad Fatigue (AF) is a psychobehavioral syndrome with genetic, cultural and environmental factors. Clinically, it is is characterized by affect instability, increased ad disturbance and decreased ad engagement.

Unfortunately, every internet user appears to possess a genetic predisposition to Ad Fatigue and culture can mediate its development. Additionally, changes in the macro digital environment have contributed to its prevalence since the release of the first digital banner in 1994.

Acutely, the micro digital environments that users visit, i.e. apps and websites, cause Ad Fatigue. For instance, properties that overexpose their users to ads either in number or frequency are particularly toxic.

Progression and prognosis

AF’s progression has three sequential phases: ad irritability, banner blindness and ad hostility. Left untreated, Acute Ad Fatigue progresses into Chronic Ad Fatigue Syndrome (CAFS).

Once a user develops CAFS, they typically employ ad blocking technology. Desktop and mobile web publishers are provided a glimmer of hope: users can be convinced to stop using the technology.

But app developers have no such hope: users will abandon the app altogether. Coupled with an abandonment rate of 25% from healthy users, Ad Fatigue presents app publishers with an existential threat.

An existential problem for app publishers

The bad news? AF has evolved to pandemic proportions. All users are exhibiting the symptoms of one of its three stages. The good news? You can take steps today that will prevent the majority of your users from developing its chronic form.

While most of the onus has been put on advertisers to prevent Ad Fatigue, ad networks need to provide publishers the tools to effectively combat it. After all, their app/s are on the chopping block once users develop AF.

To combat Ad Fatigue, publishers need an ad network that works with premium advertisers and provides an SDK equipped with engaging formats and tools to control for ad exposure.

Your ad network’s SDK is your primary tool

Relevant, non-intrusive ads ensure engagement and engagement is inversely related to Ad Fatigue. Reward Video and Native Ads are the latest research-supported ad formats that demonstrate high rates of engagement.

However, no matter how engaging the ad, users will quickly develop Ad Fatigue if they are exposed to ads too many times. Thus, publishers need to specifically control for redundancy and frequency.

With adaptive targeting, publishers can control for redundancy by preventing their users from seeing additional ads for products they’ve converted on. For frequency, day and lifetime capping allow publishers to decide how often and long users will see the same ad.

Prevent in-app Ad Fatigue today or pay for it tomorrow

Like one’s physical health, the actions that publishers take today will determine their app’s health tomorrow. Only through consistent monitoring and application of knowledge will they be able to maintain their app’s health over time.

The decisions publishers make over how they arrange their formats and control for exposure will be unique to their individual user base. Nonetheless, one thing is certain in this cross-device world: less is more and the ad network publishers partner with should allow them to do more with less.

Give your app and ad network’s SDK a check-up today. Otherwise, the only indication that your user base has developed AF will be when their numbers have inexplicably and unexpectedly plummeted…never to return.


Sound off; let the community know how you beat Ad Fatigue and add to the discussion!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Ecommerce 101: get ’em in with an ad network

Ecommerce 101: get ’em in with an ad network

You’ve implemented website best practices, and created a social media and content schedule to increase long-term engagement. Now it’s time to spend money to make money: using an ad network to get ‘em in.

We are going to look at how to best rate an ad network and make the most out of your campaigns. While website design/SEO, social media and content are long-term plays, advertising provides immediate traffic.

We want to cover display networks that broker traffic between publishers and advertisers. In this case, you’ll be operating as the latter. They are difficult to vet because there are many and they vary in their offers. Let’s dig in.

An ad network is an ad network is an ad network…

and an apple is an apple is an apple…they all have a similar shape and nutrition profile. But did you know there are 7,500 varieties of apples? The same goes for ad networks; each has its own size and color.

You probably have a favorite apple or two based on your preference. Choosing an ad network will be a little more complicated. You need to rate them according to the 3Ts: traffic, targeting and tracking.

Traffic: not all is created equal

At the end of the day, it’s all about traffic and publishers are the ones providing it. You “buy” traffic by paying for space on the publisher’s property, i.e. website/app. Your network needs to provide premium publishers and monitor for fraud.

Otherwise, you could waste money and worse, risk brand image. To the former, there are publishers who will sell space but not display the ads that purchase it on their site through various schemes.

Not even Google and Facebook can claim that their traffic is 100% clean. Nonetheless, the network you choose should proactively combat fraud, like Adcash…apologies for the plug but this is one area we excel in.

Targeting: your traffic is only as good as your targeting

You want access to a large pool of premium traffic but you also have a specific demographic in mind. If you aren’t provided the proper targeting options then your budget efficiency will suffer and margins will tighten.

