What if you go mobile-last? What if we go from dependence to independence?
For instance, buzzfeed got attention of its audiences by living on various established platforms with pre-existing (and growing) attention. Once it had a loyal following, it built its native videos app.
So, developers could try to sacrifice flexibility of building their own native app and build attention and get product-market fit creatively on various new platforms like Snapchat, Slack and Periscope and old ones like Facebook and Twitter. Once that is done, start building a native app to become independent and funnel the audiences from third party platforms to your own native platform.
This way mobile developers will not have to game the app ranking algorithms to get exposure.
Yes, building your value proposition on existing platforms within their environments is no easy task. But I think getting a successful and sustainable mobile app story on the App stores is harder than ever.