New App Store algorithm favours specific categories, not app usage claims Fiksu
The latest stems from user acquisition specalists Fiksu, which claims the refreshed set up isn't biased towards app usage, as has been claimed.
Instead, the firm's stats suggest downloads of apps listed in certain categories are now automatically given a greater weighting by Apple when the charts are compiled.
"Downloads in certain categories are now weighted more heavily than others with respect to determining overall rank," the company told CNET.
"For example, apps in social networking were big movers in the overall rank charts, while apps in the games category did not appear to show the same gains."
If true, such a move threatens to lead to less games making it into the upper echelons of the App Store rankings. This could lead to visibility issues for future releases, given the current reliance on prominent positions at the top of the charts leading to a succession of steady downloads.
Fiksu isn't convinced the changes is quite the revolution some are billing it as though.
Fuss and nonsense
"This change should not affect intra category rankings and should have very limited impact on the overall rank," the company added.
"However, apps in certain categories may experience a somewhat easier climb to the top of the overall rank."
It was the surprise reappearance of the Facebook app at the top of the rankings that initially suggested Apple had restructured its ranking algorithm - which, itself, points towards a prevalance towards social networking in the new set up.
However, as CNET notes, Facebook has since begun to drop back down the order, currently sitting at number 8 in the free chart in the US.
In the UK, games currently make up half of the free rundown and nine of the top 10 paid releases.