Thursday, May 5, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

App Store Search Is Currently Broken

Paul Haddad:

App Store search issues reported, let’s see what’s going on with my app. Yeah looks about right.

Ignoring that the right app isn’t showing up.

1. Related search terms are WTF

2. Videos almost never load

3. Barely one result/screen

But Apple, sure go ahead and start charging for search results.

I just searched for “Tweetbot” and also got only Hootsuite and Echofon. This type of thing seems to happen so often. Why doesn’t Apple have a monitoring system that makes sure that apps always show up when you search for them by name?

Milen Dzhumerov:

Search results are currently broken across both AS and MAS for loads of apps (Airbnb, Minecraft, etc). Seems like a bug.

Ole Zorn:

Yep, App Store search is completely broken now. I’m actually curious how much this will affect sales.

John Voorhees shows that searching for Zorn’s Editorial app returns VANIDADES USA Revista by Editorial Televisa Digital.

Maximilian:

None of my apps can be found in search, so I’d assume a lot

David Harrison:

In the Canadian store, I’m not getting ANY results at all.

Ole Zorn:

As always, when Apple has obvious server problems, everything is green, yay!

Craig Grannell:

I realised that I’ve seen this problem crop up quite a bit recently, although I’d never really thought much of it. When writing round-ups, I’d not find the odd app by searching the App Store, and would then check online to see if it still existed. I’d end up on iTunes Preview, click View in iTunes, and then go straight to the app’s page to install it.

[…]

Developer Gary Riches says this screw-up has led to daily sales falling by 66 per cent, and adds that you “literally cannot find my app, even by keyword”.

Federico Viticci:

FWIW, iTunes API search results are all kinds of broken right now too, and Apple Music is also acting up this morning.

Joe Rossignol:

A significant number of users on Reddit and Twitter, corroborated by multiple tips we have received, are affected by an ongoing App Store issue preventing a number of popular iOS apps from showing up in search results unless already installed, including Google, Periscope, Spotify, Tidal, Tumblr, Uber, Vine, Waze, and many others.

[…]

Apple is aware that users have been “experiencing a problem with the App Store” since about 2:00 a.m. Pacific. Apple is “investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.”

The system status page for the App Store now says: “Service is not working as expected for all users.”

Searching for my apps in the Mac App Store currently finds no results, either.

Update (2016-05-05): See also: James Thomson and Michele Titolo.

Paul Jones:

This reminds me of a fact I learned at an iOS meet up that deserve repeating: as app developers, Apple is our biggest dependency. Mostly this deal works out great: Apple take 30% and the hardware profit to promote and sustain the marketplace for 3rd party apps. But Apple is still a dependency, and this isn’t the App Store’s first year, it’s not Apple’s job to promote 3rd party apps, it’s your job as a publisher. If you don’t like that, there are other platforms.

Joseph Keller:

It also seems as though the problem is impacting the Mac App Store as well, with Apple’s Xcode missing from search results.

James Thomson:

And just like that App Store search works...

Searching now finds one of my two apps in the Mac App Store.

Paul Haddad:

Results are back. Video key frame still hosed, related results still WTFIsh. But I guess it’s something.

Update (2016-05-11): Sarah Perez:

According new analysis from Tune, the majority (65%) of all apps lost more than 10 percent of downloads because of the App Store glitches.

Some apps had it even worse, however.

Around 15 percent of all applications lost more than 50% of their downloads because of the App Store glitch, Tune reports.

2 Comments

I did a short analysis of a couple of apps that showed up in searches I did during the outage, by looking at their rankings during that period. Apps that never saw rankings (and possibly sales/downloads) that were returned in the 1st page of results suddenly ranked nicely. It was quite interesting because it also highlighted that a lot of people didn't notice that search was broken, and just bought the first app on the search results.

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