Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[APPS] Why I wish the “general bugs” app updates would just stop

Disclaimer:” I currently have no business relationship with any of the apps listed here – other than me using them. I’m not on their payroll or receive any compensation from them. (April 19, 2017)

You might be interested in this article if:

  • You develop apps.
  • Your company has an app.
  • You run digital marketing at your company.

My iPhone 📱 apps had some updates waiting for me. Eleven apps had updates waiting. Since I’m nosy (aka Once a journalist, always a journalist) I checked the update documentation for each. They all had the same update basically:

General bug fixes 


Trust us. We always update the app to improve YOUR experience.

The wording differed but often had the same meaning and what was being said was certainly not much. 

Are the people who used to write lengthy news releases that don’t say anything now in charge of writing app update notes? 😩☺️

Now, I don’t need to know all the specific tech gobbledygook wording in my app updates. But it would be nice to have some details on what was updated and how it will make true customer experience better.

We fixed the issues that caused your app to crash when pushing this one button while on 3G.

Or whatever. Just a little bit of meat, please.

After all, many companies send us pages upon pages of pages of Terms of Service that cover any realistic and unrealistic situation we may or may not experience in our lifetime while using the app.

Here’s what I think should be included in plain language (aka not tech or marketing jargon):

  • What was changed or updated
  • Why?
  • How will it improve the app

That still doesn’t need to be a 15,000-word documentation document. Just a tiny bit more detail would be nice.

Here are some good examples of fantastic update documentations.

Zoom – the meeting app:

Zoom breaks updates down to new and existing features even. They still list “minor bug fixes.” Given that there’s a long list of other things, it’s easy to be happy with that list.

StubHub – the ticket app;

StubHub even lists the previous update’s notes. “In case you missed it.” Since I did miss it, I appreciate being caught up.

Those are great and I use those apps.

The Slack app, the messaging service, took it to another level of customer service. See below:

Not only do they list bugs and explain what was done, but they also invite users to email the bugs they run into while using the app.

“We’ll see what we can do.” Cool. Thanks.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for being customer-centric and being available to listen to feedback.

Update: Slack responded to my emailed suggestions within 3 hours. How awesome is that! Super awesome! 

So there are app update notes out there:

  1. that don’t say much
  2. that are highly transparent
  3. that additionally invite further bug discovery

I would encourage the last option. It’s a public relations tools, shows openness and that you care for customers. When I emailed Slack with an idea I literally felt listened to. I also appreciated the transparency displayed by Zoom and StubHub.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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