Google Play Store

Back in 2017, Google introduced the Editors’ Choice section of the Play Store as part of an editorial push to help with curation and discovery. In addition to quarterly Android Excellence lists, Google Play added stories and collections about apps. Google is now promoting this editorial content with notifications from the Play Store.

Earlier today, some users received a notification from the Google Play Store advertising the “top 5 photo editing apps,” with an accompanying description — “Snap picture-perfect photos every time” — and “Learn more” button.

Tapping the alert directly opens the Google Play story about photo editing apps. It is oddly from March 2018, with the Editors’ Choice section featuring several newer stories published in December. However, the selection is still mostly relevant.

The basic format of Play stories includes a cover graphic and description followed by the list of apps. Each card includes basic app details like rating, review and download count, as well as inline screenshots or video when available. A “Why we love this” list is at the top for fast skimming, with a longer paragraph available above the “More info” and “Install” button. The bottom of this page also has a “Your might also this” carousel of more apps.

For Google, the goal is to get users to download more apps and thus benefit developers on the platform, as well as revenue. Besides the system alert, this story also appears in the Play Store’s Notifications screen.

Here users can clear our the story, and also return to past messages. This appears to be a recent addition to Google Play, and comes as the app store last week asked if users “Want to stay in the loop?” with “new deals and updates.”

Update 3/23: The first Google Play story about photo editing apps was sent on February 6th. A new notification this morning promotes “5 offline games you can play anytime.” This particular list is originally from August 15, 2018 and comprised of four free-to-play and one paid game. Content will remain in the Play Store’s notification page until manually dismissed.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: