This post was originally published on VentureBeat. When Apple first released iOS 8 in September, the mobile world quickly embraced its new features. One of the most exciting changes for app marketers is the ability to demonstrate their apps via video preview. For many app marketers, especially in the games industry, presenting potential users with a video demonstrating their product seems great. Not only that, but the first brave marketers to use this new feature often appear on Apple’s new app leaderboard. However, fast forward to a few months later and the app previews are neither new nor exciting. It’s time to check out how effective this tool really is. The first thing to consider is cost. Creating a proper video preview is a serious task, and even if you opt for a fairly basic production, you still get an expensive product compared to the screenshot design. This price tag will limit your app page’s ability to perform ad A/B testing. Chances are you won’t generate many previews, while the easy-to-create screenshots will allow you to try out different styles and see which works best for your target audience. As if that wasn’t bad enough, in the ever-evolving world of apps, where new versions are the norm, even the most professional video can become obsolete in a split second. As a result, you are forced to come up with a more general and less creative concept for your ad, one that will stand the test of time (the mobile equivalent of a unicorn). and proof of investment. Not an easy task. The parameters for creativity are even more constrained when you consider Apple’s rules for videos and their transitions over the past few months. When Apple first introduced video previews to the App Store, we investigated the company’s guideline enforcement process. We learned that while the written rules may seem harsh as usual, Apple is actually quite flexible and has approved videos that take risks on creative freedom. Yes, that was then and this is now. Recent updates suggest the company is in a less open mood, and apps that don’t follow strict guidelines are often rejected from the App Store outright. And while there are also instructions for screenshots, they are less specific and limited, at least for the time being. Mobile marketers should also be aware that an Apple-approved video can only really serve that particular purpose, as there isn’t much logic to using it on other less restrictive platforms. Even those who choose to preview the video can’t escape the need for quality screenshots. That’s because video previews are only visible to iOS 8 users, which currently account for 78% of iPhone users (according to iphoneinformer). This means that by creating promotional videos for your app, you focus on creating marketing materials that skip 22% of the 700 million devices sold by Apple worldwide. Not good. But the biggest problem with mobile videos has to do with their effect on users visiting the app page. After examining dozens of App Store Optimization (ASO) projects, we’ve found that videos sometimes have a negative impact on app conversion rates. When perfecting the experience on your app page, your goal should always be to create an engaging experience for potential users. The longer it takes them to decide whether or not to download your app, the longer it will take you. For that reason alone, screenshots provide a better marketing tool, as they discourage users from delving deeply into the app, but instead show them specific and compelling highlights. get them to press “install”. Video, on the other hand, motivates potential users to ponder and consider installing an app, which isn’t always great. While some apps may notice an increase in conversion rates after submitting a video demo, others may notice a drastic drop. A great preview is needed to ensure significantly higher conversion rates, and according to Apple’s rules and regulations, how great can a preview be? App marketers should allocate their resources wisely. It’s best to invest in marketing tools that allow as much flexibility as possible and deliver consistent results, as the newest option isn’t necessarily the best.