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Apple relaxes, clarifies new incentivized sharing rules for the App Store

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Two weeks after altering the App Store's rules and issuing rejections to apps that reward users for watching videos or sharing app updates on social media, Apple has reportedly relaxed the new restrictions and begun to give app developers more clear guidelines.




Rather than banning any app that incentivizes users to watch videos or connect the app to their social media accounts, Apple is said to have told developers that they must simply stay clear of such promotions that are designed to manipulate the App Store's ranking system, according to TechCrunch. The iPhone maker has also begun reversing bans made under the previous, more strict rules.

Specifically, Apple does not want developers to reward users for reviewing, rating, or downloading apps, either from the same developer or others. Developers can reward the watching of advertisements or sharing app progress on social media, however -- including those for other apps -- as long as the users are not instructed to take any of the forbidden actions in the process.

Apple first changed the rules earlier this month, rejecting apps that included incentivized content for violating sections 2.25 and 3.10 of the App Store's review guidelines. Those sections prohibit promoting apps other than those from the same developer and doing anything to manipulate the App Store rankings, respectively.

Tuesday's clarifications are likely a result of Apple attempting to strike a middle ground between allowing developers to take advantage of these widely-used methods to make money and increase organic awareness of their apps and protecting the App Store's ranking system from abuse. High rankings in the App Store's top charts can mean millions of dollars in revenue for developers, a huge incentive to cheat.
post #2 of 9
The definition of a garbage app. Apple had it right to begin with.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

The definition of a garbage app. Apple had it right to begin with.

 

So true, if we lose a few "connect with Facebook and let us datamine you" apps -- so much the better.

 

Apple has done so much to put Facebook into the OS and allow advertisers access -- I think their best new upgrade will be to allow users to kick them all back out.

post #4 of 9

Sounds like Apple is walking a fine line here, and is trying to please app developers caught in the middle of the policy.

post #5 of 9

As it should.

 

The app store environment isn't going to be black-and-white. Plus, these are human beings making the rules and judging individual apps.

 

Walking a fine line isn't easy, it's for thinking, feeling human beings. Mistakes will be made, but mistakes can often be corrected. Apple has its own well-being to think about, yet their partnerships with developers also deserves careful consideration. It is promising that Apple can make a policy correction fairly rapidly.

post #6 of 9
The 5 star app rating bribery had pissed me the **** off since I started browsing the app store.

I've downloaded so many crap "5 star" apps and wondered why all the hype until I run into the "leave a 5 star review for 100 coins" notification.
post #7 of 9
Yea
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali View Post

The 5 star app rating bribery had pissed me the **** off since I started browsing the app store.

I've downloaded so many crap "5 star" apps and wondered why all the hype until I run into the "leave a 5 star review for 100 coins" notification.
Yeah, couldn't agree more, Apple should of kept to the rules as is pertaining to this matter.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali View Post

The 5 star app rating bribery had pissed me the **** off since I started browsing the app store.

I've downloaded so many crap "5 star" apps and wondered why all the hype until I run into the "leave a 5 star review for 100 coins" notification.

 

The sneakiest part is that the developer has no way of programmatically finding out what score the user has left.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Yea
Yeah, couldn't agree more, Apple should of kept to the rules as is pertaining to this matter.

Why? You are only asked by the developer to rate the app with 5 stars.

You have any of the options:

- not to rate it (might not get an incentive payment, if the app offers some reward in the app for it)

- rate it with 5 stars

- rate it with any other number of stars from 1 to 4 (and still those 100 coins, because the developer can't check how many stars you have left for the app)

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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple relaxes, clarifies new incentivized sharing rules for the App Store