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Apple is banning apps that reward users for sharing on Facebook or downloading other apps


News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday June 10, 2014.

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App developers commonly entice users to tap a button within their app or game that will post on Facebook and reward the user with in-game perks. Apple has instituted new rules that will effectively put an end to the practice. In the guidelines for the iOS developer program, Apple has made clear that it will no longer tolerate apps featuring incentivized sharing on social networks, video viewing, and downloads of other apps not owned by the app publisher.

One developer who has successfully submitted updates to his apps four times was surprised to see his most recent update rejected by Apple, despite the app remaining the same except for a new set of graphics. The rejection letter cited the following violations explaining why the app would not be accepted:

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, unless designed for a specific approved need (e.g. health management, aviation, accessibility, etc.) or to provide significant added value for a targeted group of customers.

Inserting ads for other apps has become a standard practice not just in iOS but Android as well. There are companies that exist solely for the purpose of facilitating deals that encourage users to download other apps or watch a sponsored video in order to earn more points or coins in a game. Removing that as an option will remove a major revenue source for developers.

The policy change will also raise questions about what happens going forward. There are few games that don't encourage users to connect to Facebook and post on the site. While this may mean fewer annoying Candy Crush invites, it will also mean tougher times for developers and a very different App Store. It's unlikely Apple would remove Candy Crush, one of the biggest games around, but the rules are the rules. When it comes time for apps to update, they'll have to change in order to not run afoul of new guidelines.

source: Techcrunch

 
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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.

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