Until I released Word Connectors I didn’t fully understand just how important rating apps is to indie developers. Once your app is released you have a small window of time in the New Releases section which sometimes gets you on the main App Store page and usually gets you on the main page of a specific section (for Word Connectors it was Word Games in the iOS App Store and for Google Play it was both the Word and the Puzzle categories). This visibility is important because it is how many people find new apps. I know I peruse the different app store sections weekly looking for new apps and games. An app will stay in these sections after release for as long as it takes for enough new apps in that given category to simply knock it off the list. No favorites are being played here, it is just a matter of first in first out. Word Connectors stuck around for about three weeks while Word Connectors Free lasted only two weeks. After that you are relegated to the masses. Dropped into the big pile o’ apps. You have no visibility. It is now up to the developer to tweet or Facebook or buy ads or find some other way to market their app. There are only two ways back into this haven of visibility: downloads and ratings. Downloads are great, but they are not enough.
As with most things these days, you need interaction in order to rise to the top, and that is where ratings come in. All of that marketing effort put in by the developer could result in hundreds or thousands of downloads, but it won’t mean much without the ratings. This is why most games have that annoying “rate us” pop up. It is essential to the livelihood of indie app developers. Let me say that again: it is essential. Regardless to the media hype, the App Store is not a money machine for indie developers. Most just do it for fun, a few stay afloat, and the minority hit it big. For those that do it for fun or just stay afloat, your review will mean a world of difference. So what to do about it?
I only just heard about this today, but in January developer Luc Vandal of Edovia tweeted about a new initiate called #RateFriday. He blogs more about it here, but essentially every Friday you pick one or more of your favorite apps, give them a rating in the app store and then tweet about it. I can attest that this is just as important as buying them. So, you know where I am going with this. If you enjoyed Word Connectors or Word Connectors Free and you have not yet rated it, please make it your first #RateFriday pick by rating now in the App Store and then tweeting about it. If you have not yet tried it, check it out and then rate and tweet about your current favorite app or game. And then do it again next Friday. And the next. And the next.