It appears that the chart rankings may not be that prominent a venue when it comes to discovering new apps. At least according to a new study conducted by TUNE, a company that specializes in advertising attribution and analytics.
Based on data collected by TUNE (previously known as HasOffers), around half of mobile device users discovered the last app they downloaded while searching through the app store, not the charts that constantly rank the best-selling apps of the week. And it is pretty consistent regardless of whether the users are using Android or iOS. For instance, 53 percent of Android users found the apps via Google Play, while 47 percent of iOS users discovered the apps through the search engine of the App Store.
As for app charts, they come in at fourth in both Android and iOS users, according to TUNE's survey. Interestingly enough, the next top two sources for app discovery are rather more organic in nature -- the second is hearing about the app from friends or family (12 percent for Android, 15 percent for iOs), and ranked third is reading about the app on the Internet (12 percent for Android, 11 percent for iOS).
As for results for app charts, the study suggests that for Android users, 9 percent of them saw the app on a top chart, while 6 percent discovered the app as it was featured by Google. The iOS group pretty much paints a similar picture -- 10 percent of iOS users downloaded the app because they saw it on the charts, while 2 percent say they downloaded it because it was featured by Apple on the App Store.
The other factors that affect app discovery and downloading behavior include:
Via a web search
Clicking an ad within another app
Clicking an ad on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site
Discovering the app because a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social networking site contact/friend shared it
This does not mean of course that app charts should be ignored altogether. The results of TUNE's study merely suggests that app searching has been underrated all along. Still, the study is far from being a perfect measurement of app discovery and app downloading trends. But it does remind us that sometimes things may not be what we think they are at first glance.
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