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Apple clamps down on apps that reward social sharing

Apple clamps down on apps that reward social sharing


No more Facebook invite spam?

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Apple is once again cracking down on applications that offer rewards to people for social sharing or video viewing. TechCrunch reports that some app developers are receiving rejection notices from Apple’s review team specifically noting their apps are encouraging users to share to Facebook excessively to receive hints or incentives like free game lives. It’s a practice that has been used for years, and even top games like Candy Crush encourage players to connect to Facebook to gain in-game rewards.

Promoting other apps can also result in rejection

Alongside the social sharing aspects, Apple is also rejecting applications that promote other apps. One particular developer only updated the user interface of his application, but Apple rejected the app because it promotes other apps with ads and offers free in-game credits for watching video ads of apps. Like many App Store rejections, it’s a bit of a lottery for developers whether they will pass the guidelines or not. TechCrunch suggests Apple may be looking to enforce some of its guidelines retroactively to apps that aren’t compliant. In an email to an anonymous developer, Apple states "We work hard to ensure that the apps on the App Store are in compliance and we try to identify any apps currently on the App Store that may not be. It takes time to identify these occurrences but another app being out of compliance is not a reason for your app to be."

It’s not yet clear if this is a more broader push than previous attempts by Apple to enforce its guidelines. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment, and we’ll update you accordingly.