For every cent you spend on advertising, you subtract one from every sale you make; you have to make it count. Basic targeting features include geo, language, device, browser and IP. These are a good place to start but you need more.

Your ad network should provide category and interest targeting at the very least.

Category targeting allows you to limit the sites that your ads to only those of a specific theme. The strength of this targeting is also its drawback: it targets the site. Your users visit multiple sites with multiple categories/themes.

A way to improve category targeting? The buyer personas you created in part 3. Ask yourself, “What site categories are my buyer personas likely visiting?” Create a target diagram with your answers.

Your bullseye will be the category most closely related to your product/service. The next ring will be the second closest, so on so forth. You should have three to four rings beyond your bullseye…test, track and adjust.

Interest targeting presents an easier way to reach your audience because it will track them according to their interests, regardless of the site they visit. As with category targeting, you’ll want to create a diagram to determine corollary interests.

Tracking: Track or throw your money into the wind

Most ad platforms provide what can be described as mandatory conversion tracking. It provides accountability and proof that you are getting the impressions you paid for. But it should also provide informative tracking.

There are 3rd-party platforms that provide both forms of tracking and integration isn’t too complicated. Regardless of your level of expertise, all integration costs one thing: time, which we want to save.

Why informative tracking? This type of tracking allows you to track what google would call micro conversions. These are events that lead up to your ultimate, revenue-producing conversion; your macro conversion.

By tracking the events that lead to conversion, you can identify where your audience is reaching a bottleneck within the buyer’s journey. For instance, you can track those who’ve provided their email address, filled out the shipping form, etc.

Make the most of your ad network budget

You’ve found your network: you need to make the most of the traffic your ads produce. Most of your visitors will leave empty-handed regardless of the channel you use. Don’t worry, you can improve the odds.

According to a small study conducted by Fairfax Media, your ads should possess 4 characteristics to be memorable:

  • Contrasting colors/brand colors
  • Simple, concise messaging
  • Clear, uncluttered design
  • Prominent brand logos/symbols

Control for exposure through frequency capping. If a user has seen your ad three times and hasn’t engaged with it, they likely never will. Continuing to advertise to them reduces budget efficiency and courts ill will.

For those who do engage with your ad, they should be taken to a landing page. If you don’t create a landing page, your conversions will reflect it. It’s simple, users demonstrate intent when they click your ad.

Sending them to a homepage is either lazy or greedy. You told me to come into your store to buy a Coke and then send me to your cooler to find it among all the other sodas. Instead, send me to where it is clearly displayed.

Consider including a small discount in return for email addresses. By acquiring email addresses, you create the opportunity to recapture some of your spend down the road through remarketing efforts.

Your ad network homework and what’s up next

You’ve done it, you’ve made it to the end of section 1 of the Ecommerce 101 series, get ‘em in. Hopefully, you’ve completed the homework and are consistently applying the principles we’ve covered in all four parts.
The pace will increase as we cover what to do when you get ‘em in, converting ‘em. As always, there is homework involved. It’s now time to expand your scope and look at alternative ad networks.

Naturally, I’m partial to Adcash and believe that it is the best ad network to partner with. Registration is free and starting budgets are low: here’s a pretty balanced review of where we get it right and less than right.

But I want you to make an informed decision, so evaluate a few according to the 3Ts. Also, if you haven’t created a campaign thus far DO IT. You don’t have to run it now, just create it. And we’re on to section 2, convert ‘em. See ya soon.


With such a large network, there are bound to be a few great insights out there. Don’t keep them a secret! Add to the discussion and comment below!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Is your network’s SDK undermining app engagement?

Is your network’s SDK undermining app engagement?

At the end of the day, the metric most important for you is engagement. Otherwise, you won’t build, maintain or sustainably monetize your user base. Engagement is the soil that everything grows from and if you don’t tend to it, nothing will grow.

The good news is that you’ve got a hearty app. The bad news is that the ad network SDKs you are using to monetize that engagement are likely doing more harm than good.

The qualities of a good SDK? It’s light, it plays well with others and provides ads that actually help to engage your users. With the Adcash SDK 2.3, we’ve kept it light, kept it friendly and added a load of “nutrients” to do just that.

You reap what you sow

The ad formats you choose will make or break your monetization strategy. Shown too frequently, your users will leave your app for another. Shown too infrequently, well what are you displaying ads for anyway?

The same goes for if they are too intrusive. If the ads you display are unnoticeable, you won’t get the clicks, installs or other actions that provide revenue. Luckily, there are two formats that solve both issues.

Rewarded video: Give your users a little control

Opt-in, highly engaging video ads that provide a reward to the user for viewing. Users only interrupt their in-app experience when they are ready. You might be concerned about how often the user will decide to do this.

