Off The Shelf: App Downloads OUTSIDE Of The Store?

by Signal Zero Team

In light of the recent news that Android apps will be made available for download outside of the Google Play store, we at Signal Zero see a growing set of opportunities, risks and rewards for the mobile app developer, the advertiser and users alike.

Signal Zero CEO Tobias Batton shares his take on this. Of course, he’s cautiously optimistic (or is that optimistically cautious?). Here’s his quick pros and cons session:

Pro: Now users can bypass the irritating step of having to tap a button on the play store directly. Users will be overjoyed by all of the time and frustration this saves them.

Pro/Con: It is estimated that users spend a total of seven minutes out of their entire lives tapping Play store buttons. Seven! Google, known for its innovative approach, will now save users valuable time from having to tap their screen one extra time. That is now seven more minutes they can spend doing other important things like reading about the Kardashians.

(Editor’s note: The apps available for download outside of the store may include the “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game that has proven wildly successful. Man, are they good. They are really, really good.)

Pro: Because Google basically already owns almost everything, they are leveraging this to help the user find the content they are looking for. Now, tap once, not twice.

Tapping once, not twice, is what’s especially novel to us. It emphasizes the evolution of browsing and search in an increasingly mobile-ized world. Marketers covet the kind of data that correlate advertising with “in-store” traffic. By leveraging content marketing as an entry point for the apps users may want — or didn’t know they wanted before they discovered them — this represents a streamlined process, one that may provide value to advertisers as well.

Bonus information for app developers: By updating its search engine, Google is indexing content inside your apps, so make sure you’re optimizing even your image files, to ensure your app gets properly categorized in relevant search results.

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