Google Play sudden drop in Installs - 80% reduction since 6/21
I thought I would create a thread to ease some of the minds of indie developers since it was brought up in another thread in this forum about the partial wake lock issues.
Google play has made some drastic changes to their algorithm on 6/21. This caused a massive reduction in installs as far as 80-90%. There's a unity thread that was started on the topic, and there is also a discord thread where over 1,000 Indies are chatting about what changes google has made, and if this is a bug or an intentional change.
In a nutshell, the issue is related to the Similar apps and Recommended for you sections. Google play has seemingly reset or changed those sections to favor large developers. We have also inadvertently learned that these categories drive thousands of installs, and keywords are only a small portion of user acquisition.
It's too soon to tell, but it could be just a new algorithm in progress, and not the final result. I've seen some recovery on some apps today, so it could be that this new algorithm is just propagating, and working. I wouldn't panic over it just yet, but it was a very scary update to see many developers suffering 80% drops in installs as a result of this change.