For a small representative sample of consumer-facing apps, more frequent updates tend to be associated with higher ratings from app users, according to iOS App Store and Google Play statistics we analyzed from App Annie.
We looked at the number of reviews, number of updates, and average rating for each quarter from first quarter 2012 through fourth quarter 2014 year-to-date for top apps in different categories, including social media and e-commerce. We also looked at account-services apps from the top US telecoms, as well as Geico, Bank Of America, Verizon FiOS, and ConEdison.
Across 2013 and 2014, no app earned above-average ratings with less than 9 updates in the year. Across the sample, more frequent updates are associated with higher ratings.
Here are more of the main takeaways:
In 2014 year-to-date, the average cumulative rating in our sample was 2.75 stars, and the average app updated 12.2 times. In 2013, the rating was 2.8, with 7.9 updates.
- Throughout 2014 (see chart at the top of this note), Amazon, Walmart, and Geico updated their respective apps between 20 and 25 times, and earned the highest average ratings of all the apps we surveyed. Apps with more updates also tended to receive more reviews.
- In 2013 (see chart above-right), apps were updated less frequently overall, but companies that sent the most updates tended to receive the highest ratings. Amazon, Walmart, and Geico each updated 10 times or more (higher than average) and gained higher-than-average ratings, and more reviews. YouTube was atypical in that it updated more than 10 times and received below-average reviews.
Generating higher ratings for your app can be difficult simply because apps tend to have a diverse audience. Certain users may be more engaged [...]