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.