How 7 mobile categories optimize their images on the App Store

How 7 mobile categories optimize their images on the App Store

When you think of traditional App Store Optimization (ASO) tactics, the most common areas of interest are keywords and text. However, the graphics that accompany an App Store listing offer a significant opportunity for optimization. From colors to text and even the particular placement of the screenshot, images can make a significant difference in whether a potential user is downloading an app.

However, not all images are created the same and what works well in one category may not work well in another. Leverage the sensor tower Application intelligence data, we have gathered the current trends of images from the App Store in a variety of popular categories. Let’s take a look at how these images are optimized for their respective categories and how their unique adaptations speak directly to what those categories offer to potential users.


FinTech applications like Robin Hood, Tassels, Cash application, and more are focused on quickly establishing professionalism and user confidence in order to gain facilities. These apps most often use large fonts or bold words to highlight messages that talk about accessibility and convenience for users, including words like “advance” to emphasize the ability to make cash advances. .

Analysis of screenshots of the FinTech category

In line with building trust, social proof is also a common lever. The apps will show their user count and industry awards to convince potential users of their reliability and security. This trust is also extended with free offers, such as free stock or a quantity of cryptocurrency, to sweeten potential users looking to engage in retail investments or other financial transactions.


With the main aim of selling users the immediacy and the latest news before everyone else, applications like CBS News and News Break Take advantage of the bold text in their images to focus on keywords like “live”, “24/7” and “breaking.” This strategy is very similar to what is found in FinTech – clear and bold language designed to promote confidence and efficiency – but the focus is slightly more suited to focus on the category objective. .

A unique element of the screenshots in the News category is the consistent updating of images of recent news articles to appear as up-to-date as possible. Intuitively, it makes sense for apps in the News category to promote their live and breaking news alerts alongside recent news articles, as it might be disheartening for potential users to see this statement alongside. of a story that is several months old. In order to take advantage of this technique even more, some apps use temporary screenshots to highlight major news cycles, such as the results of the 2020 US election.


In the fiercely competitive video streaming space, apps have prioritized screenshots of original content to feature exclusive events. Some prominent applications like Disney +, Netflix, and HBO Max have also added a color gradient, effectively connecting their backgrounds across multiple screenshots. Many apps have also ditched the physical mobile device in screenshot capture and instead use the entire screenshot space with content.

Analyzing screenshots of streaming categories

Others, like Show time, take advantage of the first screenshot to release new, high-value content available on the platform, such as a blockbuster series or a new movie. Exclusive content has become one of the most important levers for streaming apps to gain a install in a competitive market, so favorite franchises and trending new shows are more likely to grab the attention of a potential informed user.


Significantly impacted by COVID-19, the Travel category had to pivot significantly to focus on different values. With lavish, expensive, or wishlist destinations right now, apps like and Hopper focused on exclusive offers and the ease of booking an entire trip to appear more appealing to potential travelers. The excitement has now turned into efficiency, showing how users can book local trips with little effort.

Of course, the category is also particularly geared towards messaging to adapt to COVID-19. Applications like Airbnb use their images to highlight living / working spaces, flexible booking dates, and home experiences for those not ready to travel. As vaccinations increase, it will be interesting to see how cleanliness and flexibility remain the main selling points of the apps.

Photo and video

Unlike other entertainment apps, which often use a phone frame to show what the user interface looks like in action, apps in the Photo & Video category have ditched the use of devices to show off their apps. Instead, the graphics become full screenshots of the app’s UI, often highlighting the ease of the camera or editing tools and showcasing unique features found in the application.

Analysis of screenshots of photo and video categories

Unique editing techniques and special filters have become popular elements of applications such as Prequel, which regularly promotes seasonal filters, such as New Years or Spring, in the main area of ​​the image to give potential users a chance to see what’s new. Similar to how news apps temporarily highlight events, these little promotions aim to highlight how timely and fashionable editing apps are so that potential users can leverage them for their own media.


Over the past year, the Education category has become a competitive battleground for mobile users, as consumers facing the limitations of COVID-19 have tried to resume or continue to learn habits when they are in a situation. refuge on site. As a result, this category has been optimized to highlight a call to action for attention, with apps like Brainly announcing the strong intention to ‘solve schoolwork’ behind its tutoring app in bold text and bright colors.

These goal-oriented calls to action are often presented around trust facts that focus on courses offered, topics covered, or user reviews. Like fintech and news, educational apps are primarily aimed at proving their credibility with potential users as soon as possible, so highlighting variety and accolades remains a major strategy.

As one of the categories behind the technique, it’s no surprise that shopping apps rely on the ‘connected screenshot’ style to entice potential users to browse through all of them. images available. This style allows applications like Etsy and Poshmark to advertise a wide range of products available on the app, while mimicking the seamless flow and user experience that users expect from the category. Unsurprisingly, the products on offer still take up the majority of the space on any given image, which is again in line with the category’s goals.

Shopping category screenshot analysis

However, a major recent change for the Shopping category is the move to shorter, bolder, and taller text in all images. This technique, besides being concise and keeping the product in the foreground, also has the added benefit of the readability of the application search results page. With larger fonts, shopping apps can advertise variety of items, sales, and other benefits with the goal of attracting potential users and gaining installs.

Optimize images for the App Store

The diversity of images in just a handful of categories shows just how unique optimization for ASO really is for a given app’s content and target audience. While some techniques, such as the exploitation of temporary images, may be common to a number of categories, the individual approach is subtle and caters to different purposes. As your team continues to explore authentic and category-relevant trends to stand out in ASO, identifying and implementing category-level trends on images and text is the best setup for success.

Want to learn more about ASO and how Sensor Tower could help you on your trip? Contact our sales team at here.

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