Thursday, July 18, 2013

Windows Phone Finally Alerts Devs About Being Featured

The first time my app Memorylage was featured in the Windows Phone Marketplace, I found out about it by my friend emailing me that he had seen it.  The same thing happened when it was featured on Windows 8.  While I was excited to see it featured, it was annoying that I had no way of knowing about it, and could easily miss it.

I eventually found an app called App Spotlights, which actually tracks where and when your app is featured, all around the world, and can even notify you when it is.  It's a great app, but still reactive.

Listening to Feedback, and Improving

As I, and I'm sure many other devs, had asked for some kind of a heads up when being featured, it was great to get an email this morning telling me that my app was going to be featured, when it would be, where it would be, and on what devices (I didn't even know that they targeted them differently).  Below is the full text of the email.

Dear Windows Phone Developer,

We have exciting news for you! Your app is scheduled to be featured in the Windows Phone Store on 20 July 2013. Each week, the Store features a fixed number of notable apps and games in prominent promotional spots for the day. Apps are featured in different combinations where they are visible based on market, placement, and device. These promotions help give great apps like yours the visibility and attention we think they deserve.

Targeted Promotional Markets for your Windows Phone 8 app(s)
TitleAll phonesOnly phones from manufacturers other than NokiaOnly Nokia phones

Many developers have also found it valuable to increase this exposure with their own marketing efforts. The blog post How to Market Your Windows Phone App can help you get started. You can also download the Dev Center app to track your app’s progress.

Occasionally we need to modify the promotion schedule after we have sent a notification to you. We want you to be aware that this may result in a change to your app’s featured date(s).

All of us here at the Windows Phone Store appreciate your support, and we can’t wait to see your next creation!

Windows Phone Store Team

Learn more details about this program in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

If you would like to provide feedback about this notification simply reply to this email.

Microsoft respects your privacy. To learn more please read our online Privacy Statement.

If you would prefer to no longer receive this email click here or reply to this email with the subject line – “Unsubscribe from Windows Phone Store Merchandising communications”. Note: removal may take 48 hours.

To set your contact preferences for other Microsoft communications, click here.

Microsoft has no obligation to feature your application during this proposed campaign, nor an obligation to feature your application in any future promotional activities. Microsoft reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to make all final decisions regarding this campaign’s timing, frequency, placement, and application selection. This notification does not modify the Windows Phone Application Provider Agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: I received an email that my app would be promoted in the Windows Store but it wasn’t there on the date promised. What happened?
A: Sometimes we need to make last minute changes in the promotion schedule, and we are not able to pass this information on to the developers affected by the change. When this happens, we do our best to move these apps to the next available featured spot in the Store.

Q2: How does Microsoft choose which apps to feature?
A: This blog post and video provides an overview of Microsoft’s promotion criteria.

Q3: When Microsoft promotes my app, will I see an increase in my app’s download activity?
A: There are many factors that contribute to an app’s download activity. Microsoft cannot guarantee that being featured will result in an increase in download activity.

Q4: Where in the Windows Phone Store will my app appear?
A: Your app will appear in the Store, Apps, or Games hubs in one of the following slots:
• Featured app of the day
• one of eight Spotlights
• one of three Icons

Q5: Is it possible for Microsoft to promote my Windows Phone 7 apps?
A: While we do promote Windows Phone 7 apps, this notification program is for Windows Phone 8 apps only.

Q6: For which countries do you notify participating developers?
A: We will be notifying participating developers when their Windows Phone 8 apps are promoted in Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.