appgratis Stories April 16, 2013

Leaked document apparently shows AppGratis enticed developers with potential high App Store rankings

Business Insider has obtained a leaked document that seems to show that AppGratis enticed developers with potential high iTunes App Store rankings. According to the document, AppGratis said that if a developer invests $100,000 with them, an app will likely reach the top 5 spots on the App Store top charts.

Of course, reaching the top of the App Store rankings is highly lucrative as hundreds of millions of iOS devices are given a prominent view to the top of the App Store charts.

AppGratis was reportedly originally pulled from the App Store for mimicking Apple’s App Store and for sending its users ad-like push notifications. Of course, the aforementioned apparent move by AppGratis to inflate rankings is a serious concern for Apple and it is something that Apple, of course, wants to keep out of its App Store. Interestingly, AppGratis, yesterday, seems to have denied participating in inflating App Store rankings.

Since the App Store algorithm has been based on download velocity only for so long, advertisers know exactly what they are doing.Reaching the the top of any App Store is a simple and logical equation. But we’re not in this business.

appgratis Stories April 11, 2013

AppGratis-645x250Following a controversy in which Apple removed app discovery service AppGratis from its App Store for breaking Apple’s guidelines, Reuters reports today that regulators in France are planning to ask the European Commission and EU member states for better regulation of technology companies. The statement was made by French junior minister for digital economy Fleur Pellerin on a recent trip to AppGratis publisher iMediapp. Fleur described Apple’s decision to pull AppGratis as “extremely brutal and unilateral”:

“This behaviour is not worthy of a company of this size,” Pellerin said. She added that certain Internet companies were guilty of “repeated abusive behaviour” and said she would ask the European Commission and EU member states to better regulate digital platforms, search engines and social media.

The decision comes as Apple is drawing some heat for its broad App Store guidelines that have allowed it to remove some apps that promote App Store content but not others. Apple originally said that AppGratis was removed for breaking a guideline that warns against “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store.” Apple also said AppGratis was in violation of guideline 5.6 that says “apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

AllThingsD reported that sources have indicated Apple’s removal of AppGratis is part of a broader crackdown on app discovery applications, but a grey area still remains regarding how Apple decides which apps are approved and which are removed.

Apple told Retuers today that it had discussions with AppGratis prior to the removal and that the developers had “disregarded its technical specifications.” expand full story

appgratis Stories April 9, 2013

After receiving some clarification from Apple last night over the removal of discovery app AppGratis, CEO Simon Dawalt is weighing in today with a statement posted on the AppGratis website explaining that the situation has been “absolutely crazy” to deal with:

And that is pretty much where we stand, still stunned that Apple took the decision to destroy so much value within their own ecosystem, but more than ever convinced that what we’re doing is good, and accomplishing a much needed mission in a broken App Discovery world.

While explaining that App Gratis has gone through a number of rejections for breaking App Store guidelines in situations that were later resolved with Apple, Dawalt shed some light on what happened on Apple’s side: expand full story

appgratis Stories April 8, 2013

Notification abuse, too, led to AppGratis’s push out of the App Store

This past weekend, popular application discover app AppGratis was removed from Apple’s App Store. Many had correctly assumed that the application was pulled from the store because of Apple’s Developer Guidelines 2.25 clause:

2.25 Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.

Any app that functions too similar to Apple’s own App Store, even if it routes users to complete the download via the App Store, will be rejected. If they already exist on the store, they will be removed. This Apple policy became stringent following the release of iOS 6 last fall.

While the app was removed for breaking this policy, AllThingsD reports that Apple has confirmed that the app was also removed for abusing Apple’s push notification system.

5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

Discovery apps that utilize a different, non-promotional business model seem to be safe.

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