Apple alters App Store rules, starts denying apps for incentivized ads & sharing

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2014
Apple appears to have changed the App Store's approval criteria on the heels of its annual developer conference, beginning to issue rejections to apps that reward users for watching video advertisements or sharing information about the app on social media.




"Specifically, we found your app incentivizes users to watch a video that promotes another app in the App Store," one developer's rejection notice reads. "This excessively influences the App Store and it's [sic] listing order or ranking." The rejections were first spotted by TechCrunch.

Common to the rejections that have surfaced thus far are 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.

Section 2.25 was added earlier this year and has already been involved in one high-profile incident. Search and discovery app AppGratis was pulled from the App Store in April for violating the section, drawing angry reactions from a number of individuals including France's digital industry minister.

As noted by TechCrunch, both methods of promotion are widely used throughout the store and often play a critical role in the success of apps from both independent developers and large corporations like Electronic Arts. It is not yet known what Apple intends to do with existing apps that violate these provisions, but the company may be planning a more wide-reaching purge.

"On occasion, there may be apps on the App Store that don't appear to be in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines," one developer was told. "We work hard to ensure that the apps on the App Store are in compliance and we try to identify any apps currently on the App Store that may not be. It takes time to identify these occurrences but another app being out of compliance is not a reason for your app to be."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) Good, but I'd still like to see a lot better curation all around.

    2) I can't believe they misspelled[I] its[/I]. This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were alive¡
  • Reply 2 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,185member

    Interesting. There are a LOT of games that rely on this cross-advertising for revenue to support a freemium app model.

  • Reply 3 of 14

    I hope they kick out Number Guru, which slyly introduced an update that makes the app completely useless by requiring the user to watch ads before each number lookup.

  • Reply 4 of 14
    Frankly, I'm tired of apps and sites on safari that automatically switch over to the App Store to display an app ad. That ability seems, to me, be a potential source for mischief. I want control over where my phone navigates. I don't want a third party site switching me anywhere without my prior agreement. I will applaud when Apple fixes this.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    themacmanthemacman Posts: 151member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    1) Good, but I'd still like to see a lot better curation all around.

    2) I can't believe the misspelled its. This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were alive¡

    2) I can't believe the [sic] misspelled it's. This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were [sic] alive.

    Anyone can make mistakes.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    themacman wrote: »
    2) I can't believe the [sic] misspelled it's. This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were [sic] alive.

    Anyone can make mistakes.

    1) Only one of those has an issue and it's a typo.

    2) If I had posted the instead of they on an official tech news site I could see your point but this is a forum that is comprised of comments that one typically composes quickly whilst doing other tasks, not part of an official mailer being sent to innumerable clients from a major corporation so, no, the mistakes are not in the same league.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    themacmanthemacman Posts: 151member
    Sure.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,758member
    There are apps that soley use this, guess there dead.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    There are apps that soley use this, guess there dead.

    Now they'll just have to come up with a real strategy.

    Good luck getting this kind of attention on Android.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,186member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheMacMan View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    1) Good, but I'd still like to see a lot better curation all around.



    2) I can't believe the misspelled its. This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were alive¡




    2) I can't believe the [sic] misspelled it's. This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were [sic] alive.



    Anyone can make mistakes.

     

    I for one have made a mistake -- I thought I had made a mistake but actually hadn't¡

  • Reply 11 of 14
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    I hope they kick out Number Guru, which slyly introduced an update that makes the app completely useless by requiring the user to watch ads before each number lookup.

    Frankly, I'm tired of apps and sites on safari that automatically switch over to the App Store to display an app ad. That ability seems, to me, be a potential source for mischief. I want control over where my phone navigates. I don't want a third party site switching me anywhere without my prior agreement. I will applaud when Apple fixes this.

    You guys realise they are not getting rid of ads, right? This is to crack down on recommendation systems within apps, presumably because Apple want all of that pie.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    I do find this annoying, even though I'll "watch" a video to gain additional power-ups for a game. Glad to see Apple take some control over this, especially when it causes my phone to jump into the App Store when I don't have the option to stop that from happening.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    asdasd wrote: »

    You guys realise they are not getting rid of ads, right? This is to crack down on recommendation systems within apps, presumably because Apple want all of that pie.

    It isn't the ads. It's the fact that I can navigate to a page in Safari or another app, start reading the content, only to be magically transported to the App Store and a particular app's page. It's particularly disconcerting if the App Store asks for my password for some reason.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post







    You guys realise they are not getting rid of ads, right? This is to crack down on recommendation systems within apps, presumably because Apple want all of that pie.

    Or it could simply be exactly what Apple states in the rejection notice, that it artificially affects App Store rankings.

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