Ever since Apple instituted clause 2.25 in October 2012 to its App Review Guidelines, the Cupertino, Calif.-based corporation has been cracking down on app discovery services violating the clause like AppGratis, which was removed from the Apple App Store in an effort to stop third-party tools that directly compete with the store. Clause 2.25 states that “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.” Another relevant clause is 5.6, which states that “Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.”
Inside Mobile Apps first heard of AppGratis when we spoke with CEO Simon Dawlat back in January about the company’s raising of $13.5 million in Series A funding and that its service was delivering up to 700,000 installs for app developers. Essentially, AppGratis offered developers burst campaigns by getting their app featured by AppGratis for a certain amount of money. Now that the app is removed from the Apple App Store, for those who still have the app installed on their devices, the app just prompts users that daily deals will be delivered to their email instead of through the app via push notifications. App discovery remains one of the largest hurdles for app developers, so when engines like AppGratis get taken down, developers need to start looking at other avenues for discovery. In a guest post from Side-Kick Games marketing director Noya Polliack, she adds that it’s clear Apple wants to remain “hands on” with picking the “right” apps for its users.
This wasn’t the first time Apple cracked down on limiting outside influencers from its app ecosystem. Apple shook down incentivized install practices back in April 2011, where developers offer their apps in other games and pay for downloads when users install their titles for virtual current.
PocketGamer.biz reported earlier this month that Apple apparently expanded the language in clause 2.25. PocketGamer.biz was sent an email conversation between Apple and an anonymous developer who’s developing an app “primarily focused on sharing recommendations to your friends.” In the email from Apple to the developer, Apple pointed to apps that “include filtering, bookmarking, searching, or sharing recommendations are not considered as significantly different from the App Store.” The additional language to clause 2.25 is not present in Apple’s guidelines. This expansion to the regulation 2.25 has left iOS developers confused about what is and what isn’t acceptable in terms of app promotion. (more…)