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Can a lengthy application title make an application successful? A perspective of information theory

Saori Chiba (), Chien-Yuan Sher () and Min-Hsueh Tsai
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Saori Chiba: Kyoto Sangyo University
Chien-Yuan Sher: National Sun Yat-sen University
Min-Hsueh Tsai: National Sun Yat-sen University

No 1058, KIER Working Papers from Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: We discuss the length limit policies for application (app) titles introduced by the Apple application store (the App Store) and empirically investigate the debate among practitioners with regard to whether lengthy app titles benefit the market performance of the apps. We form communication games between an app seller and a consumer where assembling keywords as app titles provides information for the consumer to find the app matching her needs. A bad type seller stuffs numerous popular but irrelevant keywords to increase the visibility of his app. If the probability that the consumer faces a bad type crosses some threshold, even an informative title composed of relevant keywords cannot transmit more information to the consumer and drive more downloads than a concise title. If this probability is below some threshold, limiting the length of advertisement can hurt the consumer. Based upon random observations of a total of 1,932 apps, we show that before the App Store introduced title length regulations in 2016, even when the title length was longer than 50 characters, this information channel could still be beneficial to the consumer. Therefore, both the 30-character and the 50-character limits may be too stringent, and this restriction would hurt consumers.

Keywords: App Store optimization; keyword stuffing; informational control; average treatment effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 L86 M37 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2021-04
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