SongPop Success Story: Shorter Captions, Bolder Graphics, 10% Better CVR


SongPop2 – Music Quiz is a trivia game app from FreshPlanet that challenges players to guess songs in multiple-choice quizzes. Teamed up with SplitMetrics, FreshPlanet gave users a different kind of quiz – to identify the best creatives for their app page. They tested two app store page versions over 30 days to see which one performed better. After a simple experiment, the mobile game developer identified a screenshot variation that converted 10% better than the original set.

We were able to see real, statistically significant data with SplitMetrics. Before, screenshots were decided by whether our team likes it or not. This time, real users were deciding. Specifically, we found out that fewer users scrolled through the second and the rest of the screenshots, so we put more efforts into the first 2 screens

Elise Wang, User Acquisition Manager at FreshPlanet

App’s Story

SongPop2 – Music Quiz is a music trivia game from FreshPlanet with more than 100 million users worldwide. Players listen to music clips to identify artists and titles in short quizzes. Designed as a social experience, the app lets players challenge their Facebook friends or random opponents.

Experiment Goals

FreshPlanet team created the first set of screenshots guided by the common app developer guidelines. Simple screenshots from the game and descriptive captions on top, the original creatives were pretty straightforward. The marketing team at FreshPlanet noticed that their competitors went for brighter, bolder, and “fancier” app page creatives to stand out in app store search. They decided to try this approach but test the concept first.

A/B Test Alternatives

songpop2 music quiz screenshots app a/b testing Original screenshots

The first and the original set of screenshots featured photos of real people competing against each other in a song quiz. The long descriptive captions on top lured gamers with “addictive trivia”, “all new party mode”, “cool rewards” and thousands of songs in free playlists.

SongPop 2 Music Quiz Screenshots app a/b testing for iOS Winning variation

The second set was inspired by Angry Birds bold app page design with gigantic short captions and oversized graphics featuring characters and gameplay. Instead of real people’s avatars, cartoon characters took up the first screenshot, and the caption was reduced to the succinct “LISTEN, GUESS, & COMPETE” in all caps. Popular female pop stars Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga ousted Maroon 5, Queen, Elton John, and Billy Joel. The second screen was completely revamped to make space for a huge podium with a crowned winner. All the five screenshots had a three-word caption limit and zoomed in on simple gameplay graphics.

Broken down into separate elements, the changes in the updated screens are as follows:

  • Characters

The updated version of screenshots swapped the first image with real people players for fun cartoon characters. Hypothesis: people like to throw on imaginary masks when they play games on their mobile devices. Is it possible that adults (a larger percent of those who play SongPop2) identify themselves  with funny and playful cartoon characters more than with the real people’s avatars in the original screenshot set? I believe that many grown-ups can be as imaginative as kids. And the experiment results proved just that – with higher scroll rate and improved conversion.

  • Captions

Descriptive and convincing captions, detailing app’s key features, may be a go-to solution for utility apps, but with the games, it seems like shorter, action-packed copy takes the prize. “LISTEN, GUESS, AND COMPETE” in all caps worked better than “The addictive trivia game featuring real music”, however good and straight to the point the original copy was. Bigger fonts, action verbs, and a how-few-words-can-you-get-away-with approach could be a recipe for a game app page success.

  • Colors

The updated set of screenshots engaged a deeper blue shade and a cheeky combination of vivid green and yellow; all screenshot captions burst into distinctive vivid colors. With the change in color on the page, people interacted more with the app page and ultimately were more likely to hit the “Get” button. Color is a game-changing tool in a marketing designer’s toolbox. The right color choice that reinforces the message and adds to the “fun” factor of the game could be the single most important change you can make to increase conversion on your app page.


An updated version of app page design with bolder graphics and shorter captions performed 10% better than the original version, ultimately decreasing the ad campaign CPI. The test also showed that most users of SongPop2 – Music Quiz installed the app after viewing the first two screenshots, so the design team put in more effort and time in making sure those two key images are polished to perfection.

With SplitMetrics, FreshPlanet left the guesswork out of their app store optimization decision. By studying and analyzing their competitors’ store creatives, their team came up with an updated design that could help them stand out. To prove the new concept, they tested the alternatives and got the data they needed to make a change. With a simple A/B test, FreshPlanet marketing team kept ahead of the game, winning with a higher conversion and a lower cost per install.