Don’t worry, rewarded video ads will actually increase your ad revenue…at least your contemporaries think so. In fact, rewarded video ads may even help to increase in-app purchases.

Native ads: To intrude or not to intrude, is there a question?

Your users don’t want to be interrupted; it’s that simple. It’s not the ad that they have an issue with, it’s the intrusion. But there is a fine line between noticeable and intrusive.

With native ads, the ad is integrated within the content, avoiding both banner blindness and interstitial intrusion: priceless. With the Adcash SDK 2.3, you can display ads as part of a content wall, stream or feed.

Redundancy, overexposure and latency: the 3 sins to growth

No matter how engaging the ad format, if it commits any of these three sins your user will run and not look back. With the Adcash SDK 2.3, we’ve absolved your monetization strategy of them.

With adaptive targeting, users that convert through an ad will not see it again. After all, they’re in your app for personalization and seeing the same ad for the same product/service that they just converted for is a little impersonal.

Overexposed users result in an underexposed app and an underexposed app results in paltry revenue. With day and lifetime capping, you decide how exposed your users will be to the same ad.

And…latency. Those dots are probably less than the amount of time your ads have to load before your users become frustrated. We’ve further optimized our SDK so that ads are loaded in the blink of an eye.

Growing seasons are time bound, make yours count!

You don’t have much time; every second you spend optimizing your app for your ad network is one you’re not tilling your soil and preparing it for optimal growth.

With the interstitial smart zone, you no longer have to create two zones for what is effectively the same format: static and video interstitial formats. Now, our zone will select the one with the highest yield.

With our eCPM floor, you decide the value of your traffic. If you don’t want to sell your traffic for less than a specific amount, you don’t have to. After all, you cultivated your traffic…you know its worth.

Video ads are the Miracle Grow of monetization strategies as the internet is becoming one giant video stream. But even if your app doesn’t provide video, you should be able to provide video ads. You can with us.

The Adcash SDK 2.3 does all this and is even easy to handle

Engagement, your soil. The quality of your soil will determine whether you grow and retain your user base or not. The choices you make for an ad partner can undermine those efforts. Make it count and choose a partner that understands it so well that they can talk about it in gardening terms.


With such a large network, there are bound to be a few great insights out there. Don’t keep them a secret! Add to the discussion and comment below!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

They’re out there, use AppInstall to find your users

They’re out there, use AppInstall to find your users

You’re courting picky users

App stores are expected to gross $52 billion in 2016 and it’s expected to almost double by 2020: it won’t be easy. In Google and Apple stores alone, there are almost 5 million apps, but users spend 90% of their time in only a few.

The developed market is close to saturation, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Emerging markets will buoy demand and app streaming technology will continue to develop and breach app store walls.

Users will download their apps from app stores but they won’t find them there, which is good. Ultimately, there’ll be more users who’ll be able to find your app more easily.

Do they know your app exists?

It probably took you about 4-6 months to develop V1.0 of your app’s value proposition. Because you were thinking about positioning during the conception and development phase, your app store listing didn’t take long to create.

But, your work isn’t finished…not by a long shot. Gone are the days where you could create your listing, sit back and count the money.

In fact, those days never existed and if you believe they did, you are indulging in golden age thinking. If you want your future users to know that your app exists, you have to tell them. Build it and they may come; promote it and they will.

Employ matchmakers and say hello

Promoting, advertising, marketing…business terms dressed in formal attire that describe a process: dating. Starting with ‘hello’, it leads to conversation and ends in a relationship.

Unlike most people, your app’s goal is to start many relationships.

Your app’s dating profile is your app store listing and the ad networks are your matchmakers. The best provide you a popular, yet selective platform, which provides targeting and other tools to find matches efficiently.

Port your app profile with AppInstall

Your app listing is great; it should be portable. With Adcash, it is. Using AppInstall, you just plug your app listing URL in and it will pull the specifics from the listing in moments…seconds actually.

Whether you’re creating an in-app or mobile web ad, AppInstall transfers your description copy, your creatives, and ratings. Customize your ad by masking specific fields, altering your description copy and/or providing additional creatives.

AppInstall will help your app find its perfect matches

Your users are waiting to be introduced to your app and only tier 1 networks will provide you the users you’re after. However, it’s not just about the quality of matches is it?

You also want to be efficient…not a word often used in the dating world, but you’re courting users and busy working on improving your app’s features.

You’ve already created a winning profile, it just needs to be shown to interested users. Wherever they are, Adcash is there. Port your app store listing using AppInstall by getting in touch today and help your app find its perfect users.


With such a large network, there are bound to be a few great insights out there. Don’t keep them a secret! Add to the discussion and comment below!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

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