“We believe the new ranking algorithm is now more complex, taking into account a measure of activity in the application and not simply new installs per day,” wrote Geoff Cook earlier this month for Business Insider. “In particular, we believe the ranking now considers either Daily Active Users (DAU) or the ratio of Daily Active Users to Monthly Active Users, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘sticky factor’.”
Talk of DAUs and MAUs pinpoints the significance of the changes made by Apple and Google, since they are bringing their app rankings into line with the metrics that have long been used to gauge the success of social applications and games on Facebook. Getting a large base of users to sign up (or in apps’ case download) may be easy enough, but keeping them? That’s success.
This form of measurement is no doubt a considerable step forward.
In the case of Android, lots of apps already run at all times with no apparent reason often against the user’s will or knowledge. There is usually nothing that can be done about it other than uninstalling (which is an extreme measure for a potentially useful app). Of course, good apps have the user decide when they should run but this is rarely the case.
To cut a long story short, developers will potentially address measuring active users by having their apps run all the time, which is a pure waste of resources, not to mention user frustration.
The only way this can work is if the users finally get easy, complete control over what runs when, the way it should always have been, without the need to root the device. And I mean true start up control, not process killers! Google please take this into serious consideration or a major Android flaw is about to get much worse.