Globally, it is anticipated that mobile ad expenditure will reach US $247.4 billion by the end of 2020. In the U.S. alone, it is forecasted to peak at $131.41 billion. Mobile conversion rates are still less than desktop but are increasing. Thus, whilst mobile is the fastest-growing channel in digital, it is key to understand the working mechanisms behind mobile, to increase this channel’s effectiveness. Especially if you are a UA or user acquisition manager. We’ll take a look at some updates that will affect your user acquisition campaigns in 2020 in order to turn the dial on your UA campaigns, just a bit! Implementing these might be that one degree extra required, to reach your growth targets and KPIs for 2020. Let’s free sign up and talk about your app marketing strategy to boost your app to the next level.

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Google Changes that Will Effect UA in 2020

According to the most recent update from Google Play, these are the changes that one can expect to affect their user acquisition campaigns in 2020. 

Source: Google. These are the official updates released from Google and which will affect UA in 2020, and should be considered for Android and Google Play UA campaigns.

It is important to go through each one of these and identify which of these metrics will more closely be correlated to your user acquisition campaigns’ performance. For example, Google has informed us that ad managers might expect to see an increase in metrics such as uninstall events or uninstalls according to devices. Why? Because they are fine-tuning the way in which these metrics are measured and tracked. It is important to keep this in mind when strategizing for 2020 and measuring campaign performance. 

Side note: it is important to always keep an eye out for such updates to Google Play Store metrics. Additionally, as we go into 2020, many mangers will be using historical 2019 data as a benchmark to measure performance in 2020. Thus, it is important to note that some data from 2019 might need to be altered or viewed differently, with the above changes in mind. 

Click here to get more information about the fundamental metrics to measure your mobile app performance!

iOS Changes that will Affect UA in 2020

The latest update that Apple published was the anticipated iOS 13 update. The biggest innovation was dark mode. Let’s take a look at how this will affect your UA strategies in 2020. 

iOS 13 and Dark Mode 

Source: Apple. This is one of the latest adverts, released by Apple to promote the new iOS feature: dark mode.

Users called for it, and Apple finally answered! With the iOS 13 update comes the long-awaited dark-mode. What exactly is dark-mode and how will this affect user acquisition campaigns? Dark mode is quite simply, a mode that allows Apple OS users to use their Apple devices using a darker palette called ‘dark mode’. This will be aesthetically different and will also help lengthen device battery power. 

Even minor tweaks, that might be only aesthetic, can always have a ripple effect, and this is especially true of wide-reaching changes, such as any change implemented across one of the most popular devices globally – the iPhone. So, how will dark mode affect your user acquisition campaigns? Dark mode can affect metrics such as downloads, session times, in-app engagement and so forth. Basically, any metric can be affected depending on how well your app is aligned with the new dark mode. For example, your app might now not be so visible on the new dark-mode App Store and this might hurt download rates. Perhaps your app will now not stand-out on your user’s home screen and your in-app engagement might take a nose-dive. Here are some things to consider:

  • Will your app stand out on the dark mode App Store?
  • Is your app easily visible on a dark-mode home screen?
  • Do you want to have a dark mode version of your app? You might want to consider if dark-mode is something that your community or users really value, and whether it is worth investing in. 
  • Is your app’s experience still compatible with dark-mode? Give it a test-drive. 

OTT Development

Source: Simpli.fi shows the forecasted spend and use of OTT and OTT advertising.

Over the top (OTT) was originally referring to video-on-demand platforms such as Netflix or Hulu. However, OTT now covers a wide variety of multimedia offerings.  So what exactly is OTT? OTT refers to content providers that distribute streamed media as an independent product. This media is streamed directly to the audience via the Internet, bypassing multichannel television, telecommunications, and broadcast television platforms that traditionally acted as a distributor or controller of that kind of content. 

By 2021, OTT revenue is expected to reach $25.71 billion. This forecast shows that not only is OTT influencing consumer behavior, but also advertisers. Currently, a large portion of all video ads watched by OTT viewers. Thus, it is important to understand how your consumer behavior is switching and where your competitors will be advertising in the future. 

Some trends to consider when strategizing for user acquisition in 2020 are:

Source: eMarketer. This shows the different views and attitudes towards wearables throughout advertisers and the market.


Smart wearable tech isn’t a fresh innovation, however, its acceptance has certainly received a lot of momentum in the past few years. Spending on wearables is expected to hit $52 billion this year. It is also probable that new formats will improve user experience and give rise to new and unique advertising techniques. In exploring client perspectives and behaviors, advertisers must investigate the cross-device opportunities that wearables can present.

Thus, when preparing to acquire, engage and retain your users of the future, it is important to consider their thoughts and behaviors towards wearables.  Think about what sort of customer experience your app delivers on a smartwatch or another type of wearable device? Perhaps you might want to compare session times across wearable and non-wearable devices. 

As this is just the beginning of a new era of device use and consumption, there will be a plethora of changes that will affect not only society but advertising as a result. 

On a lighter note, the following meme distills the clashing reality between the emerging technology and those who have not adapted or accepted them. 

Final Thoughts on UA in 2020

Whilst there are numerous societal and advertising changes, that can and most likely will affect your strategy for user acquisition in 2020, the above ones will be most influential. It is important to always keep abreast of Google and Apple changes, especially to their application stores and operating systems, as this almost always impacts user acquisition. Other important updates and changes to monitor are device changes that will penetrate the market and advertising updates. 

Already ready for user acquisition in 2020, and want to ramp up your performance? Then you can read our eBook about UA: [eBook] How to Build a Successful App User Acquisition Strategy.

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