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Cupertino may have put smiles on the faces of iOS developers at last week's WWDC, but some of those with less scruples may soon find their apps rejected from the App Store.
TechCrunch reported Monday that Apple appears to be taking a stand against developers attempting to monetize their apps through "incentivized video viewing" and rewards for social sharing.
According to an unnamed developer who posted to StackOverflow, such apps run afoul of two sections in Apple's Developer Guidelines, despite the app in question having been updated four times previously.
Section 2.25 clearly notes "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," while section 3.10 targets "Developers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews."
In this developer's case, an App Store reviewer specifically cited the app for “promoting other apps not your own" and for offering up "free in-game credits for watching videos of other apps by developers other than yourself" — including posting to Facebook in exchange for a reward of some kind, such as in-app content.
The report notes that many developers use such tactics in an effort to manipulate their own app rankings, which could be bad news for companies like Flurry, AdColony, and Tapjoy who offer cross-promotion services, such as incentives for watching brief in-app videos.
Worse yet (for developers, anyway), such rejections could soon be applied retroactively, suggesting that Apple is going out of its way to stomp out such practices on the App Store at long last.
As one Apple reviewer put it: “You can advertise your own games via the standard ad networks. However, when you have a ‘More Games’ or ‘Other Games’ you should only market your own games," which should benefit more traditional advertising networks, including Apple's own iAds.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of Mashable)