I want to change my app category. What are the main consequences?

From a Business and brand perspective, my app fits better under Lifestyle than Productivity - that is the current category. From a completely logical, binary, black and white POV, it's a productivity app. But, it only fits a certain kind of lifestyle, which is the reason that I want to change the category.

My concerns:

  • Is there a change of Apple penalizing me after changing it?
  • How does this change affect my overall ranking? Ofc my app will not have a good ranking at first - because of keywords and the other variables, but will my number of downloads in the previous category come together to the new one?
  • Will my reviews follow to the new category?

If you have any experience with it, please, share. I couldn't find anything similar.

Thank you so much!


Post not yet marked as solved Up vote post of rcassinellim Down vote post of rcassinellim


'category' is locked, meaning an update/new version has to be pushed in order to change that meta data.

'reviews' will follow the app, but as they are version-specific, they are tied to the version they were received for.

We assume ranking is affected when a new version is pushed, but the store is a black box otherwise.

Post not yet marked as solved Up vote reply of KMT Down vote reply of KMT

Thanks! Sure, my plan is to change it when I ship the new version, not a problem there.

I am more worried about How Apple might react to this change when reviewing it and consequences to the ranking, besides the fact that is a new version which I am used to.

>worried about How Apple might react to this change when reviewing it

AFAIK, app review may only 'react' if you make a major blunder by picking a category that obviously has nothing to do with your app. I've changed categories in the past with no evidence review cared, but I tried to be reasonable with those changes.

And again, I believe ranking is tied to the version, regardless of category change because you can't change one without the other. A new version gets to build rankings from scratch.

You can't be #1 in games and move to utilities and expect to be #1 there by default...right?

> and consequences to the ranking

Ranking is zero'd when you update the version, regardless if you change category, so at that point category change is a non-factor in ranking.

One of my greatest frustrations with the app store is that categories have no value whatsoever. Search results are not grouped by category, so games typically swamp all search results and all categories along with it. Apple should sort iTunes Store app search results by category instead of just providing a long list. It would allow searchers to find the type of app they're actually looking for, and allow non-game developers' apps to get discovered easier. Grrrrrr.

I don't think this is true anymore. We've changed one of our apps category and we lost our rankings for that category (zero'd).

Now we want to go back to the original category but are unsure if we're gonna get back our original ranking or start from scratch.

Can anyone please confirm this?