Microsoft is making big changes to app submission and promotion

Brad Stephenson

During Build 2016, Microsoft revealed several big changes to the Dev Center to help developers earn more money with their apps. They also added new features to help improve the app submission process and app promotion. Here are the big announcements:

  • Developers will now be able to push updates and data to specific groups of app users through app flighting.
  • App listings in the Store can now use different languages than those used in the app. This will allow for more flexibility with marketing and communication with consumers. This also means that developers now only have to submit screenshots and store listings in one language if they so choose.
  • Beginning this week, the Dev Center will begin showing the status of app packages and app metadata updates. This is useful for knowing what content users are seeing.
  • There is a new Windows Store submission API which is currently in preview and being rolled out to select developers in stages. This new API supports submitting updates, modifying metadata, and adding/removing in-app products when submitting apps for publishing.
  • The Dev Center dashboard has been redesigned to work faster and provide more data to developers. The new dashboard is currently available to those in the recently announced Dev Center Insider Program.
  • Microsoft has introduced a new concept for promotion called, Community Ads. These ads basically promote other apps within the marketplace and only display when regular paid ads are not available. Developers will earn credits each time their apps show one of these ads and the credits can be used to get their own apps promoted in other apps that are participating in the program.
  • Promotional codes have been revamped. The creation of codes now only takes a few seconds and starting next month, the Dev Center will begin managing advanced promotional codes which can be given expiry dates, have their redemption status checked, and even cancelled if needed.
  • The Dev Center now creates receipts for promote-your-app purchases.
  • The Windows Store will begin using new top lists to promote which apps are more popular. The Windows Store will finally also be made truly Universal.
  • Live Tile updates and notifications can now be targeted so developers can promote and engage with select demographics.

A lot of these new features are pretty substantial. Are you impressed or would you still like to see more Dev Center updates? Let us know in the comments and make sure to check out all of our other Build 2016 news.