Apple Says No to Incentivized Apps in App Store

What do you do when you’re competing with over 200,000 other applications, fighting for the attention of the even shorter attention span-wielding smartphone user? You give them a reason to pay attention to you… until Apple says that you can’t do that.

Up until now, a number of app developers for iOS have made use of incentivization, a common strategy employed in marketing both online and offline. These developers, including Flurry and TapJoy, offer some kind of bonus in exchange for downloading a promoted application. For example, you might get some extra virtual coins for “buying” more songs in Tap Tap Revenge if you also get application XYZ.

Apple has now put a stop to this practice in the App Store. These apps are now being rejected by the Cupertino Crew since they are in violation of section 3.10 of the developer guidelines. I personally don’t think that there is anything wrong with incentives, so long as all the parties involved (promoted app, app providing the incentive, end user) are happy, but I guess Apple isn’t happy that they’re not getting in on the action.

Not that this is going to stop the popularity of iOS apps as a whole, of course.

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