UPDATE: We’ve written a new post on this topic with the latest thinking. Check it out here: Screenshots and Video: What to Include in Your App Store Listing
App store screenshots play a vital role in marketing your app to the general public. After using keywords to search for the perfect app, the first things users will notice are probably the app’s icon, name, and its screenshots.
In fact, it has been shown that less than 2% of users actually read the app description — most focus solely on the visual aspects of your listing.
It’s especially important to make the most of your visuals because Apple’s App Store and Google Play both have screenshot limits. Apple’s are more severe at five per device type, while Google Play allows eight, but in either case, it’s essential to get as much information as you can into those slots. This is your chance to capture your customer’s attention and make them want to know more.
But, if how you present your app visually is so important, are screenshots enough?
For the last several years, both major app stores have encouraged developers to include video in their listings. In fact, representatives from both companies have said that including a video in your app’s listing can make a huge difference.
Including a video in addition to your screenshots is a very effective way to immerse viewers in the actual user experience before they download your app, showing them what it feels like to use your app before they try it for themselves.
If you want to add a video to your listing, it’s important to know that Google Play and Apple’s App Store each have different video requirements. Apple limits the video length to 15-30 seconds, while Google Play recommends keeping your video between 30 seconds and two minutes, but doesn’t enforce any limits.
Additionally, Apple’s videos are essentially screen captures and must primarily feature recordings of the actual app screen, while Google Play allows a wide variety of styles including animation, motion graphics, and people interacting with the phone or tablet.
An App Preview is limited to 30 seconds and focuses on the app interface.
This is a longer demo video that shows the phone itself as well as a hand interacting with it. This is a style of video that works well in the Google Play store.
No matter what type of video you might add, creating it is a lot more work than simply taking a screenshot. However, an excellent video could be what it takes to make your app a success.
We have extensive experience creating videos for both app stores (and beyond). Check out some examples of App Previews and Demo videos (appropriate for Google Play) we’ve created, and get in touch if you’d like to talk about how a video could help your app.