pulled Stories June 17, 2014

Apple removes iAd Gallery from the App Store

After almost 2 years without any updates, Apple’s iAd Gallery app has been pulled from the App Store. Originally introduced in April of 2011, the app was meant to showcase the best ads on the iAd Platform, Apple’s then relatively new mobile advertising push.

pulled Stories May 9, 2014

Facebook Poke and Camera pulled from the App Store

Even though Facebook seemingly wants to break as many of its functions out into separate apps as possible—see Messenger and Pages Manager, for example—it appears that not every function is worthy its own App Store listing. Earlier today the social network pulled two of its iOS apps from sale: Poke (a Snapchat-like photo messenger) and Camera (which is exactly what it sounds like).

Both apps launched in 2012 and didn’t see many big improvements after that. Camera got a few small updates, though they didn’t seem to be much of a priority for the company. At one point a bug left the app’s internal employee settings exposed to all users for several months before being fixed.

Poke, on the other hand, was virtually ignored by Facebook from the day it went live until it was removed from the store. Most of the Camera app’s features were eventually rolled back into the main Facebook app, but Poke was not so fortunate.

Facebook hasn’t provided any reason for pulling either app, but it’s safe to assume that neither was being used that much anymore. The company now seems more focused on its messaging platform, with the recent acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion and the announcement that soon messaging would be removed from the main Facebook client in favor of the free Messenger app.

pulled 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.

pulled 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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