The Editorial team at BuzzFeed News similarly helps to turn technical-speak into something more engaging. Johnson notes, “In a way, the release notes and the description in the App Store are all extensions of the branding of the app itself, and they are opportunities to educate users on things we have just released.”
Updates are also an opportunity to update screenshots and app previews to highlight new features and functionality. And depending on the scope of the update and any A/B testing, some developers also change their app icons.
Smule regularly refreshes its app icons to coincide with releases to give users a subtle hint that the app has been updated. Holidays, cultural events, and big product launches are all potential opportunities to make an update relevant to users. “Even if its just a little pop of something, it tells the users there’s something new,” says Yang. If users see a new icon and open the app to find new and improved features, they may be more likely to reengage.
Beyond the App Store, these developers use owned channels, such as their websites and social media accounts, to promote their updates. Johnson at BuzzFeed notes, “Depending on the size of the update or the feature that’s launching, we may use all of our existing social media accounts to promote the feature. If this is a major update, where you go from 1.0 to 2.0 we might go all out with promotion on the site, pushing on social media accounts. If it’s a smaller feature we may do it on a more limited subset of accounts, or only promote in a few really focused areas.”